NEW ORLEANS – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has named nine quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” College football fans can now go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page to vote for what they think was the best performance from this past weekend. When voting closes on Thursday at 11 a.m. (Central), the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Player of the Week.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
This week’s eight Manning Award Stars of the Week are:
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech
15-of-22, 284 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Cameron leads the Bulldogs to a quick start, then tosses a pair of third-quarter touchdowns as Louisiana Tech blows out Big Ten foe Illinois, 52-24, on the road.
Nick Florence, Baylor
26-of-39, 351 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT
Florence, who also rushes for 55 yards, tosses a career-high four touchdowns, and leads a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives as the Bears come from behind to defeat a dangerous UL-Monroe team, 47-42, for their ninth straight victory.
Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion
55-of-79, 730 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Heinicke sets a Division I record for passing yards to rally the Monarchs from a 20-point deficit, capping the day with a late 11-play drive to set up the game-winning field goal in a 64-61 win over New Hampshire.
Sean Mannion, Oregon State
24-of-35, 379 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Mannion’s career-high 379 yards lift the Beavers to a 27-20 victory over No. 19 UCLA, their second straight win over a ranked opponent.
EJ Manuel, Florida State
27-of-35, 380 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Manuel, who also rushes for 102 yards, rallies the Seminoles to 28 straight second-half points en route to a 49-37 victory over 10th-ranked ACC-foe Clemson.
Gary Nova, Rutgers
25-of-35, 397 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Nova throws for a career-best 397 yards as Rutgers upends Arkansas on the road to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2006.
Connor Shaw, South Carolina
20-of-21, 249 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Coming off an injury, Shaw picks apart Missouri through the air and also adds 41 rushing yards in a 31-10 Gamecock win.
Brett Smith, Wyoming
23-of-35, 365 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Smith’s fifth touchdown of the day is a 25-yard game-winner in overtime which sets his career-high for passing yards as the Cowboys pick up their first win of the year, 40-37 over Idaho.
Last week’s Manning Award Player of the Week was West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. A native of Miami, Fla., Smith led the Mountaineers to a 42-12 victory over James Madison. The senior passed for 411 yards to become West Virginia’s all-time passing yardage leader. Smith completed 34 of 39 passes, including five touchdowns with no interceptions. West Virginia's 569 yards of offense proved to be too much for the Dukes to handle as the Mountaineers are now 13-0 all-time against FCS schools.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its ninth winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. This past season’s honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins).