NEW ORLEANS – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has named eight 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 Friday at 11 a.m. (Central), the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback 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:
Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
46-of-56, 569 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 93.5
Doughty shocks the defending MAC champions by setting school records for passing yards and TDs while leading the Hilltoppers to school records for FBS points and yardage in a 59-31 win over Bowling Green.
Dane Evans, Tulsa
31-of-53, 438 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT, QBR: 68.7
Evans, who tallies career-highs in nearly every category, leads the Golden Hurricane to a TD and two-point conversion to force overtime, then tosses the game-winning TD pass in the second OT of a 38-31 win over Tulane.
Everett Golson, Notre Dame
14-of-22, 295 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 95.9
Golson, who sat out last season due to academic suspension, comes back strong, throwing for two touchdowns while running for an additional three scores in a 48-17 victory over defending Conference USA champion Rice.
Connor Halliday, Washington State
40-of-56, 532 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 80.1
Halliday tallies his third career 500-yard game, but it’s not enough for the Cougars as Rutgers holds on for a 41-38 win in Corvallis.
Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
44-of-60, 511 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.5
Making his debut in place of a Heisman Trophy winner, Hill set the school record for passing yards while leading the Aggies to a shocking 52-28 blowout win over No. 9 South Carolina on the road.
Taysom Hill, BYU
28-of-36, 308 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.5
Going on the road to open the season, Hill continues his dual-threat assault on opponents, adding 97 rushing yards and two more TDs as the Cougars top UConn, 35-10.
Cody Kessler, USC
25-of-37, 394 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 96.7
Kessler, who also rushes for a touchdown, tallies a career-high in passing yards and matches his best in TD passes as the Trojans dominate Fresno State, 52-13.
Anu Solomon, Arizona
25-of-44, 425 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 87.3
Solomon debuts by setting the school’s freshman record for passing yards, including a 92-yard touchdown connection, while leading the Wildcats to a school-record 787 yards of offense in a 58-13 rout of UNLV.
While the Manning Award selected 32 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. The 10 finalists for the honor will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 12.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 11th 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, at the time, 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. The 2012 honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins). The 2013 and 2014 winners were also the first freshmen to collect the honor – in 2013, it was Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, and he was followed by last year’s winner, Jameis Winston from Florida State. Both freshmen also collected the Heisman Trophy after their sensational debut seasons.