NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was named one of eight “Stars of the Week” by the Manning Award on Monday and is in the running to win the Award’s Player of the Week honor which will be determined by fan vote later this 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.
Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, led the Aggies to a 29-24 road upset of top-ranked Alabama. He carved up the stingy Crimson Tide defense for 345 total yards, including 253 passing yards and 92 rushing yards. The Aggies were named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers of America Association after logging the program’s second win over the No. 1-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25.
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 (alphabetically):
David Ash, Texas
(25-of-31, 364 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Ash and the Longhorns paid tribute to legendary coach Darrell Royal by putting together a near flawless performance in a 33-7 win over Iowa State as they continue to make a case for BCS consideration.
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech
(31-of-45, 337 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Cameron, who has thrown 419 passes without an interception, also provides crucial support with his feet as he runs for the game-clinching touchdown with 4:30 to go in a 62-55 victory over Texas State.
Devin Gardner, Michigan
(16-of-29, 286 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT)
Gardner, making just his second appearance as a quarterback this year, also runs for two TDs including the game-winning score in overtime, as he leads the Wolverines to a 38-31 victory over nationally-ranked Northwestern,
Vad Lee, Georgia Tech
(6-of-10, 169 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT)
Lee comes off the bench to average nearly 17 yards per pass attempt and rushes for 111 yards and two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets win the highest scoring game in ACC history, 68-50 over North Carolina.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
(24-of-31, 253 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Manziel, who also rushes for 92 yards, becomes just the second freshman quarterback in history to lead his team to victory over the top-ranked team on the road, as he leads the Aggies to a shocking upset of Alabama, 29-24.
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
(27-of-34, 377 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT)
Mariota matches the Oregon record for touchdown passes and sets his own personal-best in yardage as the Ducks extend the longest current winning streak in college football with a 59-17 blowout of Cal on the road.
Michael Rocco, Virginia
(29-of-37, 300 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Rocco throws a pair of touchdown passes in the final 5:33, including the game-winner with 17 seconds to go as the Cavaliers shock Miami, 41-40.
Brett Smith, Wyoming
(20-of-32, 374 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Smith’s first pass of the day was an 81-yard touchdown strike and he went on to set his season-high for passing yards in a 28-23 road victory over New Mexico.
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).