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Southern Miss' Austin Davis Earns Manning Award Player of the Week Honor
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Senior quarterback Austin Davis from Southern Miss has been selected as the Manning Award Player of the Week. Davis earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Official Manning Award Website
See the Final Facebook Voting Results
Davis, a native of Meridian, Miss., set the Southern Miss record for completion percentage (91.3) by connecting on 21-of-23 passes for 283 yards in a 63-35 victory over Navy. He led touchdown drives on nine of 13 attempts and also ran for 75 yards and a touchdown. Davis' first drive of the game came with the Golden Eagles pinned inside their own yard line. Davis stepped up to direct a 99-yard drive to boost the lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter, putting the run-oriented Midshipmen on their heels for the rest of the game. The win improved the Golden Eagles to 5-1, while the 63 points also marked the highest point total for Southern Miss on the road since 1987.
In addition to being the Manning Player of the Week, Davis was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week.
This week, Southern Miss will have a chance to rest and gear up for the rest of their in-conference schedule starting with SMU in Hattiesburg on Saturday, October 22nd.
The Southern Miss fans held on until the finish as Davis came from behind later in the week. Coming in right behind Davis were Geno Smith of West Virginia and Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, who finished second and third, respectively. Smith threw for 499 yards as he led the Mountaineers to victory over UConn, 43-16, while Thomas had the best game of his young career, recording his first 300-yard game while running for a pair of touchdowns, including the go-ahead TD with 56 seconds to go, in an exciting win over Miami, 38-35.
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.
The honor will be recognizing its eighth 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. Last year saw Auburn's Cameron Newton earn the award, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.