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Sam Durley From Eureka College Earns Manning Award Player of the Week Honor

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Senior quarterback Sam Durley from Eureka College has been selected as the Manning Award Player of the Week. Durley, the first non-Division One player to be recognized, earns the honor over eight other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.

Manning Award

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Durley, a native of Roanoke, Ill., broke the NCAA single-game record with 736 passing yards, one of six school records broken on Saturday, helping the Red Devils come from behind for a 62-55 non-conference victory over Knox in the inaugural Abraham Lincoln Bowl
at the Knosher Bowl in Galesburg, Ill. Durley's effort broke the previous single-game record of 731 yards set by Menlo's Zamir Amin on Oct. 7, 2000. He finished the game 34-for-52 with five touchdown passes, including a pair of strikes to junior wideout Jake Bane in the final two minutes of the game to cap a run of 17 unanswered points by the Red Devils. Durley's final touchdown pass, a 13-yard toss to Bane with 20 seconds remaining, gave the Red Devils their first lead of the afternoon that eventually held up as the final 62-55 score.

In addition to the single-game NCAA record, Durley broke Eureka's all-time passing yardage, attempts and passing touchdown records. The senior now has 6,095 career passing yards, 792 attempts and 48 touchdowns. Durley is the first Red Devil in program history to throw for 6,000 yards.

In addition to being the Manning Player of the Week, Durley was named the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Durley and the Red Devils will continue their season-opening three-game road trip this Saturday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. against defending Upper Midwest Athletic Conference champion St. Scholastica.

Coming in right behind Durley were Matt Scott of Arizona and Tennessee's Tyler Bray, who finished second and third, respectively.  Scott completed 30-of-46 passes for 387 yards, a career-high, and two scores, including a 10-yard scoring strike in overtime to give the Wildcats a 24-17 win over Toledo in the debut for coach Rich Rodriguez. Bray went 27-of-41 for 333 yards and two touchdowns, marking his seventh career 300-yard game to lead the Volunteers to a key non-conference victory over N.C. State, 35-21.

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 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).