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November 13, 2011

Week 11 awards: Pachall delivers for TCU

On Boise State's famed blue turf, TCU played like the home team normally does.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas was 7-of-13 for 209 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-26 victory at Georgia Tech on Thursday. He also rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
BIG 12
Kansas State junior QB Collin Klein was 17-of-27 for a career-high 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 53-50 win over Texas A&M in four overtimes. Klein also rushed for 103 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries.
BIG EAST
USF QB B.J. Daniels was 23-of-34 for 254 yards in a 37-13 win at Syracuse on Friday. He also rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
BIG TEN
Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins was 18-of-21 for 260 yards and three touchdowns in a surprisingly easy 37-21 victory at Iowa.
CUSA
UAB QB Jonathan Perry was 29-of-48 for 410 yards and four TDs in a 41-35 win over Memphis. He also rushed for 47 yards on nine carries and led a furious fourth-quarter rally.
MAC
Toledo RB Adonis Thomas rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries in a 66-63 win over Western Michigan on Tuesday. He also caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
PAC-12
Oregon RB LaMichael James rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in a 53-30 win over host Stanford.
SEC
Georgia QB Aaron Murray was 14-of-18 for 224 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-7 rout of visiting Auburn.
SUN BELT
Arkansas State DE Brandon Joiner had eight tackles and four sacks in a 30-21 win over visiting Louisiana-Lafayette that all but locked up the league crown for the Red Wolves.
WAC
New Mexico State WR Taveon Rogers caught 10 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown in a 48-45 upset of Fresno State. He also returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
INDEPENDENTS
Notre Dame RB Jonas Gray rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries in a 45-21 victory over Maryland.
This season's marquee matchup in the Mountain West originally was scheduled to be played in Fort Worth, but the game was moved to the blue turf when TCU announced a move to the Big East.

With the game in Boise, TCU quarterback Casey Pachall did what Bronco Stadium fans often had seen Kellen Moore do: Pachall picked apart an opposing secondary and guided his team to a win.

Pachall, a sophomore, was 24-of-37 yards for 473 yards, five touchdowns, an interception and the winning two-point conversion pass to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.

"They play their secondary like us - they sit on routes," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "We knew we weren't going to be able to drive on that defense, so we were going to have to create some big plays. We got lucky on two or three passes, and that's how the game goes."

[Winners and losers: TCU ends Boise's dream]

TCU took advantage of injuries to three of Boise State's top cornerbacks - Jerrell Gavins (out since early October), Jamar Taylor and Ebo Makinde - and made the type of explosive plays Boise State's defense rarely surrenders.

Pachall threw touchdown passes of 74, 75 and 69 yards in the first half. In TCU's past two meetings with Boise State, in bowl games in 2008 and '09, the Horned Frogs never had a play longer than 34 yards.

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti

Just as defense set the tone in LSU's 9-6 win over Alabama last week, defense led the way in Oregon's 53-30 win over Stanford.

Obviously, the numbers weren't quite the same for Aliotti's defense, but the results were the same as for LSU: A national championship contender ended up with its first loss and a Heisman contender walked away frustrated.

[Video: Ducks back in BCS hunt]

Oregon's defense intercepted Andrew Luck twice, once on a pass dropped by a Stanford receiver that led to a pick-six. It was Luck's first multi-interception game of the season. And the Ducks swarmed Luck to a degree he hadn't encountered. Stanford sacked Luck three times; he had been sacked four times entering the game. Stanford also lost three fumbles for a season-high five turnovers.

The Cardinal amassed 400 yards of offense, its lowest total since the opener.

NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Washington State QB Connor Halliday

Even on a rainy, snowy evening, Washington State was able to give its redshirt freshman quarterback a warm welcome.

The Cougars planned to get Halliday into the action on their third possession, and on his first play, Halliday found Marquess Wilson for an 85-yard touchdown that started Washington State on its way to a 37-27 upset of Arizona State.

"We got a play that we've been trying to call for about five weeks now and we finally got the look we wanted," Halliday said. "I'm just lucky that I'm the one that got it. It's kind of like hitting the lottery. I was lucky enough to get the ball off before I got hit."

Halliday was 27-of-36 for 494 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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