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Eye Catchers

Jan. 14, 2013
Jan. 14, 2013

Table of Contents
Jan. 14, 2013

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP
DIVISIONAL ROUND PREVIEW
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF PREVIEW
BONUS
Departments

Eye Catchers

After watching 68 teams compete in 34 bowls—from the Gildan New Mexico to the GoDaddy.com—SI's college football experts came away most impressed by these performances

JOHNNY MANZIEL

This is an article from the Jan. 14, 2013 issue

Freshman QB, Texas A&M

The Heisman winner brought his special year to a fitting end: a Cotton Bowl--record 516 yards of total offense (including an FBS bowl record 229 rushing by a QB) in a 41--13 rout of Oklahoma.

DE'ANTHONY THOMAS

Soph. RB, Oregon

In last year's Rose Bowl, Thomas had 155 yards and two TDs on two rushes. In a 35--17 Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State, he took the opening kickoff 94 yards, gained 195 total yards and scored twice.

ALEX OKAFOR

Senior DE, Texas

Oregon State led 27--17 after three quarters, but the Longhorns, led by Okafor (eight tackles and an Alamo Bowl--record 4½ sacks), allowed minus-four yards in the fourth to prevail 31--27.

KERWYNN WILLIAMS

Senior RB, Utah St.

The Aggies beat Toledo 41--15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl behind Williams's three TDs and bowl-season best 235 yards, which computes to a staggering 13.1 yards per carry.

KYLE VAN NOY

Junior OLB, BYU

The Cougars scored three touchdowns in their 23--6 Poinsettia Bowl win over San Diego State—Van Noy had two of them. With his end zone fumble recovery and pick six he had eight tackles and 1½ sacks.

JADEVEON CLOWNEY

Soph. DE, South Carolina

Clowney's demolition of running back Vincent Smith overshadowed SC's last-second 33--28 Outback Bowl defeat of Michigan. Anyone who hasn't seen the hit should go to YouTube right now.

LONNIE PRYOR

Senior FB, Florida State

He finished the regular season with only 242 yards, but in a 31--10 win Pryor torched Northern Illinois for 134 on five carries in the Orange Bowl—including TD runs of 60 and 37.

QUENTIN WILLIAMS

Senior DE, Northwestern

The 6' 4" 255-pounder returned a pick 29 yards for a TD on the third play of the Gator Bowl, setting the tone for a 34--20 victory over Mississippi State—the Wildcats' first bowl win since 1949.

TEDDY BRIDGEWATER

Soph. QB, Louisville

His stats weren't gaudy (266 yards, two TDs), but Bridgewater's Sugar Bowl was a gem. He filleted Florida's top-ranked pass efficiency defense in one of the biggest upsets (No. 22 over No. 4) in BCS history.

DEANDRE HOPKINS

Junior WR, Clemson

The 191 receiving yards and two touchdowns he racked up against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl included a 26-yard grab on fourth-and-16 to set up the decisive field goal in a 25--24 victory.

PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (MANZIEL)PHOTODOUG PENSINGER/GETTY IMAGES (THOMAS)PHOTOROBERT BACKMAN/CAL SPORT MEDIA (OKAFOR)PHOTOSTEVE CONNER/ICON SMI (K. WILLIAMS)PHOTOKEVIN REECE/ICON SMI (VAN NOY)PHOTOJIM DEDMON/ICON SMI (CLOWNEY)PHOTOJC RIDLEY/CAL SPORT MEDIA (PRYOR)PHOTOSTEPHEN MORTON/AP (Q. WILLIAMS)PHOTOCRYSTAL LOGIUDICE/USA TODAY SPORTS (BRIDGEWATER)PHOTOCURTIS COMPTON/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.COM (HOPKINS)