A day late but a dollar stronger! My awards are pretty straight forward this week, so here we go:
Halloween Spice Drop Award of Excellence:
Storm Barrs-Woods. There is no way anyone else gets it. He had a monster game, some huge runs but also a lot of great blocks to spring Collins. The biggest difference as many in Beaver Nation have mentioned, was his aggressive running style and Roger Craig-esque high knees on contact. He did a good job protecting the ball and himself, while also delivering blows. The other item I noticed was how well he used his blockers this week. The big run at the start of the second half was not just well blocked, but just a back using his blocks the best he can. One cut and then hit the hole fast and hard before the defense can adjust.
150+ yards on 17 carries is a great day of work for the man!
That is the kind of running we need this week and nothing would make me happier than to be giving this award to Storm next week as well. Great work man!
JujiFruit Award of Improved Performance:
I am going to go a little out of the box here and offer up Manase Hungalu. Before this week, I would have been hard pressed to remember how to spell his last name. Now, I want to get it tatooed on my arm or face. He was an animal, flying all over the field and showing that awesome mix of speed, size and aggression. With him and Mageo out there, it is not safe for opposing ball carriers to be out on the field. 11 tackles for Hungalu and one for a loss as the 230 pound missile ran around crushing San Jose State players left and right. It felt a lot more like great Beaver defenses of the past to have a couple of players step up at linebacker, and that is all right with me!
Welcome on board the award train Manase!
Good ‘N Plenty Award of Shame:
I think I am going to go with USC. Sure, we all know Sark is good for one or two ridiculous losses a year. We know that he had a rough off season that culminated in a series of unfortunate personal decisions. We also know that USC as a staff has some issues. A team that talented, like fellow Week 3 losers Alabama, should never rarely lose at home to anyone. Especially a team with the flaws that Stanford has.
USC has a ton of talent, but they were unable to get any pressure on Stanford’s inconsistent quarterback Kevin Hogan. Sloppy penalties took kick return points and big plays off the board, leaving them handicapped. A boring defense was shredded by Stanford while the abandonment of a successful run game led to them being too far behind to pull it out in the end. This was USC’s best chance to play in the playoffs since the Pete Carroll days not just because they are talented, but because there are no real other dominant teams out there. They still may be a playoff team when all is said and done, but USC blew a huge opportunity this weekend and it could effect the whole conference come November.