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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


A Look Around The Conferences At Some Of The Stars Of Tomorrow

Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice picked up 142 yards on 33 carries in helping the Yellow Jackets edge North Carolina 27-25. It was his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the season, as the senior is averaging 117.6 rushing yards per game. Teammate Greg Smith flashed his big-play talent hauling in two touchdowns and 155 yards. The 6’3” sophomore is certainly one to watch in the future as premature talk has him labeled as the next Calvin Johnson.

Ann Arbor native Devin Thomas continues his outstanding season for Michigan State, helping rally the Spartans from a 24-7 deficit against Penn State. Thomas scored two of his three touchdowns in the second half and added 139 receiving yards as Michigan State prevailed 35-31. On the season, the junior transfer from Coffeyville Community College has 1,226 receiving yards.

BIG 12 WATCH: “CFI Player Of The Week”
Freshman phenom Jeremy Maclin gets mentioned for the second time in as many weeks with an overall performance for the ages. The Missouri playmaker set the tone early with his 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Maclin then put the game all but out of reach midway through the third quarter with a 44-yard touchdown catch that put Missouri up 35-18. That gave him 2,201 all-purpose yards for the season, 175 more than Terrell Willis of Rutgers had in 1993. "It feels good -- that's what all that preparation goes toward," said Maclin, who finished with nine catches for 143 yards. "When you do all that stuff, you can go out there and win a game, set you up for big-time games like next week against Kansas."

Pittsburgh middle linebacker Scott McKillop registered 16 tackles, two fumble recoveries, an interception and 1 ½ sacks in a losing effort verses Rutgers. His combination of size, speed and smarts has enabled the redshirt junior to lead the Big East in tackles, as he has done a tremendous job replacing All-American linebacker H.B. Blades (Redskins). "It's been said that I was his shadow for the past couple years," McKillop explains. "When [Pitt coach Dave] Wannstedt came in [Blades] moved from outside linebacker to the middle linebacker, and I did the same exact thing. I kind of knew that Coach Wannstedt wanted me to be behind him, and hopefully whenever he was gone, to pick up where he left off."

For the second time in three weeks, Washington running back Louis Rankin rallied the Huskies to a victory with another 200-plus rushing performance. On Saturday, Rankin ran wild for 224 yards on 21 carries guiding Washington to a 37-23 win over California. Two weeks ago, the senior rushed 36 times for 255 yards against Stanford. Rankin sat out the final 1 ½ quarters because of a hip pointer that he called minor. His backup, freshman Brandon Johnson, ran for 121 yards on 23 carries.

The Big upset this week came in Tuscaloosa, as Louisiana-Monroe running back Calvin Dawson introduced himself to the Crimson Tide defense, carrying the Warhawks to a 21-14 victory. While it wasn’t his greatest statistical performance, Dawson wore down the Alabama defense, gaining 91 yards on 33 carries, eating precious time off the clock. It was the WarHawks first victory over an SEC team since beating Mississippi State in 1995 and their third in 33 tries. The Sun Belt had been 0-11 against the SEC this season.


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