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November 5, 2006

Top performers: Taking control

Experts' blog
Scenes from Saturday
The College Football Wire

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Championship hopes were kept alive this weekend in cities like Louisville, Ky., Fayetteville, Ark., and Austin, Texas thanks to several key performers. On the other and, title aspirations where shattered in Knoxville, Tenn.

Leading this week's top performers, Brian Brohm put Louisville in the national title hunt by picking apart the West Virginia defense. However, Brohm will have to go through another undefeated team to keep Louisville's dreams alive.

Darren McFadden doesn't have time to dwell on a 200-yard rushing day against South Carolina. The Razorbacks have games against Tennessee and LSU looming.

And Colt McCoy kept Texas among the one-loss ranks with a record-setting day against Oklahoma State. The Big 12 Championship game and rivalry game against Texas A&M, wounded by Adrian Peterson's replacement Sunday, remain in the coming weeks.

Find out who else led their teams to key wins, and see who struggled this week:

Rivals.com Week 10 Top Performers
1. Brian Brohm, Louisville quarterback
The numbers: 19 of 26 passing, 354 yards, TD
The result: Louisville 44, West Virginia 34 on Thursday
With a win over the No. 3 Mountaineers, Brohm propelled the Cardinals into the national title hunt. West Virginia helped with three fumbles, but Brohm - the local high school standout who stayed home to play for the Cardinals - became an instant Kentucky star by shredding the Mountaineers defense. Next up: another huge game in Louisville history on Thursday against undefeated Rutgers (8-0).
2. Darren McFadden, Arkansas running back
The numbers: 25 carries, 219 yards, two TDs
The result: Arkansas 26, South Carolina 20
The Razorbacks are entering a crucial chunk of their schedule if they hope to play in the SEC Championship Game. McFadden got Arkansas off to a good start by running for a career-high 219 yards in Columbia. Houston Nutt replaced freshman quarterback Mitch Mustain after one possession. Casey Dick (228 passing yards, TD) and Marcus Monk (career-high 192 receiving yards, TD) were effective, but McFadden was productive no matter who was under center.
3. JaMarcus Russell, LSU quarterback
The numbers: 24 of 36 passing, 247 yards, three TDs, three INTs; seven carries, 71 yards
The result: LSU 28, Tennessee 24
Russell wasn't always pretty against the Volunteers, but the junior led the game-winning drive that knocked Tennessee out of the SEC title hunt. Russell made up for three interceptions one returned for a touchdown by also leading LSU in rushing and guiding the 15-play, 80-yard drive to win the game. It was only LSU's second win at Neyland Stadium.
4. Allen Patrick, Oklahoma running back
The numbers: 32 carries, 173 yards, TD
The result: Oklahoma 17, Texas A&M 16
Adrian who? Patrick has run for 440 yards in the three games since Adrian Peterson was knocked out for the season with a broken collarbone. Patrick played a major role in upsetting Texas A&M's 8-1 start. He ran for 54 yards on the opening drive, which he capped with a TD run. The junior fumbled later in the game, but the Aggies did not capitalize on the turnover.
5. Colt McCoy, Texas quarterback
The numbers: 23 of 29 passing, 346 yards, three TDs
The result: Texas 36, Oklahoma State 10
The redshirt freshman put his name in the Longhorns' record book by setting a Texas single-season record with 27 touchdown passes. Chris Simms and Vince Young each threw 26 TD passes for the Longhorns. McCoy has now thrown multiple touchdown passes in all but one game this season (the 24-7 loss to No. 1 Ohio State), and has completed at least 75 percent of his passes in four games. Oklahoma State never recovered after McCoy passed for two second-quarter touchdowns.
6. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech wide receiver
The numbers: Nine receptions, 168 yards, two TDs
The result: Georgia Tech 31, N.C. State 23
7. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon running back
The numbers: 25 carries, 159 yards, two TDs
The result: Oregon 34, Washington 14
8. Bryan Cupito, Minnesota quarterback
The numbers: 22 of 33 passing, 378 yards, four TDs
The result: Minnesota 63, Indiana 26
9. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame quarterback
The numbers: 23 of 35 passing, 346 yards, four TDs
The result: Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 26
10. Joel Filani, Texas Tech wide receiver
The numbers: Eight receptions, 212 yards, three TDs
The result: Texas Tech 55, Baylor 21
Week 10 Goats
1. Ohio State and Michigan
The top two spots in the polls probably aren't in jeopardy as long as these two teams keep winning, but the Buckeyes and Wolverines sleepwalked through the day Saturday. Ohio State beat Illinois 17-10 while Michigan beat Ball State 34-26.
2. Alabama and Georgia
The two SEC powers lost to conference bottom feeders Mississippi State and Kentucky, respectively. Ugh.
3. Darrell Strong, Pittsburgh
The junior tight end was suspended indefinitely after making an obscene gesture during a touchdown celebration in Pitt's 22-12 loss at South Florida. Strong was also penalized for excessive celebration.
4. Marcus Thomas, Florida
The Gators are headed to the SEC title game without their best defensive lineman. Thomas was kicked off the team prior to Saturday's game against Vanderbilt for not meeting "his responsibilities and obligations to remain on the team." He was suspended earlier this year for a violation of the school's substance-abuse policy.
5. Chase Daniel, Missouri
The quarterback has thrown five interceptions the last two weeks in losses to Oklahoma and Nebraska, effectively knocking the Tigers out of the Big 12 North race.

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