The FootballScoop Coaches of the Week Awards - Week 7
Head Coach of the Week - Kyle Whittingham, Utah
The first rearrangement of the national championship picture comes courtesy of Kyle Whittingham's Utah Utes in their 27-21 upset of No. 5 Stanford. After falling behind 14-7 in the first quarter, Utah ripped off 20 straight points before momentum swung the other way and Stanford knocked on the door of the goal line. After a seven-yard Kevin Hogan touchdown pass pulled Stanford within six, the Cardinal forced a three-and-out and then marched 82 yards on 11 plays to the Utes' six-yard line with under a minute to play, but the Kalani Fifita Sitake's defense forced two straight incompletions to end the threat and seal the win.
It's not the biggest win in Whittingham's career, but it's the sweetest of Utah's eight conference victories since joining the Pac-12.
Offensive Staff of the Week - Baylor
Offensive Staff of the Week - South Carolina
Time of possession doesn't mean as much today as it did in 1980, but find me a team that holds the ball for 43:26 and I'll show you a team that dominated the line of scrimmage en route to a win (unless they're playing Oregon). That's exactly what happened in South Carolina's 52-7 destruction of Arkansas on Saturday. Steve Spurrier's team took the one way Arkansas could win the game - a powerful, controlling running game - and completely turned it around on the Hogs. South Carolina passers completed 24-of-35 attempts for 260 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and a half-dozen Gamecock ball carriers combined to produce 54 rushes for 277 yards and three scores. While South Carolina sat on the ball, Arkansas ran only 37 plays in 60 minutes, the fewest snaps by an SEC team since at least 2006.
South Carolina touched the ball 10 times on Saturday and registered only one three-and-out. Its only other drive of less than six plays was a one-play, six-yard touchdown jaunt. From the 2:20 mark of the second quarter until the end of the game, the Gamecocks possessed the ball five times and posted 54 plays for 327 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensive Staff of the Week - Texas
Can you believe this is the same team that BYU turned into roadkill five weeks ago? Greg Robinson's defense turned in the best effort by a Texas defense in years, holding Oklahoma to its smallest Red River Rivalry yardage output since 2005 and its fewest points since 2006 in the Longhorns' 36-20 win that wasn't as close as the final score. Robinson made life hell for Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell, as the junior completed just 12-of-26 throws for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, including a 31-yard pick six to defensive tackle Chris Whaley. The Texas defense played Oklahoma to a near standstill on the scoreboard - allowing 13 points and producing seven of their own - and pushed the Sooners off the field on 11-of-13 third downs and its only fourth down try.
Special Teams Unit of the Week - Penn State
When you're on the field for one play at a time, each play often becomes its own referendum on your impact on the game. That's what happened in Penn State's resolve-testing 43-40 quadruple-overtime win over Michigan on Saturday evening. After Nittany Lions kicker Sam Ficken missed a 40-yard field goal to open overtime, Michigan lined up for the win on the ensuing possession with Brendan Gibbons' own 40-yard try. Penn State blocked it, and the game lived on. Ficken then nailed a 37-yarder to send the game into a third overtime, and the Nittany Lions' field goal block unit used some voodoo magic to force Gibbons, a fifth-year senior All-Big Ten honoree with a Sugar Bowl game-winner to his credit, to miss his third field goal of the game to extend the night into a fourth overtime, which Bill O'Brien's team eventually punctuated with the deciding touchdown.