The FootballScoop Coaches of the Week Awards - Week 9
Head Coach of the Week - David Cutcliffe, Duke
Never before in the 118-year history had Duke played in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons. That's about to change. Duke hadn't beaten Virginia Tech since 1981, hadn't defeated a ranked team since 1994 and hadn't won on the road against a ranked team since 1971. That changed Saturday.
On a day when the Blue Devils' offense was flat-out awful - 7-of-25 passing for 107 yards with four interceptions, 28 team rushes for 91 yards - the Duke defense intercepted Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas four times on their own and rode out a 13-10 victory over No. 14 Virginia Tech.
With the way Duke's schedule sets up (NC State, Miami, at Wake Forest, at North Carolina), a 10-2 regular season is fully within the realm of possibility.
Honorable Mention: Steve Spurrier, South Carolina; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Mark Helfrich, Oregon; Ed Orgeron, USC; Tony Levine, Houston; David Shaw, Stanford.
Offensive Staff of the Week - Florida State
Florida State snapped the ball 68 times in a 49-17 demolition of N.C. State, but the final 49 were irrelevant. In their first 19 plays, the Seminoles marched 289 yards, a mere 15.2 yards per play, to take a 35-0 lead. That's all.
The 'Noles averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 34 carries (with four touchdowns), and Jameis Winston turned his 16 completions into 292 yards and three scores. More than 44 percent of Florida State's snaps went for first downs on the day.
Honorable Mention: SMU, Houston, San Jose State, Oregon, Baylor, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Arizona.
Defensive Staff of the Week - Minnesota
A number of staffs allowed fewer than 23 points and 328 total yards this week, but no defensive staff did their job better than Minnesota's this week. In beating No. 24 Nebraska 34-23, defensive coordinator and acting head coach Tracy Claeys earned perhaps the biggest win of the Jerry Kill era at Minnesota, moving Minnesota to 6-2 for the first time under Kill and bringing home the Gophers' first win over a ranked team since 2010. (While we're bragging on Claeys wearing the head coaching hat, how about dialing up a 33-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-10 that put Minnesota up for good at 14-10?)
Honorable Mention: South Carolina, Stanford, Florida State, USC, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan State.
Special Teams Unit of the Week - Fresno State
Undefeated season a 37-yard field goal away from dying, Fresno State blocked Seamus McMorrow's field goal try at the buzzer to send a 28-28 game into overtime. Like they have three other times this season, Fresno State pulled out a close win to keep its BCS dream alive, 35-28.
Honorable Mention: Texas State, Navy, Old Dominion.