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West Virginia’s Skyler Howard Earns Manning Award Quarterback of the Week Honor

NEW ORLEANS (October 20, 2016) – Skyler Howard, a senior from West Virginia University, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.

Howard completed 21-of-31 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 89 yards and two scores, as the Mountaineers remained undefeated with a 48-17 Big 12 road victory over Texas Tech.  He tallied his third 300-yard passing performance of the season and sixth in his career on his way to being named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen, appearing on ESPN’s Championship Drive podcast Wednesday, said his senior quarterback epitomizes why the No. 12 Mountaineers are 5-0. Howard, a Fort Worth native, walked on at Riverside (California) City College and came to West Virginia because it was the only offer he received. “We took a chance on him,” Holgorzen said. “He came in and was excited about the Big 12 just because he could go back and try to do his best against all those teams that overlooked him. He wants to try to prove everybody wrong every single day he wakes up.”

Following the win over Texas Tech, the Mountaineers jumped eight spots to No. 12 in the AP poll and will be looking to break into the top ten as they as they welcome TCU (4-2) to Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday for a Big 12 matchup at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC.

Howard’s top competition came from Idaho’s Matt Linehan and Quinton Flowers of USF. Linehan completed 29-of-36 passes for 476 yards with four touchdowns and also rushed for a score as the Vandals tallied a 55-23 victory over New Mexico State. Flowers completed 23-of-37 passes for 213 yards with two touchdowns, while also rushing for 157 yards and three touchdowns, in the Bulls 42-27 win over Connecticut in AAC action.

Facebook Voting

While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List all quarterbacks remain eligible for the honor. Midseason additions to the Watch List will be announced on Wednesday, October 12. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Wednesday, November 30. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 11.

Manning Award

In its first 12 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 11 different schools and from four different conferences. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with four Manning Award winners (Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell, Tim Tebow), while Texas is the only school with two winners (Colt McCoy and Vince Young). Watson is the third winner from the Atlantic Coast Conference, joining Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007) and Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013).

All of the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.

In addition to the Manning Award’s yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week. Fifty-five players from 52 different schools were honored during the 2015 season.

-www.AllstateSugarBowl.org-