Northwestern's Dan Persa and Texas Tech's Taylor Potts Featured Manning Watch List Additions park
The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced 10 additions to its 2010 Watch List on Oct. 25. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a banquet in New Orleans.
After announcing 33 quarterbacks to watch during the preseason, the Manning Award opted to increase its focus players based on the many outstanding performances during the first half of the year, however, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible to win the honor.
Northwestern's Dan Persa and Texas Tech's Taylor Potts will be the focus this week.
After dropping its first road game in more than a year last Saturday at Penn State, Northwestern (6-3) returns home to play its final 2010 Ryan Field game against the 13th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT on ESPN.
Persa rushed for a career-high 109 yards and two touchdowns last week. He is NU's leading rusher this season with 469 yards and now has eight rushing TD's on the season, three shy of NU's single-season rushing TD mark by a quarterback (held by Zak Kustok with 11 in 2001).
Persa became the second Wildcat in as many weeks to run for 100-plus yards in a game after Northwestern went 20 straight games without a 100-yard rusher. His 109 rushing yards represented the fourth-best single-game rushing performance by an NU quarterback in school history. It was just the sixth time in Wildcat history that an NU quarterback ran for more than 100 yards.
For the season, the 6-1 junior from Bethlehem, Pa. has completed 190-of-259 passes for 2,263 yards and 13 TDs with three interceptions.
Texas Tech will conclude the Big 12 portion of its 2010 schedule on Saturday afternoon when the Red Raiders and Taylor Potts pay the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners a visit at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. The Red Raiders stand at 5-4 overall and at 3-4 in Big 12 play.
Potts didn't start for the first time this season last week but came in late in the first half and threw TD passes of 8, 5 and 16 yards on three straight possessions to lead the Red Raiders to a 24-17 victory over No. 14 Missouri.
Against Missouri, he became one of only four quarterbacks in school history to tally 50 career passing touchdowns. He needs eight more to tie for third place in the Red Raiders' record books.
The 6-5 senior from Abilene, Texas has completed 255-of-389 passes for 2,576 yards and 24 TDs with six interceptions. He is third in the nation with 255 pass completions and his 24 TDs ties for third nationally as well.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its seventh winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Last year's winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history. McCoy was picked by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft.