Virginia Tech’s Ryan Willis Earns Manning Award Quarterback of the Week
NEW ORLEANS (October 4, 2018) –Ryan Willis, a junior from Virginia Tech, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Willis, making his first start for the Hokies, completed 17-of-27 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns as he led Virginia Tech to a 31-14 upset of No. 22 and previously undefeated Duke, 31-14, in ACC road action. He was also selected as the ACC Quarterback of the Week for his performance. His 332 passing yards were the most by a Hokie quarterback in his debut since at least 1987. While it was Willis’ first 300-yard game for Virginia Tech, he did have a pair of 300-yard games for Kansas, where he played for two seasons before transferring.
“He’s a competitor,” Tech head coach Justin Fuente said. “He has some toughness and likes the game. He was really having fun out there. It certainly wasn’t too big for him.”
Virginia Tech, ranked No. 24 in the latest AP Poll, returns to action this Saturday night, hosting No. 6 Notre Dame, which will be making its first appearance in Blacksburg, Va. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT on ABC.
Willis’ top competitors were Will Grier of West Virginia and Notre Dame’s Ian Book. Grier registered his fourth 300-yard game of the year as the Mountaineers went on the road to upend No. 25 Texas Tech, 42-34, in Big 12 action. Book directed the Fighting Irish to 550 yards of offense and set his career-high for touchdown passes as he led them to a 38-17 victory over No. 7 Stanford.
In its first 14 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) joins the Southeastern Conference (Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) with four Manning Award winners each, while Texas is the only school with two different winners (McCoy and Young).
All 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.