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Washington State's Connor Halliday Earns Manning Award Player of the Week Honor

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Connor Halliday, a freshman from Washington State, has been selected as this week's Manning Award Player of the Week. Halliday earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week after earning the most votes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest. He is the second Cougar quarterback to win the honor this year as Marshall Lobbestael collected the Oct. 6 award.

Offical Manning Award Website
See Final Facebook Voting Results

Halliday, a native of Spokane, Wash., led the Cougars to a 37-27 upset over Pac-12 South-leading Arizona State on Saturday.  After entering the game on WSU's third possession, the freshman passed for 494 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions to set both the Washington State and the Pac-12 record for freshman passing yardage. His passing total was also the second-highest in school history, the highest total by a Pac-12 quarterback this season and the 10th-best passing total in conference history.  After a stellar performance by the Cougar defense held the Sun Devils to a yard short of a first down, Halliday drove the offense 89 yards, finishing with an 18-yard touchdown pass, putting the Cougars up 30-27 with 8:55 left on the clock. Washington State scored one more time before time expired as it kept its hopes for a bowl appearance alive. 

In addition to earning the Manning Award weekly honor, Halliday was named the Bank of the West Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. This Saturday, the Cougars will take on Utah in Pullman, Washington.

The Washington State fans really showed their pride as their votes totaled to the highest amount collected by any candidate all season.  Not far behind Holiday were Georgia's Aaron Murray and Collin Klein of Kansas State.  Murray set the Georgia record for TD passes in a season with 27 while leading the Bulldogs to a critical SEC victory over 20th-ranked Auburn, completing 14-of-18 passes for 224 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.  Klein threw for a career-high 281 yards, including one touchdown.  He also ran for 103 yards and five touchdowns, including the final one in the fourth overtime to lift the Wildcats to a 53-50 victory over Texas A&M.  

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.

The honor will be recognizing its eighth 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. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Last year saw Auburn's Cameron Newton earn the award, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.


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