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Arizona’s Anu Solomon Earns Season’s First Manning Award Quarterback of the Week Honor

NEW ORLEANS (September 5, 2014) – Anu Solomon, a freshman from the University of Arizona, has been selected as this season’s first 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.

Solomon, a redshirt freshman, had a record-breaking performance last Friday night in the Wildcats’ 58-13 win over UNLV. He completed 25-of-44 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Wildcats to a school-record 787 yards of total offense. His passing yardage total of 425 set a new freshman record, previously held by Keith Smith – 418 at California in a four overtime game in 1996, and tied Nick Foles’ mark for ninth-most in UA single game history.

The Las Vegas native continued his great start by winning again, this time on the road, in last night’s contest against UTSA by a score of 26 -23. Solomon finished the game 17-of-32 for 231 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Next up, Solomon and the Wildcats welcome Nevada to Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Sep. 13 at 9 p.m. CT on Pac-12 Networks.

Solomon’s top competitors this week were Connor Halliday of Washington State and Dane Evans of Tulsa. Halliday tallied his third career 500-yard game, but it was not enough for the Cougars as Rutgers held on for a 41-38 win in Seattle. Evans tallied career-highs in nearly every category and led the Golden Hurricane to a TD and two-point conversion to force overtime, then tossed the game-winning TD pass in the second OT of a 38-31 win over Tulane.

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.

Visit the Manning Award page here.

While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, all quarterbacks remain eligible for the honor. The 10 finalists for the honor will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 12.

The Manning Award will be recognizing its 11th 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, at the time, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. The 2012 honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins). The 2013 and 2014 winners were also the first freshmen to collect the honor – in 2013, it was Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, and he was followed by last year’s winner, Jameis Winston from Florida State. Both freshmen also collected the Heisman Trophy after their sensational debut seasons.

-AllstateSugarBowl.org-