UCF's Blake Bortles Earns Manning Award Player of the Week Honor park
Blake Bortles, a redshirt junior from UCF, has been selected as Manning Award Player of the Week. He earns the win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
The Oviedo, Fla. native tied a wild game with a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:06 to go, and then secured "star" status by launching a 64-yard completion with 28 seconds to go to set up the winning field goal in a thrilling 39-36 AAC road win over Temple. On the night he completed 27 of his 38 pass attempts for a career-best 404 yards and four touchdowns. It was the 10th- best passing day in UCF history.
Bortles' four touchdowns passes tied a career high, giving him 50 for his career and moving him into fourth on the Knights' all-time list. He had a season-high 62 rushing yards on 11 carries. Bortles game into the game with 67 rushing yards on 39 attempts. With the victory over Temple, UCF remains along in first place in the American Athletic Conference.
The Knights welcome another AAC battle tonight as Rutgers comes to town. The game will be televised on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. CT. This will be UCF's first Thursday-night appearance on ESPN since 2005 at South Carolina.
Bortles's top competitors in the Facebook contest were Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch and Cincinnati's Brendon Kay. Lynch completed 26-of-32 for 345 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns as he led the Huskies to a critical victory over nine- win MAC rival Ball State, 48-27. Kay completed 24-of-38 passes for 405 yards with four touchdowns in a critical AAC road game as he kept the Bearcats in the mix for the conference championship with a 52-17 win over Rutgers.
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.
Ten finalists for the honor will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 26 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the BCS National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 6.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 10th 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. McCoy was followed by top-two NFL Draft picks – Auburn's Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers and then Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, was the 2012 winner prior to being the No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Redskins. This past season's winner was Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman to earn the honor.