Washington State's Luke Falk Earns Manning Award Quarterback of the Week Honor park
Luke Falk, a redshirt freshman from the Washington State University, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Falk, from Logan, Utah, made his first career start on Saturday against Oregon State and led the Cougars to a 39-32 Pac-12 road victory. The former walk-on completed 44 of 61 passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns in the victory. He was stepping into the starting role after Connor Halliday, the nation's leader in passing yardage, broke his leg the previous week. While this was Falk's first start, he had seen significant action in relief of Halliday the previous week against USC.
In addition to earning the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week honor, Falk was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance. The Cougars have a bye this week, but return to action on Nov. 22, playing No. 6 Arizona State on the road.
Falk and the Washington State fans topped Ohio State's J.T. Barrett and TCU's Trevone Boykin to win the weekly Manning honor. Barrett completed 16 of 26 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 86 rushing yards and two more scores in a crucial 49-37 Big Ten road victory over then-No. 8 Michigan State. Boykin, meanwhile, led the Horned Frogs to an impressive 42-20 victory over then-No. 8 Kansas State, completing 23 of 34 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown, while tallying a career-high 123 rushing yards and three more scores.
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.
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.