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The SEC is a new conference in 2013. Up-and-down offensive showcases are now the norm.
Maybe this is the league where Aaron Murray can truly flourish. Don’t be mistaken: Murray had a fine first three seasons, leading Georgia to two SEC championships game and putting himself in position for conference career passing records.
But, now, Murray has Georgia in position for bigger and better things.
On the biggest stage of the week against LSU and another quarterback throwing darts all over the field, Murray shined again, earning Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.
Murray had another standout game on third down and didn’t blink even when LSU took a four-point lead in the final 4:14 lead. Murray guided a six-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley for the 44-41 win.
Athlon Sports Week 5 National Awards
National Player of the Week: Aaron Murray, Georgia
The spotlight could not have been brighter on Aaron Murray on Saturday afternoon. The game against LSU was a shootout from the start with LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a Georgia transfer and former roommate of Murray’s, matching the Bulldogs quarterback pass for pass. Murray, though, came out on top by leading the game-winning drive in the final minutes of a 44-41 win over the Tigers. Murray finished 20 of 34 for 298 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in his second brilliant game in SEC play.
National Defensive Player of the Week: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
The hard-hitting star linebacker was all over the field for the Buckeyes Saturday night. Facing one of the most powerful running games in the nation, Shazier led an impressive showing from the Ohio State front seven by holding Wisconsin to just 104 yards rushing. He finished with nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one key forced fumble. There is a reason he is an All-America candidate.
National Freshman of the Week: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Florida State got off to a slow start against Boston College, but the Seminoles rallied behind Winston for a 48-34 victory. Winston completed 17 of 27 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns and added 67 yards on the ground. The redshirt freshman added another play to his highlight reel, as he escaped Boston College’s pass rush on the final play of the first half and hit Kenny Shaw for a 55-yard touchdown. Winston has thrown for 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions on 91 attempts this year.
National Coordinator of the week: Keith Patterson, West Virginia
The West Virginia offense is a work in progress to put it kindly, but the defense is vastly improved since last season. Oklahoma State amassed 433 yards against the Mountaineers, but West Virginia forced three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble), returning one pick for a touchdown in the 30-21 win. West Virginia held Oklahoma State to 6 of 20 on third down and turned in a successful goal-line stand in the fourth quarter against a team that converted all 15 of its red zone opportunities to touchdowns.
Week 5 Conference Awards
Offense: Brandon Connette, Duke
Defense: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Freshman: Jameis Winston, Florida State
Coordinator: Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
Offense: Blake Bell, Oklahoma
Defense: Sam Carter, TCU
Freshman: Ty Slanina, TCU
Coordinator: Keith Patterson, West Virginia
Offense: Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Defense: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Freshman: Danny Etling, Purdue
Coordinator: Phil Parker, Iowa
Offense: Marion Grice, Arizona State
Defense: Alden Darby, Arizona State
Freshman: Justin Davis, USC
Coordinator: Derek Mason, Stanford
Offense: Aaron Murray, Georgia
Defense: C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Freshman: Alex Collins, Arkansas
Coordinator: Kirby Smart, Alabama