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Mississippi State's Dak Prescott is Athlon Sports' Player of the Week

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Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott

The possibility of Dak Prescott was interesting enough: A dynamic run-pass threat who could become the top quarterback in Mississippi State’s limited history at the position.

On Saturday, he made that — and more — a reality.

Prescott redefined Mississippi State’s recent history with a 34-29 win over LSU, ending a 15-game losing streak to ranked teams and 11-game losing streak in Baton Rouge.

Prescott completed 15-of-24 passes for 268 yards with two touchdowns against LSU to earn Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors. The Louisiana native also rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

Behind Prescott, Mississippi State put up 570 yards on LSU, the most of the Les Miles era for the Tigers.

National Defensive Player of the Week: Gionni Paul, Utah

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Patience paid off in a few of ways for Utah linebacker Gionni Paul. First, Paul sat out all of 2013 after his transfer after two seasons for Miami. Then, he missed Utah’s first two games with a broken foot sustained in spring. By the end of the day Saturday, he needed a lengthy rain delay to make his return official. Paul finished with 14 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in a 26-10 win over Michigan.

National Freshman and Big 12 Player of the Week: Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

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Before Saturday, Oklahoma’s running back position the subject of questions. Not anymore. Five-star freshman Joe Mixon is suspended for the entire season.  Keith Ford is out with a hairline fracture in his right fibula. With Oklahoma low on numbers, Perine only put up one of the best rushing performances for Oklahoma in several years.

Perine rushed for 242 yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries in a 45-33 win over West Virginia. Perine had the first 200-yard rushing game for the Sooners since DeMarco Murray in 2010 and the fourth-best rushing total for a freshman in OU history. Perine was a fringe top-250 prospect and the No. 30 recruit in Texas out of Pflugerville Hendrickson in the class of 2014.

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National Coordinator of the Week: Lane Kiffin, Alabama

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Kiffin’s impact on the Alabama offense came to full fruition in the second half of a 42-21 win over Florida. Despite early turnover woes, Alabama finished with 645 total yards against one of the SEC’s best defenses. Quarterback Blake Sims had the second-best passing day in school history with 445 yards, and for the first time in school history, Alabama had a 400-yard passer, 200-yard receiver (Amari Cooper) and 100-yard rusher (Derrick Henry). Alabama has eclipsed 500 total yards in every game of Kiffin’s tenure.

Conference Players of the Week

ACC: Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas completed 7-of-18 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown in a 27-24 win over Virginia Tech. Thomas also rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

Big Ten: Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries and caught a touchdown pass in a 41-31 win over Miami.

Pac-12: Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon was 47-of-73 for 520 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions in a 49-45 win over Cal. Solomon completed a 47-yard Hail Mary to cap a 36-point fourth quarter to beat the Bears.

American: East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden was 30-of-48 for 438 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in a 70-31 win over North Carolina.

Conference USA: Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 27-of-43 passes for 430 yards with five touchdowns in a 45-42 win over defending C-USA champion Rice.

MAC: Toledo running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries in a 34-23 win over Ball State.

Mountain West: Boise State running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries in a 34-9 win over UL Lafayette.

Sun Belt: Georgia Southern running back Matt Breida rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries in a 28-6 win over South Alabama.

Independents: BYU quarterback Taysom Hill completed 13-of-23 passes for 187 yards with two touchdowns in a 41-33 win over Virginia. He also rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.