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Three Golden Arm Award candidates post big performances this week


2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

Too often, scandals like the ones at the University of Miami or Ohio State or USC overshadow the positive aspects of college athletics. The Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the top senior quarterback — as qualified by academic year — by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation, encapsulates all that is good in college sports. The award acknowledges performance on the field, for sure. However, it goes beyond completion percentage and touchdown passes. The Golden Arm Award rewards character, citizenship, integrity and those who honor the game.

Athlon Sports is proud to partner with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation in sponsoring this award in 2011.

Top Performances Last Week

Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

How did Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden respond to the pressure that comes with being ranked No. 2 for the first time in school history? By throwing for 423 yards and five touchdowns in a resounding 66-6 victory at Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders made three costly turnovers early that led to three touchdowns, and the rout was on, as OSU built a 49-0 halftime advantage.

Weeden, a Unitas Golden Arm award finalist, completed 31-of-37 attempts with no interceptions. Weeden spread the wealth among several receivers as the Cowboys had two receivers, Josh Cooper and Justin Blackmon, with more than 100 yards. Weeden left the game after tossing his fifth scoring strike of the day to Josh Stewart with 4:11 left in the third quarter.

Robert Griffin III, Baylor

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Dual threat Robert Griffin led Baylor to three fourth-quarter touchdowns in a sterling comeback overtime win at Kansas. The vaunted Baylor offense was stymied for much of the first three quarters before Griffin found his groove.

Baylor scored on three possessions with scoring drives of 80-plus yards. Griffin’s dash around the left end for a 49-yard score capped a five-play, 89-yard drive with just under 12 minutes to play.

The Bears took over at their own two-yard line, and Griffin needed just six plays to find paydirt, connecting with Terrance Williams for a 36-yard touchdown strike that cut the Kansas lead to 24-17 with just under eight minutes left.

The Unitas Golden Arm award candidate completed the comeback with a 67-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Reese that finished off a three-play, 80-yard drive to send the game into overtime.

Griffin tossed a 14-yard pass to Reese in overtime before Kansas failed on a two-point conversion to give the Bears a 31-30 win. Griffin finished the game with 312 yards passing and 103 rushing.

Kellen Moore, Boise State

The loss was painful, and fortunately, not a very familiar feeling for Kellen Moore, quarterback of Boise State. The Broncos lost at home for the first time in 36 games, and the first home loss of the senior’s career. But Moore did his part.

In a back-and-forth game in which neither team ever held more than a one-score advantage, TCU converted a two-point conversion with 1:05 to play to take a 36-35 lead. Moore led the Broncos into scoring position, but the 39-yard field goal attempt of freshman kicker Dan Goodale sailed wide.

Moore was 28-for-38 passing for 320 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. His 54-yard scoring pass to Dallas Burroughs broke a 28-28 tie at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

For his career, the Prosser, Wash., native has completed 69.3% of his passes for 13,416 yards and 130 touchdowns.

To see all the candidates for this year’s Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, please click here.