CBSSports.com Players of the Week (Oct. 14)
Army RB Terry Baggett, Virginia Tech DE Dadi Nicolas, Tulane K Cairo Santos and Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg earned CBSSports.com Player of the Week honors for Week 7.
Every Monday, we will highlight the best and brightest performances from the weekend with the CBSSports.com Players of the Week. The honors will run through the end of the regular season right up until the CBS Sports All-America Team announcement on Dec. 17.
Offensive Player of the Week: Army RB Terry Baggett
After a disappointing 4-8 finish in 2012, Rich Ellerson will have a shot to deliver at least six wins for the Black Knights this season thanks, in part, to the play of running back Terry Baggett. The junior became the first 300-yard rusher of the season on Saturday, totaling 304 yards on 18 carries in Army's 50-25 win against Eastern Michigan. Each of Baggett's four rushing touchdowns (including scores from 67 and 96 yards out) were needed in a game that far from sealed at halftime, with Army leading just 22-18. Baggett, having his best season yet after suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2012, set the new single-game rushing record for the Black Knights. At 3-4, Army will need to take care of business on the road and likely win a share of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to reach postseason eligibility.
Virginia Tech's defense terrorized Pitt quarterback Tom Savage, sacking him eight times and forcing hurried throws in the Hokies 19-9 conference win. Four of those sacks and seven total tackles were credited to Dadi Nicolas, who had a fantastic game rushing from the outside. Nicolas lined up on the defensive line and at whip linebacker, constantly throwing parities in the backfield with Derrick Hopkins, J.R. Collins, Luther Maddy, James Gayle and others. The Hokies are playing field position well and utilizing a strong defense to wear down opponents. It's vintage Virginia Tech, and it could carry them to the ACC title game.
The 2012 Lou Groza Award winner has been on his game in recent weeks, connecting on back-to-back game-winning field goals to lead Tulane to a 3-0 start in Conference USA play. Santos connected from 42, 28, 42 and 43 yards in regulation to force overtime against C-USA frontrunner East Carolina . His game-winner from 42 yards out came in triple overtime, giving the Green Wave a 36-33 win.
Riding with a true freshman quarterback can be a roller coaster, but Hackenberg was able to bounce back from two interceptions and play his best football down the stretch in Penn State's 43-40 quadruple overtime win against then-No. 18 Michigan in Happy Valley. Hackenberg threw for 142 of his 305 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime periods, adding the game-tying touchdown on a quarterback sneak with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
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