Sept. 10, 2001
Offensive Back – Philip Rivers, QB, NC State NC State’s Philip Rivers, a sophomore from Athens, Ala., guided the Wolfpack to a 35-14 win over Indiana on national television last Thursday night, completing 22 of 33 passes for 243 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. It marked the tenth time in 13 career starts that Rivers has thrown for at least 200 yards, and the seventh time that he has reached at least the three touchdown mark.
Offensive Lineman – Will Merritt, OG, Clemson Clemson’s Will Merritt had 17 knockdown blocks, as he helped the Tigers gain 486 offensive yards against Wofford. In the 38-14 victory over the Terriers, the graduate student from Easley, S.C., did not allow a single sack, and his 17 knockdown blocks were twice as many as any other Tiger lineman.
Defensive Lineman – Bradley Jennings, MLB, Florida State Florida State’s Bradley Jennings tallied eight sacks, five of which were unassisted, as the Seminoles defeated the UAB Blazers 29-7 on Saturday. The senior from Miami, Fla., recovered a second quarter fumble that led to Florida State’s first touchdown, and the Seminoles never looked back after grabbing a 13-0 lead. Additionally, the middle linebacker added a sack, a quarterback hurry, and a third down stop to pace the Seminole defense.
Defensive Back – Levar Fisher, OLB, NC State A senior from Beaufort, N.C., and the 2000 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, NC State’s Levar Fisher recorded a team-high 13 tackles in the Wolfpack’s season-opening win over Indiana. In front a national television audience, Fisher had nine unassisted tackles, three quarterback hurries, and five quarterback hits, as he was involved in stopping 21 of Indiana’s 67 offensive plays.
Specialist – Brian Mance, KR/PR, Clemson The junior from Alcolu, S.C., continued his outstanding special teams play, highlighting his day with a 57-yard kickoff return that set up a first half touchdown for Clemson against Wofford. Mance finished the day with 79 punt return yards on four returns and two kickoff returns for a total of 78 yards. Mance is fourth in the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 35.2 yards, and ninth in punt returns with an average of 16.7 yards.
Rookie – Chris Rix, QB, Florida State Rix, a Santa Margarita, Calif,. Freshman, threw for 246 yards on 15 of 23 passing against UAB Saturday. In the 29-7 Seminole victory, Rix remained in control, throwing for one touchdown and no interceptions. The rookie quarterback flipped into the end zone for a rushing touchdown of his own, as his 52 rushing yards made him the first quarterback at Florida State since Charlie Ward in 1993 to lead the Seminoles in rushing for a game. With two touchdowns and three field goals, Rix was instrumental in Florida State going a perfect five for five in the red zone.
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