Quarterback Mark Sanchez Named A Finalist For Manning Award

Dec. 1, 2008

USC junior quarterback Mark Sanchez has been named one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, given to college football's top quarterback by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Joining Sanchez as finalists are:  Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Chase Daniel (Missouri), Nate Davis (Ball State), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Brian Johnson (Utah), Colt McCoy (Texas), Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State), Matthew Stafford (Georgia) and Tim Tebow (Florida).

Sanchez currently leads the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (he is 10th nationally at 161.6) and total offense.  He has completed 195-of-298 passes (65.4%) for 2,525 yards and 29 touchdowns while throwing just 9 interceptions as USC has gone 10-1 and could earn a Rose Bowl berth with a victory over UCLA this weekend.

His 195 completions in 2008 ranks him 15th on USC’s season passing list and his 2,501 yards of total offense is 12th on USC’s season ladder.  He is also among 15 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award (top player) and was among 13 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award (top quarterback). 

In his career, Sanchez has thrown 35 touchdowns, with at least 2 TD passes in 11 starts, plus he has at least 3 TD passes in a game 6 times (including 5 outings in 2008) and at least 1 TD pass in all 14 of his career starts.  He is 11th on USC’s career passing chart (267 completions) and 17th on USC’s career total offense list (3,276 yards). 
“The Manning Award finalists reflect what an amazing year this has been for college football quarterbacks,” said Ronnie Burns, Allstate Sugar Bowl President. “Around the country every week, we saw some spectacular performances and these 10 finalists have been a part of many of those efforts. In addition to their stats, they have shown great character and leadership in lifting their teams to be among the best in the nation.”

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. The winner will be announced following the holiday bowl season.  It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances.

“I think this is the most outstanding group of quarterbacks I’ve ever seen in college football,” Archie Manning said. “There are some very, very good quarterbacks who did not make the top 10. I’m looking forward to watching all of these players perform through the bowl season and I know we’ll have another outstanding winner.”

The 10 finalists all represent teams ranked in the top 20 in the latest BCS Standings. The combined records of these players’ teams is an amazing 105-14 (.882) with five of the teams expected to advance to BCS games.

The finalists were determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings.

The first four winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who’s Who list at the quarterback position. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Last year, Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award, was drafted No. 3 and is now the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. 


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