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September 20, 2009

Best a cut above the rest in Week 3

Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder was 21-of-26 passing for 195 yards and two touchdowns in a 54-28 hammering of BYU. Ponder also rushed for 77 yards and a score.
Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike was 31-of-48 passing for 332 yards and two touchdowns in the Bearcats' 28-18 victory at Oregon State.
Iowa running back Adam Robinson rushed 18 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-17 victory over Arizona.
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Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley caught 11 passes for 73 yards and returned a punt 46 yards for a touchdown in the Longhorns' 34-24 victory over Texas Tech.
Marshall running back Darius Marshall rushed 21 times for 186 yards and a touchdown in a 17-10 victory over Bowling Green.
Northern Illinois running back Me'co Brown rushed 26 times for 150 yards and a touchdown in a 28-21 upset at Purdue.
UNLV wide receiver Phillip Payne caught eight passes for 94 yards and two scores, including the winner, in a 34-33 victory over Hawaii.
Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns in a wild 52-41 victory at Arkansas.
Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher was 27-of-44 passing for 324 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-31 upset at Maryland. Dasher also rushed for 26 yards and a score in the Blue Raiders' second victory over the Terps in as many seasons.
Boise State running back Jeremy Avery rushed 11 times for 186 yards and caught five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown in a 51-34 victory at Fresno State on Friday night.
Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate caught seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown in a 33-30 victory over Michigan State.

If California running back Jahvid Best is going to compete for the Heisman Trophy, he will need to win over voters on the East Coast.

The last time Best played east of the Mississippi River, he rushed for a mere 25 yards last season at Maryland. The results couldn't have been more different this time around, as Best rushed for 131 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-21 victory at Minnesota to earn Rivals.com national and Pac-10 player of the week honors.

The five scores is a modern school record and the 26 carries is a career-high for Best, a junior.

Best ran for two 2-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter to secure the Golden Bears' 3-0 start.

"He's probably the fastest running back I've ever played against," Minnesota linebacker Lee Campbell said. "You had to keep him corralled. You saw what happened. When he got outside, he's gone."

WR Erik Highsmith, North Carolina

North Carolina is a little closer to finding a replacement for wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. True freshman Erik Highsmith caught six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in a 31-17 victory over East Carolina.

Nick Holt, Washington

When Steve Sarkisian was hired as Washington's coach, he brought USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt along with him to be the defensive coordinator on the Huskies' staff. Holt always was in the shadow of USC coach Pete Carroll, but for one day at least, he got the best of his mentor. Holt's defense forced three turnovers and allowed just 110 passing yards - the lowest of the Carroll era - in the Huskies' stunning 16-13 upset of the Trojans.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.

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