Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton received national honors by earning one of eight Manning Award Stars for Saturday's performance in a 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech.
Other quarterbacks to earn Manning Award Stars along with Keeton include Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Michigan's Devin Gardner, Notre Dame's Everett Golson, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch and Penn State's Matt McGloin.
Keeton, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), was also honored as the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, which was announced Monday by the league office. It is the fourth time this season and fifth time in his career Keeton has been honored as the Offensive Player of the Week by the WAC.
Against Louisiana Tech, Keeton had 461 yards of total offense with four touchdowns, including a career-long 86-yard pass to senior running back Kerwynn Williams for a score on USU's first offensive play of the game. Keeton finished the game 20-of-34 passing for 340 yards, along with a career-high 121 rushing yards on 17 carries, which ties his career-high rushing attempts.
Keeton set single-season school records for touchdown passes (25) and total offense (3,538) in the game. It was also the third-straight 300-yard passing game for Keeton, while his 121 yards on the ground ties the USU single-game school record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
On the season, Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 11th in the nation in total offense (321.6 ypg), second in the WAC and 13th in the nation in passing efficiency (159.1), third in the WAC and 25th in the nation in passing (273.3 ypg), and seventh in the WAC in rushing (47.9 ypg).
Keeton is 237-of-351 passing on the year for 3,011 yards with 25 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He has also carried the ball 113 times for 527 yards with six touchdowns.
Utah State (9-2, 5-0 WAC) is tied for 25th in the nation in this week's Associated Press Poll and is off to its best start to a season since the 1961 team. USU's nine wins thus far this year are tied with the 1960 and 1961 Utah State teams for the most victories in a single season in school history.
The Aggies also claimed a share of their first-ever WAC Championship with their win at Louisiana Tech, which is their 11th conference championship in school history and first since the 1997 team shared the Big West Conference title.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
This week’s eight Manning Award Stars of the Week are: Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State (28-of-42, 369 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT); Tajh Boyd, Clemson (30-of-44, 426 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INT); Devin Gardner, Michigan (18-of-23, 314 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT); Everett Golson, Notre Dame (20-of-30, 344 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT); Landry Jones, Oklahoma (38-of-51, 554 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT); Chuckie Keeton, Utah State (20-of-34, 340 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT); Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois (25-of-36, 407 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT); Matt McGloin, Penn State (22-of-32, 394 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT)
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.