- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
The opportunity is there every Saturday. Some players seize it. Others let it slide away. Here's a look at the players who shined or slipped in the final week of the 2005 college football regular season:
Adam Ballard (RB) and Lamar Owens (QB), Navy
The usual suspects, Ballard and Owens, led the way with 291 combined rushing yards and five combined rushing touchdowns in Navy's lopsided win over Army in the 106th meeting between the service academies. The performance helped secure Navy's ranking as the nation's top rushing offense, and far more important, the Midshipmen retained the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy outright for the third straight year.
Lawrence Jackson (DE) and Rey Maualuga (OLB), USC
The Trojan defense silenced its critics by keeping the previously high-powered UCLA offense out of the end zone for the first three quarters of the blowout at the Coliseum Saturday. Jackson has emerged as an explosive playmaker at the defensive end position and he made his presence felt with two sacks and two forced fumbles. Maualuga seems to improve on a weekly basis and saved his best for the regular-season finale, when he led USC with nine total tackles and also forced two fumbles, one of which was scooped up by CB Justin Wyatt and returned 38 yards for a score.
Tulsa's Garrett Mills and Georgia's D.J. Shockley are on the rise, but Marcus Vick's O-line took a step back, writes Todd McShay.