NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDAM) – Senior quarterback Austin Davis has been selected as the Manning Award Player of the Week the organization announced today. Davis earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Davis, a native of Meridian, Miss., set the Southern Miss record for completion percentage (91.3) by connecting on 21-of-23 passes for 283 yards in a 63-35 victory over Navy. He led touchdown drives on nine of 13 attempts and also ran for 75 yards and a touchdown. Davis' first drive of the game came with the Golden Eagles pinned inside their own one yard line. Davis stepped up to direct a 99-yard drive to boost the lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter, putting the run-oriented Midshipmen on their heels for the rest of the game. The win improved the Golden Eagles to 5-1, while the 63 points also marked the highest point total for Southern Miss on the road since 1987.
In addition to being the Manning Player of the Week, Davis was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week and Rivals.com C-USA Player of the Week.
This week, Southern Miss will have a chance to rest and gear up for their six remaining conference opponents starting with SMU in Hattiesburg on Saturday, October 22nd.
The Southern Miss fans held on until the finish as Davis came from behind later in the week. Coming in right behind Davis were Geno Smith of West Virginia and Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, who finished second and third, respectively.
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.
The honor will be recognizing its eighth winner this year. 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. Last year saw Auburn's Cameron Newton earn the award, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.