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October 4, 2009
UTEP's Buckram runs away with top honor
Houston's defense had done its job against prolific offenses in the Cougars' 3-0 start.
Houston's defense found a way to contain Oklahoma State's triumvirate of Zac Robinson, Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter in the second week of the season. Last week, the Cougars limited the damage from Texas Tech's "Air Raid" offense.
Buckram, a junior, carried 32 times for 262 yards and four touchdowns in a 58-41 upset of the Cougars to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors. His four touchdowns came in the second half. Buckram's 262 yards is the highest single-game total this season.
"The most I ever imagined was 150," Buckram said. "It was a fantastic feeling."
Making his first start at cornerback, Okoro, a redshirt freshman, helped the Demon Deacons beat N.C. State 30-24 in a key ACC game. Okoro intercepted N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson in the end zone with 2:02 left in the game to end the Wolfpack's chances for a late rally. Okoro also had six tackles and a forced fumble to earn Rivals.com ACC player of the week as well.
Narduzzi's much-maligned defense answered critics the most emphatic way it could - by beating rival Michigan for the second consecutive season. Michigan State's defense had been shredded by the Spartans' past opponents, but MSU responded by holding Michigan to 87 yards through the first three quarters of a 26-20 overtime win. Michigan finished with 28 rushing yards and 251 total yards, the Wolverines' lowest totals of the season in both categories. Michigan State's Chris L. Rucker had an end-zone interception in OT.
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.