BYU running back Luke Staley was named the CNNSI National Player of the Week and Mountain West Conference Offensive Payer of the Week after leading BYU to a 24-21 victory over Utah on Saturday,scoring 14 points in the final 3:22 of the game. The win improved BYU to a perfect 11-0 on the season and secured the Cougars' first-ever outright MWC title. BYU is the first-ever MWC team to finish the league schedule with a perfect 7-0 record.
Trailing by 11 points, with less the 4:00 remaining in the game, Staley capped an eight-play 92-yard drive with his first touchdown of the night, scoring on a seven-yard reception from Brandon Doman. Staley was also credited with the two-point conversion, pulling the Cougars to within three points with just 3:22 remaining. During the drive, Staley was responsible for 42 of the Cougars' 92 yards, including 19 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving. Staley also picked up three key first downs on the drive.
After the BYU defense forced Utah to punt with 2:11 remaining in the game, Staley and the Cougars marched 59 yards in just four plays to score the go-ahead touchdown. Staley started the drive with a 10-yard run and capped it off with a 30-yard run -- untouched -- down the right sideline for the most important touchdown of his career.
Staley finished the night with a game-high 169 yards rushing on just 17 carries, averaging an amazing 9.9 yards per carry. He was credited with three receptions for another 28 yards, posting 197 total yards on the night. The nation's leading scorer racked up another two touchdowns and an extra point to improve his nation's best scoring average to 17.0 points per game. Staley also leads the nation, averaging 8.53 yards per carry and ranks second in total rushing, posting an average 143.30 yards per game.
With his 169-yard performance, Staley broke the 29-year-old BYU single-season rushing record, posting 1,433 yards on the season. Staley has broken several BYU and Mountain West records this season, including BYU and MWC career touchdowns (48) BYU and MWC single-season touchdowns (28), BYU single-season rushing, BYU single-game yards per carry, MWC consecutive 100-yard games, BYU and MWC season points, BYU career points, just to name a few.
Staley is the first MWC player to earn the Player-of-the-Week honor six times during the season and the first player to win it over three straight weeks.