Victor Harris and Eddie Royal both returned Clemson kicks for touchdowns
Master Coaches Award MCS Nike Game Balls
Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal & Victor Harris named
National Special Teams Players of the Week
By MCS Staff
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ATLANTA (October 8, 2007) -- Beamer-ball is alive and well at Virginia Tech, and it sent Coach Frank Beamer's 15th-ranked Hokies to a 41-23 victory over Clemson on Saturday night.

Victor "Macho" Harris had a record-tying 100-yard kickoff return touchdown and Eddie Royal took a punt back 82 yards for a score. It was a demonstration of what Beamer has built over 21 years with the Hokies and the latest example of why they're the college football's gold standard of special teams' play. Virginia Tech had never had both a kickoff and punt returned for scores in the same game before this one.

Already ahead 10-0, Royal got loose with a twisting punt return touchdown. His 82-yarder tied for the third longest in Hokies history.  Royal made it two in a row, taking another punt return score after Clemson's next series, but that one was called back because of an illegal block.

When the Tigers finally got on the scoreboard with a 33-yard field goal, Virginia Tech struck again, this time with Harris' kickoff return.  He started about 3 yards deep in the end zone, cut to the sideline and was barely touched on the way, putting Virginia Tech ahead 24-3 and leaving much of the 82,000 at Memorial Stadium wondering what happened. For their outstanding play, Eddie Royal and Victor Harris are awarded “MCS Nike Game Balls” ( for the National Special Teams Players of the Week.

Each week during the 2007 college football season, the 17 Master Football Coaches will award an MCS Nike Game Ball to the respective schools of a National Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week. The Master Coaches will also present a game ball to the offensive and defensive coordinator whose game plans made the biggest impact in their respective teams' victory.

In addition to Royal and Harris, the Master Football Coaches will also award MCS Nike Game Balls to Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall, South Carolina defensive end Eric Norwood, Missouri Offensive Coordinator Dave Christensen and Stanford Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois

Rashard Mendenhall ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns as Illinois improved to 5-1 overall and entered the Master Coaches Poll for the first time this season at No. 14. The Illini are off to a 3-0 start in the Big Ten for the first time since 1990, when they won a share of the conference title.  Mendenhall, the Big Ten's third-leading rusher at better than 122 yards a game, had 100 by halftime, and his two touchdowns carried Illinois to a 17-6 lead over Top 5 Wisconsin.  The junior running back added another score midway through the second quarter on an option play from Juice Williams that was ruled a receiving touchdown

Eric Norwood, DE South Carolina

South Carolina capitalized on Kentucky's generosity and used the Wildcats' giveaways to spoil previously undefeated Kentucky's perfect season, while downing the Cats 38-23 Thursday night in Columbia.  Defensive end Eric Norwood tied an NCAA record by recovering two fumbles and returning them for touchdowns.  The stout Gamecock defense, led by Norwood, pressured Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson into several errors.  He fumbled after Jonathan Williams' sack on Kentucky's first series, and Norwood picked it up for a 2-yard touchdown return that put the Gamecocks ahead 7-0. The mistakes continued after halftime. Woodson's lateral attempt to fullback John Conner was muffed, and this time Norwood grabbed it and ran 53 yards for his second score and a 24-10 lead.

Offensive Coordinator
Dave Christensen, Missouri

Missouri defeated Big 12 north rival Nebraska on the strength of an offense led by quarterback Chase Daniel and designed by Offensive Coordinator Dave Christensen.  Daniel passed for a career-best 401 yards and ran for two scores in a 41-6 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday night.  Daniel set the tone from the start on Saturday, going 12-for-14 for 127 yards while leading Missouri to touchdowns on its first two drives. Missouri's offense outgained the Cornhuskers 606-297.  Daniel was 33-for-47 and also was Missouri's rushing leader with 72 yards on 11 carries.

Defensive Coordinator
Scott Shafer, Stanford

Stanford stunned No. 2 USC in Los Angeles 24-23 Saturday night.  Despite being a 41 point underdog, Stanford's opportunistic defense thwarted the mighty Trojan offense time and again to hold on to a one point victory.  Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer's crew bent, but did not break. The Trojans rolled up 459 yards to just 235 for Stanford. But the Cardinal defense stepped up when needed, with a goal line stand at the end of the first half and forcing five USC turnovers, including four interceptions of Heisman hopeful John David Booty.


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