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College Football Players of the Week: A trio of running backs shine in Week 12

Week 12 of the college football season is in the books, so it’s time to look back at the top performers from a busy Saturday. This week’s CBS Sports Players of the Week are a trio of running backs that are among the most accomplished in the country. From a record-breaking performance out west to a 1,000-yard season in the east, here are this week’s top performers. 

National Player of the Week

Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State: Penny’s performance against Nevada was one for the record books. The running back’s 429 yards broke Marshall Faulk’s single-game all-purpose yards record. Penny had 222 rush yards, two rushing touchdowns, and scored on both a kickoff and punt return. That makes Penny the second FBS player in the last decade to record a touchdown in those three ways (Missouri’s Marcus Murphy vs. Florida in 2014). 

SEC Player of the Week

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: Chubb rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in Georgia’s 42-13 win over Kentucky. Although fellow running back Sony Michel had three touchdowns, Chubb had the higher yards per rush average (10.1) and eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season for the third time in four years during his 55-yard touchdown run. 

Freshman of the Week

AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College: With quarterback Anthony Brown out for the season, Dillion is now the focal point of Boston College’s suddenly high-scoring offense. The freshman bellcow back carried the ball 24 times for 200 yards and a pair of scores in the Eagles’ 39-16 win over UConn at Fenway Park. It marks the second time this season Dillon has eclipsed 200 yards in a game. His 272 yards against Louisville earlier this year was a season high. 

Week 12 Scholar Athletes 

Austin MacGinnis, K, Kentucky: MacGinnis graduated in May with a degree in finance (3.672 GPA) and is working on a master’s degree in business administration. He is set to graduate next May with his MBA. MacGinnis is UK’s leading scorer with 342 points. He also holds the school records for career field goals made (68), career FGs attempted (86), most field goals made in a season (21 in 2014), consecutive FGs made (11) and longest FG (54 yards).Off the field, he is active in community service and was selected by UK officials in 2015 to travel to Ethiopia on a week-long service trip in which he helped build houses and delivered food to impoverished families.

Cameron Nizialek, P, Georgia: A senior Sports Management major with a 3.96 GPA, Nizialek is a Camp Sunshine participant, which concentrates on enriching the lives of children with cancer. He is also a volunteer for Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer volunteer and ESP(Extra Special People), which creates opportunities for people with disabilities to engage, connect and thrive.

Ben Kercheval

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