Blackwell nabs honors

Bulls? quarterback Marquel Blackwell was named by USA Today and College Football News as the college football player of the week on Monday. This award comes after Saturday?s game in which the Bulls upset the heavily favored Pittsburgh Panthers 35-26.

While Blackwell gives credit to his teammates, he said he was pleased with the award.

?It feels real good,? he said. ?I just came out and did what I was coached to do.?

The award creates even more national exposure for the Bulls team who surprised many with the victory against the Panthers. Blackwell said while other teams may be taking notice of him now, he just has to worry about playing.

?I?m happy I was noticed and the team was noticed,? he said. ?I can?t worry too much about what everyone else thinks.?

Blackwell?s numbers were impressive. He threw an incredible 65 times, completing 37 passes for 343 yards. Most importantly, Blackwell was responsible for all five Bulls touchdowns, throwing for four and rushing for one. His attempts, completions and touchdown passes were all USF records.

Blackwell said the play of his offensive line was important. The line didn?t allow a single sack of Blackwell on his 65 attempts.

?That?s telling me they did a good job of protecting,? he said.

Blackwell spread the ball well, throwing to seven different Bulls receivers throughout the game. He said good playcalling allowed him to open up the offense.

?The coaches did a good job of game calling,? he said. ?It made my job a lot easier.?

Coach Jim Leavitt said Blackwell is deserving, but joined Blackwell in crediting the rest of the team.

?Like all coaches will say, he?ll tell you it was a pretty impressive job by the offensive line and the receivers and everybody,? Leavitt said.

Leavitt said the most important aspect of the win against Pittsburgh was the fact the Bulls played well as a team.

?You know we?re never going to win if we don?t play together,? he said. ?I think you saw that Saturday.?

As Blackwell continued to credit his teammates and coaches, he was asked if anyone had given him a hard time about the award.

?No, not really,? he said laughing. ?It?ll probably be in the paper some tomorrow, though.?

Rob Brannon covers football and can be reached at