The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation has trimmed down the list of the nation’s top receivers to 10 semifinalists for this year’s Biletnikoff Award. The award doesn’t necessarily have to go to a wide receiver, but this year’s award will maintain that tradition with 10 semifinalists all playing the wide receiver position.
Among the semifinalists are the nation’s leading receiver, Colorado State’s Michael Gallup (1,298 yards), the nation’s leader in receiving touchdowns, West Virginia’s David Sills V (18 touchdowns), and the nation’s leader in receptions per game, SMU’s Trey Quinn (9.6 receptions per game). The semifinalist list also includes key players on conference contenders like Deontay Burnett of USC and James Washington of Oklahoma State.
A Big 12 receiver has won the award each of the past two seasons, so that may be good news for one of the three semifinalists from the Big 12 this season. Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook won the award a year ago, preceded by Baylor’s Corey Coleman in 2015.A Big 12 player has won the award a total of six times since 2007, with Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree and Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon each winning the award twice.
2017 Biletnikoff Semifinalists
- Darren Andrews, UCLA
- A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
- Deontay Burnett, USC
- Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
- Michael Gallup, Colorado State
- Steve Ishmael, Syracuse
- Anthony Miller, Memphis
- Trey Quinn, SMU
- David Sills, West Virginia
- James Washington, Oklahoma State
Memphis (4-1, 1-1 AAC) quarterback Riley Ferguson tied an American Athletic Conference record with seven touchdown passes thrown in a single game Friday night in a 70-31 road win at UConn (1-4, 0-3 AAC). Tigers wide receiver Anthony Miller had himself a big night to contribute to Ferguson’s success with 15 catches for 224 yards and a school-record four touchdowns.
The record for most touchdown passes in a single game by a player form the AAC was previously set by former Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, who is now in the NFL with the Denver Broncos.
Here’s a look at the touchdown that moved Ferguson into a tie with the former Memphis quarterback…
Miller ended his night with 224 receiving yards and four touchdowns, pretty much doubling his season total coming into the night.
Ferguson completed 34-of-48 pass attempts for 431 yards and the seven touchdowns before finally getting a rest in the fourth quarter as David Moore stepped in to replace him. Memphis accumulated 711 yards of total offense, more than making up for what at times was a rough showing by the Memphis defense. But UConn did themselves no favors with three turnovers and going just 2-for-11 on third down attempts.
Memphis will hope to keep this momentum going next week when they host Navy in what looks to be a pivotal game in the AAC West standings. The Midshipmen are already 3-0 in conference play, while Memphis evened their record against conference opponents after getting rolled over by UCF last week.
Uconn will look to get something on track next week with a road game at Temple.
If you were not already aware of Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller, allow me to introduce you to him right now.
Miller caught 84 passes for 1,283 yards and 11 touchdowns last season for the Tigers, and he absolutely shredded UCLA for nine catches and 185 yards and two touchdowns earlier this season. Tonight, on the road in AAC play at UConn, he added one more impressive highlight to his reel with a nifty one-handed snag on the move.
Miller has now caught a pass in 30 straight games, once again proving to be as reliable an option in the passing game as you can find. Miller would go on to finish this drive with a catch in the endzone for a game-tying touchdown (14-14) in the second quarter.