CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati football student-athlete Mardy Gilyard (Bunnell, Fla./Flagler Palm Coast) is one of four finalists for this week's AT&T All-America Player of the Week Award.
Gilyard is joined on this week's ballot by Central Michigan University quarterback Dan LeFevour, University of Minnesota linebacker Nate Triplett, and University of Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier.
Fans can text message VOTE to 345345 on their wireless phone to opt in for the chance to vote.
The finalists were selected by a panel of analysts from ESPN as this week's top candidates.
Fans have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday to submit their votes. The winner will be announced during Thursday's ESPN College Football Primetime Presented by Applebee's. Standard text messaging rates apply.
There is no limit on fan voting and each vote counts as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2010 Bowl Championship Series National Championship game in Pasadena, Calif. Full sweepstakes rules can be found at www.espnallamerica.com/rules.aspx.
Gilyard returned a punt 53 yards for UC's first touchdown 2:09 into the game. The punt return for a touchdown snapped a 12-year drought for the Bearcats. It was UC's first in 133 games, or since Nov. 8, 1997 (Tinker Keck vs. Louisville, 44 and 78 yards). The 53-yard return was Gilyard's career long and only his eighth punt return.
He finished with six catches for 111 yards, a 1-yard rushing touchdown, the first of his career, 8-yard and 37-yard touchdown receptions, and scored on a 53-yard punt return.
Gilyard finished the game with four touchdowns, which ties for the third-most touchdowns in a UC game. The last player to score four touchdowns in a game was DeMarco McCleskey, who did it twice in 1998 (Arkansas State and Houston).
According to STATS, LLC, the last player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision competition before Gilyard to score via punt return, reception, and rush in the same game was Maurice Drew (now Jones-Drew) of UCLA on Oct. 8, 2005 vs. California. Jones scored three rushing touchdowns and once each via punt return and reception.
The No. 17/21 Bearcats return to action Saturday, traveling west to face rv/No. 24 Oregon State at Resor Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 EST in a game televised nationally by FOX Sports Net.
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