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November 16, 2010
Kuechly had 21 tackles and two pass breakups Saturday in a 21-16 victory over Duke. He also forced a fumble to end a Duke scoring threat and had a fumble recovery that led to a Boston College touchdown. His dominant performance made Kuechly the new No. 1 linebacker in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.
"What can I say?" Boston College coach Frank Spaziani told The Boston Herald after the game. "The kid's a dynamic football player. I'm seeing a lot of things in him, maturity-wise and the look in his eye. I'm glad he's on our side."
Kuechly has 146 tackles this season -- 26 more than any other FBS player. He ranked second in the nation last season with 158 tackles. Kuechly took over the top spot in the linebacker rankings from Michigan State's Greg Jones, whose team was idle last week.
The shift at linebacker represented the only change atop the power rankings this week.
Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, Oregon running back LaMichael James, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Missouri tight end Michael Egnew, Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Oregon punt returner Cliff Harris, Boise State coach Chris Petersen, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Heacock remained atop their respective positions.
The power rankings measure overall career performances as well as a player or coach's most recent results. The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how he fared the previous week. Our rankings exclude coordinators who don't call their own plays or signals.