Season statistics: 70 tackles, 16 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 10 pass break-ups, 22 hurries.
Why he deserves to win: He is the most dominant force on the defensive line this side of Warren Sapp in college football. Defensive tackles with 10 pass break ups and nearly 30 visits to the backfield (from sacks/hurries) come around as rarely as a solar eclipse.
Suh rendered double-team blocking schemes obsolete this season. Instead, he would often attract three offensive linemen struggling to keep him off their quarterback. Just ask Colt McCoy if you want to know what kind of difference Suh can make in a game.
Why he wouldn’t win: A defensive tackle…hell, a full-time defensive player has never won this award (Charles Woodson played both ways when he won in 1997). Though he may be the most dominant player the sport has seen in 30 years, it’s going to be difficult for Suh to dissipate tradition and earn the most votes.
Besides, the trophy depicts a running back carrying the football, striking a stiff-arm pose, not a defensive tackle leaving offensive linemen in his wake.
Best game of 2009:
There was a certain level of buzz surrounding Suh the second half of the season. That buzz turned into full-fledged hype after Suh sacked Colt McCoy 4.5 times last Saturday in the Big 12 Championship.
The Husker offense managed only 106 yards of total offense, yet only lost on a last-second field goal. The talent disparity between the Longhorns’ offense and the Huskers’ was enormous, but Suh, in large part helped Nebraska stifle Texas all night.
Had Hunter Lawrence’s field goal as time expired taken a flight path of about three feet more to the left, Nebraska would have clinched the conference title, and Suh’s odds would have instantly doubled at the least.