Story courtesy of the Sun Belt Conference
Photo courtesy of Western Kentucky Athletics
Offensive Player of the Week
Antonio Andrews (WKU, Jr., RB)
WKU junior running back Antonio Andrews led the Hilltoppers to an overtime victory at Kentucky on Saturday, rushing 34 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns in the 32-31 overtime win. All three of those numbers were career highs. He also caught three passes for 36 yards, and finished the night with 233 all-purpose yards. After scoring his third touchdown on WKU’s possession in OT, the Hilltoppers lined up for a two-point conversion to win the game. Andrews took a lateral from quarterback Kawaun Jakes, rolled right, and threw back to a wide open Jakes who walked into the end zone for game-winning score. Through three weeks, Andrews ranks first in the Sun Belt, and sixth nationally, with 197.7 all-purpose yards per game.
Defensive Player of the Week
Jonathan Dowling (WKU, So., DB)
WKU sophomore safety Jonathan Dowling became just the fifth Hilltopper in history – and the first since 1978 – to record three interceptions in a game as picked off Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith three times in WKU’s 32-31 overtime victory against the Wildcats. Two of Dowling’s three picks came in the first half, as he returned the second 36 yards to the two yard line leading to a WKU touchdown. The Bradenton, Fla., native racked up 70 total return yards on his three INTs. Dowling also finished with four tackles in the game. Dowling’s four interceptions through three games is tied for the most in the nation.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Hendrix Brakefield (WKU, Jr., P)
WKU junior punter Hendrix Brakefield averaged 40.2 yards per punt on four kicks Saturday at Kentucky. Brakefield boomed his third 50-plus yard punt of the season with a 51 yarder late in the fourth quarter, and for the third time this season dropped a punt inside the opponent’s 20. The Nashville, Tenn., junior also averaged 59.2 yards on four kickoffs against the Wildcats. He is currently third in the league, averaging 41.6 yards per punt.