Story courtesy of Conference USA
Photo courtesy of Marshall Athletics
After catching 19 passes at Purdue, more than any player in the FBS this season, Marshall sophomore WR Tommy Shuler has been named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week. The Defensive Player of the Week honor went to East Carolina junior S Chip Thompson, who had two interceptions in a win over UTEP, while special teams recognition was given to UTEP freshman KR Autrey Golden, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown. C-USA Football Players of the Week are voted on by a panel of the league's media.
Shuler caught 19 passes for 200 yards in the Thundering Herd's 51-41 loss at Purdue. The reception total is a new program record, ties the Conference USA record and is the nation's highest single-game mark this season. The yardage total is the most by a Herd receiver since Josh Davis racked up 264 against Appalachian State Aug. 31, 2002. For the season, the Miami, Fla., native has amassed 51 catches, also the nation's top total.
Thompson tallied eight tackles, netted two fourth quarter interceptions and recorded another pass breakup to spark an East Carolina defensive unit that allowed only 10 points in a 28-18 Conference USA win over UTEP. He halted a potential Miner scoring drive at the ECU 18-yard line by picking off a Nick Lamaison pass with 11:16 remaining before adding another pass theft at the UTEP 45-yard line and returning it 22 yards to set up a game-securing touchdown with 4:54 left. Of Thompson's eight tackles, four were solo stops. His pair of interceptions were the first by a Pirate defender in the same game since Van Eskridge picked off Houston quarterback Case Keenum twice in the 2009 Conference USA Championship Game (Dec. 5) - a span of 31 games.
Golden posted a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against East Carolina. It was the seventh-longest return in school history and the longest by a UTEP player since 2007. The 157 kickoff return yards for Golden are the most by a UTEP player since Vernon Frazier had 177 against Houston last season. Golden becomes the first freshman to score on a kickoff return since Howard Jackson had a 100-yard return in 2001. He leads the squad in returns with nine, has collected a team-high 269 yards while and averages 29.9 yards per return.