Story courtesy of the Mid-American Conference
Photo courtesy of Buffalo Athletics
Offensive Player of the Week: Buffalo RB Branden Oliver
Junior running back Branden Oliver (Miami, Fla.) rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries in a 27-24 win over Miami. It was the ninth best single game total in school history and the fourth best effort in the Bulls Division IA era. Oliver also added a team-high five receptions for 17 yards and a total of 216 all-purpose yards. The junior running back scored the Bulls first touchdown of the game, a five-yard run, in the third quarter. It was Oliver's 12th career 100-yard game, tying him with James Starks for second in school history and putting him one back of the school record of 13 held by Anthony Swan.
Defensive Player of the Week: Kent State DT Roosevelt Nix
Junior defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) made a career-high nine tackles and forced the games only turnover, which led to Kent State’s go-ahead touchdown in a 35-24 win over Akron. Nix had a sack, a forced fumble and six solo tackles. Nix leads all FBS players with 49.5 career tackles for loss.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Buffalo K Patrick Clarke
Sophomore kicker Patrick Clarke (New Castle, Del.) booted a 47-yard field goal as time expired to lift Buffalo to a 27-24 win over Miami on Saturday. The sophomore kicker made 2-of-3 kicks on the afternoon. He drilled a career-long 49-yard effort in the second quarter to tie the game at 3. His lone miss was a 46-yarder into a stiff wind. Two of his five kickoffs went for touchbacks.
Offensive Player of the Week: Western Michigan WR Eric Monette
Senior wide receiver Eric Monette (Portage, Mich.) recorded the third most receiving yards in the country with a career high 196 on a career high 11 receptions in Western Michigan's 42-31 win over Central Michigan. It was the second-straight game with over 100 yards receiving for Monette and his yards total rank as the sixth most in a game in program history. Monette scored his third touchdown in the last two games, hauling in a scoring grab in the front corner of the end zone from 24 yards out to give Western Michigan what proved to be the winning touchdown. On the decisive drive, Monette had four catches for 71 yards, including a 31-yard catch over a defender along the near sideline to set up the winning score. Monette had seven catches for 109 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
Defensive Player of the Week: Northern Illinois DT Ken Bishop
Junior defensive tackle Ken Bishop (Lauderhill, Fla.) played his best game of the season with five tackles, including four solo stops, and had a tackle for loss of two yards in Northern Illinois 63-0 shutout win over Massachusetts Saturday at Huskie Stadium. Bishop also recovered a fumble in the game as Northern Illinois forced four turnovers on the day. Bishop was part of a defensive line rotation that was charged with protecting the Northern Illinois secondary, that played without three starters, and the line did its job. The Huskies stopped the UMass run game and put pressure on the Minutemen quarterbacks in limiting UMass to an average of just 3.2 yards per play with 267 yards on 83 plays. UMass ran 46 times for 114 yards for a 2.5-yard average and averaged just 4.1 yards per pass with 20 completions on 37 attempts.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Central Michigan P Richie Hogan
Junior punter Richie Hogan (Laguna Hills, Calif.) averaged 52.7 yards per punt vs. Western Michigan, including a career-long 74-yard bomb in the second quarter that pinned the Broncos at their own three-yard line. His booming kick led directly to the Chippewas’ first touchdown of the game, as three plays later linebacker Shamari Benton intercepted a Tyler Van Tubbergen pass, setting up a Zurlon Tipton one-yard touchdown run. Hogan also had a 49-yard punt that was downed at the two-yard line and a 35-yarder that forced a fair catch.