Courtesy of the Mountain West Conference
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. â€“ DeVonte Christopher (Utah), Brian Blechen (Utah) and Riley Stephenson (BYU) are Mountain West Conference Players of the Week for games through Sept. 4. Christopher earns the Offensive Player of the Week honor, while Blechen garners the Defensive Player award and Stephenson receives Special Teams recognition. This marks the first-ever player of the week honor for all three individuals.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DEVONTE CHRISTOPHER, UTAH
Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Las Vegas, Nev./Canyon Springs HS
DeVonte Christopher caught eight passes for 155 yards and a touchdown to lead No. 24 Utah to a 27-24 overtime victory over No. 15/15 Pittsburgh. Christopher, who had never caught a pass at Utah until Thursdayâ€™s game, averaged 19.4 yards per reception. His longest catch of the night came with 7:59 left in regulation, when he caught a pass from quarterback Jordan Wynn pass in stride and raced down the field for a 61-yard touchdown to put the Utes ahead, 24-13.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BRIAN BLECHEN, UTAH
Freshman, Strong Safety, Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark HS
Brian Blechen recorded five tackles, including two solo stops, and an interception to aid Utahâ€™s season-opening victory in Salt Lake City. After Pittsburgh scored 11-straight points to force overtime, Blechen quickly shifted the gameâ€™s momentum to the Utesâ€™ favor. On the first play of overtime, the true freshman jumped in front of Panther wide receiver Mike Shanahan and grabbed Tino Sunseriâ€™s pass at the sideline, giving the ball back to Utahâ€™s offense. Seven plays later, Joe Phillips kicked a 21-yard field goal to give the Utes a 27-24 victory.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
RILEY STEPHENSON, BYU
Sophomore, Kicker/Punter, St. George, Utah/Pine View HS
Sophomore punter Riley Stephenson helped BYU control the field-position battle in the Cougarsâ€™ 23-17 victory over Washington on Saturday night, making the Huskies start inside the 15-yard line on three of six punts and inside the 20 on three of five kickoffs. Stephenson averaged 44.3 yards on three of his punts and placed the Huskies at the 1, 12 and 14 yard lines on the other three punts. His longest punt of the day was 47 yards. Overall, he averaged 37.2 yards on six punts. While kicking off, the sophomore helped BYU limit Washington to an average of 6.7 return yards with Huskie drives starting at the 2, 7 and 16 yard lines. Stephensonâ€™s two other kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.