CLEVELAND (Nov. 20) -- Akron defensive back Dwight Smith and Northern
Illinois Michael Turner (tailback) and Justin McCareins (flankerback),
were honored as this weeks Mid-American Conference Players of the Week
for the 12th week of the season.
MAC Offensive Player of the Week
Northern Illinois tailback Michael Turner (Fr., North Chicago, Ill.)
Turner rushed for 281 yards, scoring one touchdown in his final game as
a freshman in a 40-6 win over Central Michigan. He recorded his best
single-game ground performance this season in the MAC, the best
single-game rushing game ever by a MAC freshman and the best total in
NIU history. Turner set a school, MAC and NCAA record for single-game
carries with 52 attempts. He finished the season with 983 rushing
yards, the second best in the Huskie record books.
Also nominated: Akron RB Brandon Payne (23 att., 167 yds., 1 td vs. Kent
State); Buffalo RB Marquis Dwarte (26 att., 156 yds., vs. Miami); Miami
RB Steve Little (35 att., 222 yds., 2 tds vs. Buffalo); Ohio TB Chad
Brinker (23 att., 158 yds., 3 tds, vs. Marshall); Western Michigan WR
Corey Alston (4 rec., 86 yds., 2 tds vs. Eastern Michigan).
MAC Defensive Player of the Week
Dwight Smith, Akron|
Akron defensive back Dwight Smith (Sr., Detroit, Mich.)
Smith scored two defensive touchdowns, one when he forced and recovered
a fumble which he took back for 35 yards and the other on a 68-yard
interception return. He thwarted another Kent State drive when he
recovered a fumble at the Akron 1. Smith also had a pass break-up and
five solo tackles.
Also nominated: Buffalo LB Duane Williams (1 int., 1 fr, 1 pbu, 1 tfl, 1
ff, 5 tackles, 1 solo); Kent State Matt Rayl (19 tackles, 10 solo, 9
assists, 2 tfl, 1 ff vs. Akron); Miami FS Jacob Yavasile (22 tackles, 15
solo, 1 pbu, vs. Buffalo); Ohio OLB Matt Weikert (7 tackles, 2 tfl for
13 yds., 1 blocked punt, 1 pbu, 1 qbh); Western Michigan CB Ronald
Rogers (1 int., 2 pbu, 1 fr vs. Eastern Michigan).
MAC Special Teams Player of the Week
Justin McCareins, NIU|
Northern Illinois flankerback Justin McCareins (Sr., Naperville, Ill.)
McCareins recorded 236 all-purpose yards in a 40-6 win over Central
Michigan. He returned a put 70 yards for a touchdown, the fourth
longest in school history. McCareins returned five punts for 106 yards,
one kickoff for 14 yards, caught six passes for 106 yards and picked up
on touchdown (his 29th receiving TD). He also rushed once for 10
yards. McCareins finished the year with a school-record 362 punt return
yards and 2,013 all-purpose yards, the second best in NIU history.
Also nominated: Akron PK Zac Derr (10 points, 2 FG from 27 and 22 yds.
vs. Kent State); Miami CB DeMarrio Jones (2 int., 75-yard kickoff return
vs. Buffalo); Ohio CB Thomas Stephens (2 fr, 1 tackle); Western Michigan
PR Josh Bush (57-yard punt return for td, 4 punt returns for 83 yards
vs. Eastern Michigan).