Akron and Northern Illinois Student-Athletes Named MAC Players of the Week

Updated 11/20/2000
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).