Tailback Chester Taylor of Toledo and Quarterback Mike Bath of Miami share this week's MAC Offensive Player of the Week Award while Western Michigan's Garrett Soldano earned the Defensive Player of the Week nod and the RedHawks Milt Bowen captured the Special Teams Award for the first week of the 2000 season.
MAC Offensive Players of the Week
Toledo tailback Chester Taylor (Sr., River Rouge, Mich.)
Taylor rushed for 141 yards on 29 carries, an average of 4.9 yards per carry, and scored two touchdowns in leading the Rockets to a 24-6 win at Penn State. It was the first time the Nittany Lions had lost to a MAC team after 11 consecutive wins. Taylor's 13-yard scoring run capped UT's opening drive and gave them the lead for good. Taylor added a one-yard touchdown 32 seconds before intermission for a 17-0 margin. Taylor's 141 yards were just 25 yards shy of Penn State's entire offensive yards output (166).
Miami quarterback Mike Bath (Sr., Celina, Ohio)
Bath led Miami's comeback from a 30-20 deficit by passing for two touchdowns in the final three minutes for a 33-30 victory at Vanderbilt. Bath led RedHawk scoring drives of 84, 69 and 47 yards on Miami's three fourth-quarter possessions. Bath completed 24-of-41 passes for a school-record 358 yards and a personal-best-tying four touchdown passes. Bath threw the winning score on a fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line.
Also nominated: Akron QB Butchie Washington (14-of-30, 248 yards, one TD vs. Virginia Tech); Marshall QB Byron Leftwich (14-of-20, 210 yards, two TDs vs. SE Missouri); Western Michigan WR Josh Bush (game-high five receptions, 76 yards at Wisconsin).
MAC Pepsi Defensive Player of the Week
Western Michigan linebacker Garrett Soldano (Sr., Onstead, Mich.)
Soldano made a career-high 21 tackles, 11 unassisted, in a 19-7 loss at No. 4 ranked Wisconsin. He also recorded one pass break up and two QB hurries in helping the Bronco defense limit the Badgers to one offensive touchdown and 252 yards of total offense.
Also nominated: Eastern Michigan LB Scott Russell (13 tackles, six solo, four tfl, one interception vs. UConn); Marshall DB Yancey Satterwhite (five tackles, three tfl vs. SE Missouri); Northern Illinois FS Buster Sampson (14 tackles, 11 solo, two pbu vs. Northwestern); Toledo DE DeJuan Goulde (four tackles, two sacks minus 14 yards).
MAC Pepsi Special Teams Player of the Week
Miami kick return specialist Milt Bowen (So., Newfield, N.J.)
Bowen averaged 33 yards per kickoff return (4 for 132) against Vanderbilt. His second half returns of 61 and 50 yards sparked the Miami comeback in a 33-30 win. Bowen also had a special teams solo tackle as well as four solo tackles and an assist from his cornerback position.
Also nominated: Bowling Green P Ricky Schneider (9 punt, 40 avg., three inside 20); Kent State P Jared Fritz (six punts, 43.7 ypk); Marshall PK J.R. Jenkins (9-9 PAT, five touchbacks); Northern Illinois P Jimmy Erwin (college debut five punts, 42.2 ypk); Ohio P Dave Zastudil (seven punts 47.1 avg.); Toledo P Brandon Hannum (five punts, 39.8 avg.); Western Michigan P Matt Steffen (six punts, 44.7 avg.).