Akron, Toledo and Bowling Green Players Recognized as MAC Pepsi Players of the Week

Updated 9/12/1999
Akron tailback Brandon Payne

Akron tailback Brandon Payne, Toledo linebacker Kevin Rollins and Bowling Green placekicker Jason Strasser were honored as Mid-American Conference Pepsi Players of the Week for the third week of the 1999 season.

MAC Pepsi Offensive Player of the Week - Akron tailback, Brandon Payne (Fr., Rankin, Pa.)

Rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, an average of 6.0 yards per carry and had 202 all-purpose yards in leading the Zips to a non-conference victory over Temple 25-15. Payne, in his third career game, gained 125 yards in the first half as Akron had a 25-0 halftime lead. His touchdown runs came from six and 33 yards. Payne ranks second in the MAC in rushing with 92 yards per game.

Also nominated: Bowling Green tailback Joe Alls (Fr., Sterling Heights, Mich.) led the Falcons with 37 yards rushing on 11 carries and had a team-high five receptions for 55 yards versus Marshall; Buffalo wide receiver Drew Haddad (Sr., Westlake, Ohio) caught nine passes for 106 yards in a 23-0 loss at Connecticut. Haddad set Buffalo career records in receptions (169) and yards (2,419); Kent tight end Jason Gavadza (Sr., Toronto, Ontario) caught a career-high seven passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in the Golden Flashes' 30-23 near-upset at Pittsburgh. Gavadza culminated Kent's opening drive with a 15-yard TD reception for a 7-0 lead; Marshall wide receiver Nate Poole (Jr., Danville, Va.) caught seven passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-16 win versus Bowling Green; Miami wide receiver Sly Johnson (Jr., Miramar, Fla.) caught six passes for a career-best 184 yards and one touchdown in Miami's 35-14 win over Eastern Michigan. He established a Miami record with a 94-yard touchdown reception and amassed 243 all-purpose yards.; Northern Illinois wide receiver Justin McCareins (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) grabbed a game-high eight passes for 130 yards and had one run for 11 yards in a 24-0 loss at Iowa; Toledo running back Chester Taylor (Jr., River Rouge, Mich.) ran for 133 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in a 23-10 win at Ball State; Western Michigan wide receiver Steve Neal (Jr., Benton Harbor, Mich.) scored three touchdowns on seven receptions for 83 yards in a 48-34 loss at Missouri. Neal became WMU's all-time leader in receiving yards with 1,938.

MAC Pepsi Defensive Player of the Week - Toledo linebacker Kevin Rollins (Jr., Twinsburg, Ohio)

Rollins had four quarterback sacks for minus 25 yards in a 23-10 win at Ball State as the Rockets opened their league schedule. Rollins totaled a game-high nine tackles.

Also nominated: Akron cornerback Dwight Smith (Jr., Detroit, Mich.) collected a game-high seven tackles, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles in a 25-15 win against Temple; Bowling Green strong safety Chad Long (So., Clyde, Ohio) led the team with 13 tackles and added one pass breakup in a 35-16 loss at Marshall; Buffalo free safety Craig Rohlfs (So., Cincinnati, Ohio) had a career-best 12 tackles, one for a loss and a pass interception in a 23-0 loss at Connecticut; Kent inside linebacker Matt Rayl (Jr., Annandale, N.J.) made eight tackles versus Pittsburgh including one stop on a fourth-and-one; Miami linebacker Dustin Cohen (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio) registered 13 tackles, two for a loss, one sack, two pass deflections and an interception in a 35-14 win over Eastern Michigan; Northern Illinois defensive end Trent Clemen (So., Dubuque, Iowa) returned to his home state and posted a career-best 11 tackles and one fumble caused.

MAC Pepsi Special Teams Player of the Week - Bowling Green placekicker Jason Strasser (Sr., Toledo, Ohio)

Kicked three field goals from 37, 31 and 21 yards and added an extra point in the Falcons' 35-16 loss at Marshall. Strasser has made 12 consecutive field goals, just two shy of the MAC record set by former BG placekicker Brian Leaver during the 1993 and 1994 seasons.

Also nominated: Kent's Shawn Shoemaker (Sr., Warren, Ohio) returned three kickoffs for 54 yards, one punt for two yards and downed a punt at the Pittsburgh two-yard line in a 30-23 loss to the Panthers.