MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES WEEK NINE
FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE AND SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player of the Week: Miami WR Nick Harwell
Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell (Missouri City, Texas) contributed to Miami’s 23-20 victory against 23rd-ranked Ohio by catching eight passes for 138 yards, a 54-yard touchdown pass from Zac Dysert. It marked the 13th time in his career that he has caught a pass of 40 yards or more. It was Harwell’s 14th career game of 100 yards or more receiving, leaving him one short of the school record held by Martin Nance.
Defensive Player of the Week: Kent State LB Luke Batton
Senior linebacker Luke Batton (Macedonia, Ohio) led Kent State with 13 tackles, including a sack and had one of the Flashes’ six interceptions in a 35-23 win at Rutgers. Batton also tipped a pass that was intercepted and had one quarterback hurry. Seven of his tackles were solo stops.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Miami K Kaleb Patterson
Freshman kicker Kaleb Patterson (Duncan, S.C.) kicked three field goals, including the game-winner, a 31-yarder, with only 1:24 left in the game to beat 23rd-ranked Ohio, 23-20. The effort marked the first time in his career that he had booted three field goals (40, 32 and 31 yards). Patterson is now 11-of-13 this season and has made seven straight attempts. Miami’s leading scorer this season is 4-of-5 from 30-39 yards and 5-of-5 from 40 yards or more this year.
Offensive Player of the Week: Central Michigan RB Zurlon Tipton
Junior running back Zurlon Tipton (Detroit, Mich.) rushed his way into the Central Michigan football records books on Saturday at Kelly/Short Stadium with career highs in yards (243), attempts (37), and touchdowns (3) to help lead the Chippewas past Akron, 35-14. Tipton’s 243 yards is tied for eighth all-time on Central Michigan’s single game rushing list and makes him the first Chippewa to break the 200-yard barrier on the ground since 2010. Tipton started the game fast, taking a hand off on the second play from scrimmage and racing down the sideline for a career-long 72-yard touchdown. He would go on to add scoring runs from five and six yards out.
Defensive Player of the Week: Northern Illinois DE Sean Progar
Senior defensive end Sean Progar (Glenview, Ill.) had a career high three sacks, the most by any Huskie player this season, for losses totaling 19 yards, in Northern Illinois 48-34 win over Western Michigan. Progar had seven tackles, including a season-best five solo stops, in the game. His first two sacks contributed directly to defensive stops. He had two sacks in the critical fourth quarter, when the Huskie defense shut down Western Michigan’s offense, allowing the Huskies to take the lead.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Northern Illinois K Mathew Sims
Junior kicker Mathew Sims (Hannibal, Mo.) scored 12 points and kicked 49 and 54 yard field goals in a 48-34 win over Western Michigan. Sims put his name in the Huskie record books as he booted a school-record 54-yard field goal on the last play of the first half to close the Northern Illinois deficit to 21-17. Sims’ kick was 10 yards longer than his previous career high. In the fourth quarter, Sims added the second-longest field goal of his career when he made a 49-yard three to extend Northern Illinois’ lead back to 21 points at 48-27 with 4:52 remaining in the game. Sims scored 12 points with six PATs in addition to the two long field goals.