Akron, BGSU and WMU Student-Athletes Honored as MAC Players of theWeek

Updated 10/2/2000
Cleveland, Ohio- Runningback Brandon Payne of Akron, Bowling Green freshman defensive back Janssen Patton and Western Michigan placekicker Brad Selent were honored as this weeks Mid-American Conference Players of the Week awards for the fifth week of the season.

MAC Offensive Players of the Week
Akron runningback Brandon Payne (So., Rankin, Pa.)

Payne earned this weeks MAC honor for his career-high 188 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries in leading the Zips to a 37-20 win over Miami in a MAC East divisional contest. Payne had runs of 36, 20, 15, 14, 13, 13 and 11 yards and gained 217 all-purpose yards. Payne's fourth-quarter TD runs of 13 and 20 yards secured the Zips win and vaulted their divisional record to 2-0, good for first place.

Also nominated: Kent State WR Jurron Kelly (career-high 11 rec., 138 yards vs. BGSU); Marshall QB Byron Leftwich (25-of-36, 3 TDs, career-high 378 yards vs. Buffalo); Miami RB Steve Little (career-high 128 yards, 17 att. vs. Akron); Northern Illinois WR Justin McCareins (4 rec., 150 yards, 2 TDs, MAC record 99-yard reception); Toledo RB Chester Taylor (152 yards, 2 TDs, 24 carries vs. Central Michigan); Western Michigan QB Jeff Welsh (23-of-33, career-best 332 yards, 1 TD vs. Ohio).

MAC Defensive Player of the Week
Bowling Green cornerback Janssen Patton (Fr., Stone Mountain, Ga.)

Patton, making his first career start, picked off three Kent State passes, returning one of them 74 yards for a touchdown, in the Falcons 18-11 victory. Pattons other two thefts came at the BGSU five-yard line and in the end zone, the second coming in the final minutes of the game. Both stopped potential Flashes scoring threats. He also recovered a blocked punt at the KSU 12-yard line and was credited with seven tackles in BGs first win of the season.

Also nominated: Akron DB Dwight Smith (2 int. vs. Miami, his seventh and eighth of the year, a national high); Buffalo LB Chris Gray (11 tackles, 6 solo, 3 tfl, 1 sack vs. Marshall; Kent State DE Mark Strickland (forced 2 fumbles, recovered 1, had a sack vs. BGSU); Northern Illinois LB Larry Williams (11 tackles, 1 sack vs. Ball State); Ohio ILB Tom Weilbacher (11 tackles, 1 sack vs. Western Michigan); Toledo LB David Gardner (8 tackles, 2 tfl, 1 caused fumble vs. Central Michigan); Western Michigan LB Mario Evans (team-high 14 tackles, 2 tfl vs. Ohio).

MAC Special Teams Player of the Week
Western Michigan placekicker Brad Selent (Sr., Paw Paw, Mich.)

Selent booted field goals from 42, 32 and 44 yards in helping the Broncos to a 16-10 lead in a tight game against Ohio. The Broncos closed out the win with a late touchdown for a 23-20 triumph.

Also nominated: Akron PK Zac Derr (3 FG, 4 PAT, 13 points vs. Miami); Buffalo P Mike Masucci (9 punts, 41.7 avg. in first action of 2000); Toledo P Brandon Hannum (3 punts, 43.7 ypk vs. Central Michigan).