Cleveland, Ohio - (Nov. 15) Quarterbacks Chad Pennington of Marshall and Pete Shepherd of Central Michigan, Ohio defensive end John Kraus and Bowling Green special teams player Will Sullivan were honored as Mid-American Conference Pepsi Players of the Week for the 11th week of the 1999 season.
MAC Pepsi Offensive Players of the Week
Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington (Sr., Knoxville, Tenn.) and
Central Michigan quarterback Pete Shepherd (Jr., Mount Pleasant, Mich.)
In a showdown with the only other undefeated team in league play, Pennington led Marshall to a 31-17 win at Western Michigan. The league's leading passer, Pennington completed 27-of-40 passes (67.5 %) for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall improved to 10-0 on the year and 7-0 in the MAC. The Herd also clinched a spot in the MAC championship game Dec. 3 where their opponent will be the same team they beat on Saturday.
Shepherd completed 12-of-19 passes (63.2 %) for 217 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in a 29-26 win against Eastern Michigan. Shepherd averaged 11.4 yards per attempt in helping CMU snap a four-game losing streak.
Also nominated: Akron tailback Brandon Payne (Fr., Rankin, Pa.) rushed for 161 yards on 34 attempts and two touchdowns in a 37-34 win versus Kent; Bowling Green tailback Joe Alls (Fr., Sterling Heights, Mich.) rushed for 155 yards on 25 carries in a 35-14 win against Ball State; Buffalo wide receiver Drew Haddad (Sr., Westlake, Ohio) caught eight passes for 141 yards and a 67-yard touchdown at Virginia; Miami wide receiver Trevor Gaylor (Sr., Hazelwood, Mo.) caught nine passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns versus Ohio; Northern Illinois tailback William Andrews (Jr., Robbins, Ill.) rushed for 103 yards on 17 carries against Toledo, the nation's #25 ranked rushing defense; Ohio tailback Chad Brinker (Fr., Martins Ferry, W.Va.) had 22 carries for 167 yards and two touchdowns (1 and 74 yards) in a 40-28 win versus Miami; Toledo tailback Chester Taylor (Jr., River Rouge, Mich.) ran for 108 yards on 17 attempts, averaging 6.5 yards per carry, before leaving the game versus Northern Illinois early due to an ankle injury.
MAC Pepsi Defensive Player of the Week
Ohio defensive end John Kraus (Sr., Falmouth, Va.)
Kraus was credited with a team-high seven tackles, including two quarterback sacks and another tackle for a loss in the Bobcats' 40-28 win against Miami. Kraus led a defensive effort that held the MAC's leading rusher, Travis Prentice, to his second-lowest total of the season with 69 rushing yards on 25 carries. Ohio beat Miami for the first time since 1993.
Also nominated: Akron defensive back Rich Reliford (Jr., Bolingbrook, Ill.) had two interceptions in a 37-34 win against Kent as the Zips won seven games for the first time since 1992; Bowling Green strong safety Chad Long (So., Clyde, Ohio) had a team-high nine tackles and one tackle for a loss in a 35-14 win against Ball State; Marshall linebacker John Grace (Sr., Okeechobee, Fla.) had 10 solo tackles and five assists, including three tackles for a loss and one sack, in a 31-17 win at Western Michigan;Toledo defensive end DeJuan Goulde (Jr., Euclid, Ohio) had four tackles with two of those for sacks for minus 16 yards in a 44-14 win against Northern Illinois.
MAC Pepsi Special Teams Player of the Week
Bowling Green cornerback Will Sullivan (Sr., Wichita, Kansas)
Sullivan blocked a punt in the first quarter that was returned for a touchdown giving the Falcons the lead for good at 14-7. BG went on to a 35-14 win against Ball State, earning their fourth win of 1999.
Also nominated: Akron place-kicker Zac Derr (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) kicked three field goals and two PATs in a 37-34 win against Kent; Buffalo punter Mike Masucci (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) averaged 45.2 yards per punt and dropped three inside the 20 at Virginia; Marshall kick return specialist James Williams (Sr., Raymond, Miss.) returned one kickoff for 40 yards at Western Michigan; Miami punter Kent McCullough (Jr., Coraopolis, Pa.) averaged 43.8 yards on six punts with four inside the 20 at Ohio; Northern Illinois place-kicker/punter Kent Baker (Sr., Terre Haute, Ind.) punted seven times for an average of 47.3, including a long punt of 54 yards, and added two PATs versus Toledo; Ohio place-kicker Kevin Kerr (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) made two field goals, including a 54-yarder, the third longest in school history, in a 40-28 win versus Miami; Toledo place-kicker Todd France (So., Maumee, Ohio) kicked three field goals (27, 42 and 49 yards) in a 44-14 win against Northern Illinois.