POSTED: Monday, October 3, 2011 - 2:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 3, 2011 - 6:28pm
New Mexico State quarterback Matt Christian, San Jose State linebacker Keith Smith and Idaho wide receiver Justin Hernandez were named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively.
Christian, a senior from San Diego, Calif. (Palomar JC), completed 16-of-27 passes for a career-high 296 yards and a career-high four touchdowns with no interceptions in New Mexico State’s 42-28 win at New Mexico. Christian also rushed for a career-high 101 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. He had 397 yards of total offense and accounted for five of the six Aggie touchdowns in the game.
Christian was also named College Sports Madness WAC Offensive Player of the Week, Rivals.com WAC Conference Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards named him an Honorable Mention Quarterback of the Week.
The Aggies are on a BYE but will next play against Idaho on Oct. 15 at Aggie Memorial Stadium beginning at 6 p.m.
Smith, a sophomore from Covina, Calif. (Covina HS), had a team-high 10 tackles and forced a fumble in San Jose State’s 38-31 win at Colorado State. The forced fumble occurred in the second quarter and was returned 20 yards for a touchdown to give the Spartans a 17-7 lead. He also made two third-down tackles that resulted in punts including one late in the game when the score was tied at 31 apiece.
Hernandez, a junior from Lapwai, Idaho (Lapwai HS), blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown with 3:11 left in Idaho’s game at Virginia. Idaho trailed 14-6 at the time and following the successful two-point conversion after the touchdown, the Vandals forced overtime before losing 21-20 after an unsuccessful two-point try in the extra period.
Others nominated on offense: sophomore wide receiver Jalen Saunders, Fresno State; senior wide receiver Royce Pollard, Hawai‘i; senior quarterback Matt Faulkner, San Jose State; and junior running back Robert Turbin, Utah State.
Also nominated on defense: senior linebacker Kyle Knox, Fresno State; senior safety Richard Torres, Hawai‘i; junior cornerback Aaron Grymes, Idaho; senior linebacker Brandon Marshall, Nevada; senior safety Donyae Coleman, New Mexico State; and senior linebacker Bobby Wagner, Utah State.
Other special teams nominations included: senior punt returner Devon Wylie, Fresno State; senior cornerback Tank Hopkins, Hawai‘i; junior punter Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech; senior punter Jake Hurst, Nevada; freshman kick returner Austin Franklin, New Mexico State; sophomore punter Harrison Waid, San Jose State; and junior kick returner Kerwynn Williams, Utah State.