Nevada running back Mike Ball, Louisiana Tech linebacker Adrien Cole and Louisiana Tech punter Ryan Allen were named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively.
Ball, a junior from Las Vegas, Nev. (Desert Pines HS), had 216 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Nevada’s 45-38 win over Fresno State. Ball rushed for a career-high 198 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries and added two catches for 18 yards and another score. He had rushes of 35 and 41 yards, the two longest runs by any Nevada player this year.
Cole, a senior from Mobile, Ala. (McGill-Toolen HS), had 14 tackles (9 solo) including two for a loss of six yards and broke up a pass in Louisiana Tech’s 24-17 win at Utah State. Cole’s biggest stop came on a fourth-down play when he stopped the Aggie quarterback one-yard shy of a first down to seal the win for the Bulldogs. He helped the Bulldog defense hold Utah State to 166 rushing yards, 112 below their average coming into the game.
Allen, a junior from Salem, Ore. (Oregon State), averaged 52.2-yards on eight punts in the win at Utah State. None of his punts went into the end zone and seven were downed inside the 20-yard line, including five in the second half of a tight game. Five of his eight punts went over 50 yards including a game-best 66-yarder that ranks as the eighth-longest in school history.
Others nominated on offense: junior running back Robbie Rouse, Fresno State; senior quarterback Bryant Moniz, Hawai‘i; junior running back Kenny Turner, New Mexico State; and junior running back Robert Turbin, Utah State.
Also nominated on defense: senior safety Zak Hill, Fresno State; senior linebacker Aaron Brown, Hawai‘i; junior safety Duke Williams, Nevada; sophomore defensive back Darien Johnson, New Mexico State; and senior linebacker Bobby Wagner, Utah State.
Other special teams nominations included: junior tight end Marcel Jensen, Fresno State; sophomore defensive back John Hardy-Tuliah, Hawai‘i; senior punt returner Rishard Matthews, Nevada; and junior kick returner Kerwynn Williams, Utah State.