Sullivan Ties UNM Record With Fourth Player of the Week Award
Nov. 12, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico senior kicker John Sullivan was named Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the conference office announced this morning. It's the fourth Player of the Week award this season for Sullivan, matching former quarterback Graham Leigh (1997 - WAC) for the most in program history. Colorado State's Johnny Walker (offense), BYU's Kelly Poppinga (defense) and San Diego State's Mekell Wesley (co-special teams) were also recognized by the MWC.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEKJohn Sullivan, NEW MEXICO
Senior, Place Kicker, Tehachapi, Calif./Tehachapi
John Sullivan tied a career-high for the second time this season with four field goals, including the game-winner from 43 yards as time expired to give New Mexico a 26-23 triumph over Colorado State. Sullivan also connected from 34, 39 and 46 yards, the latter being a career long. He has a nation's best 23 field goals in 2007, a new Lobo record, and it ties the Mountain West record set by Colorado State's Jeff Babcock in 2002. Sullivan has won four games for the 7-3 Lobos this fall with his field goals providing the winning margin in games against Arizona, San Diego State, Air Force and Colorado State.
MEKELL WESLEY, SAN DIEGO STATE
Mekell Wesley had a career day returning five kickoffs for 178 yards (35.6 yards per return), including an 89-yard touchdown in San Diego State's 38-30 win at UNLV. The 178 yards rank second in SDSU single-game history. Wesley's 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown is the first in the Mountain West this season and the first for the Aztecs since 1997. His five returns gave San Diego State an average starting field position of the 36-yard line, which is an Aztecs best since Oct. 29, 2005.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEKJOHNNY WALKER, COLORADO STATE
Senior, WR, Lancaster, Calif./Antelope Valley
Johnny Walker collected 177 receiving yards on seven catches (25.3 yards per catch) and scored two touchdowns in Colorado State's last-second 26-23 loss at New Mexico. Late in the first half, Walker made two key grabs to keep the Rams in the game. His 9-yard catch to convert a third-and-9, and a 31-yard touchdown to cap the drive knotted the game at 17 apiece. In the second half, he converted three third downs to help Colorado State tie the contest, 23-23. Walker's 177 yards and two touchdowns are both career-highs, and his 64-yard grab for a touchdown in the first quarter was the longest reception of his career. The 177 yards also mark the second-most receiving yards in the Mountain West this season.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEKKELLY POPPINGA, BYU
Senior, Linebacker, Evanston, Wyo./Utah State
Kelly Poppinga recorded with a career-high 17 tackles and his first interception of the season in BYU's 27-22 victory over TCU. He was credited with seven solo and 10 assisted takedowns, a four-yard tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry and a 22-yard interception. Poppinga's performance marked the most tackles by a BYU defender in a single game since Rob Morris registered 17 tackles against San Diego State in 1998. Poppinga was most effective against the TCU rushing attack, recording 11 tackles on plays that had a net gain of five yards or less. His 22-yard interception return to the TCU 3-yard line came in the beginning of the third quarter with BYU leading 17-9. The Cougars scored on the next play after a Harvey Unga 3-yard run, extending BYU's lead to 27-9.