Courtesy of the Big Sky Conference
OGDEN, Utah - The Big Sky Conference has selected its football players of the week for games played on Saturday, Oct. 2. Montana State quarterback Denarius McGhee is the offensive player of the week. Montana defensive tackle Bryan Waldhauser and Portland State safety Manoa Latu are the co-defensive players of the week. Northern Arizona returner Matt Estrada is the special teams player of the week.
McGhee, a 5-foot-11, 203-pound freshman from Euless, Texas completed 26-of-43 passes for a career-high 385 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Bobcats’ 64-61 overtime win at Sacramento State. McGhee set a MSU freshman record with 420 yards of total offense, as he also rushed for 35 yards on seven carries. McGhee threw for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including an 8-yarder to Julius Lloyd with 1:17 to play, sending the game into overtime. This is McGhee’s first player of the week honor.
Waldhauser, a 6-2, 242-pound junior from Worden, Mont., tallied seven tackles, a sack, and forced two fumbles in Montana’s 30-7 road win over Northern Colorado. Waldhauser had four solo tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. One of his forced fumbles led to a Montana touchdown. The Grizzly defense held Northern Colorado, which came in averaging 35.8 points per game, off the scoreboard for the first 47 minutes. UM amassed six sacks and held Northern Colorado to 53 rushing yards. This is Waldhauser’s first player of the week honor.
Manoa Latu, a 6-1, 205-pound junior from Kapahulu, Hawaii, recorded six tackles and returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown in Portland State’s 38-3 home conference win over Idaho State. Latu’s interception return put the Vikings ahead 14-0 in the first quarter. PSU’s defense limited Idaho State to just 195 yards of total offense. Latu broke up two passes and had 1.5 tackles for loss. This is his first player of the week honor.
Estrada, a 5-10, 175-pound senior from LaHabra, Calif., returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown in Northern Arizona’s 26-23 road victory over Southern Utah. Estrada’s second-quarter return cut Southern Utah’s lead to 17-16. Estrada finished with 116 return yards. He also forced a fumble that was recovered by a teammate on the punt cover unit. Estrada, an All-Conference safety, was co-defensive player of the week last week.