(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION INDEPENDENT PLAYERS OF THE WEEK NAMED
BYU quarterback Jake Heaps, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Notre Dame placekicker David Ruffer have been named FBS Independent Players of the Week, for games through Nov. 19. Heaps is the honoree on Offense, Te’o is cited on Defense, while Ruffer is honored on Special Teams. Te’o receives the award for a third time this season, while Ruffer is a two-time honoree, and Heaps is cited for the first time.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BYU QB Jake Heaps
A sophomore from Issaquah, Wash., Heaps returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 30 and led BYU to a 42-7 home win over New Mexico State. Heaps completed 21 of 36 passes for 238 yards and a career high-tying four touchdowns as BYU’s seniors received a winning send-off in the Cougars’ home finale. Heaps was also awarded the Rivals.com Independent Player of the Week.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o
A junior from Laie, Hawaii, Te’o recorded a team-high 12 tackles as Notre Dame defeated Boston College 16-14 on Senior Day in South Bend. Te’o’s tackle total included a half tackle for loss, and he added three quarterback hurries in helping the Fighting Irish secure a fourth consecutive victory. Te’o’s double-digit takedown tally was his seventh of the season and 16th of his career; he has also led Notre Dame in tackles seven times this season and 17 times over his career.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Notre Dame PK David Ruffer
A fifth-year senior from Oakton, Va., Ruffer recorded a sixth consecutive perfect game from the placement spot in Notre Dame’s 16-14 home win over Boston College. Ruffer kicked field goals of 40, 41 and 27 yards, with the last three-pointer providing the winning margin as the Irish improved to 8-3 on the season. Ruffer has connected on eight consecutive field goals dating back to a win over Purdue on Oct. 1, while a point-after against the Eagles extended his consecutive PAT streak to 47.
The FBS Independent Players of the Week are selected by members of a nationwide media panel, which includes equal representation from each of the independent institutions’ coverage markets.