(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU quarterback Riley Nelson, Army linebacker Geoffrey Bacon, BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy and Notre Dame kick returner George Atkinson III have been named FBS Independent Players of the Week, for games through Oct. 22. Nelson is honored on Offense, Bacon and Van Noy share the award on Defense and Atkinson is cited on Special Teams.
Nelson wins the weekly award for a second consecutive week and third time this season; Van Noy is also a three-time recipient. Atkinson’s citation is his second of the season, while Bacon is a first-time honoree.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BYU QB Riley Nelson
A junior from Logan, Utah, Nelson keyed BYU’s 56-3 home win over Idaho State, leading six touchdown drives in seven series before leaving the game early in the third quarter. Nelson completed 11 of 17 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns, adding 62 yards and a touchdown on seven carries; his pass efficiency rating of 229.2 is the 12th-best single-game mark in BYU history.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Army LB Geoffrey Bacon
A freshman from Milwaukee, Wis., Bacon returned his first career interception 70 yards for a touchdown as the Black Knights suffered a 44-21 setback at Vanderbilt. Making his first career start, Bacon added a pass break-up, and he matched his season tally with a career-high 13 tackles, including a half tackle for loss.
BYU LB Kyle Van Noy
A sophomore from Reno, Nev., Van Noy was a disruptive presence in the Idaho State backfield as the Cougars beat the Bengals 56-3 in Provo. All four of Van Noy’s tackles were solo efforts, and his three tackles for loss included two sacks. Van Noy’s defensive stat line also included three quarterback hurries and a blocked punt he returned for six yards, setting up BYU’s first touchdown of the day.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Notre Dame KR George Atkinson III
A freshman from Stockton, Calif., Atkinson tallied 178 yards on five kickoff returns, highlighted by a 96-yard scoring sprint, in Notre Dame’s 31-17 home loss to USC. Atkinson’s touchdown was his second kickoff return TD of the season; he is the second Notre Dame freshman to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season, joining Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, who had a pair of scoring returns in 1988.
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.