Stephenson recognized with special teams honor

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION INDEPENDENT PLAYERS OF THE WEEK NAMED

Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and BYU punter Riley Stephenson have been named FBS Independent Players of the Week, for games played through October 20th.  Riddick is the honoree on Offense, Te’o is recognized on Defense, and Stephenson is cited on Special Teams.  Te’o is honored for a seventh time (fourth time in 2012), Stephenson’s award is his fourth (all in 2012), while Riddick is a first-time recipient.

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.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

BYU P Riley Stephenson

A senior from St. George, Utah, Stephenson helped BYU win the average field position battle in a 17-14 setback at No. 5 Notre Dame.  Stephenson punted six times for a 46.8 yard average, with three boots of 50-plus yards, and two kicks downed inside the Irish 20-yard line.  Stephenson’s season average of 46.6 yards per punt ranks fifth among FBS kickers; his 20 punts of 50 yards or longer represent a single-season career high.  

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Notre Dame RB Theo Riddick

A senior from Manville, N.J., Riddick ran 15 times for a career-best 143 yards in pacing No. 5 Notre Dame to a 17-14 home win over BYU.  Riddick runs of 27 and 55 yards set and re-set personal career standards, helping the Irish rack up 270 rushing yards against the team previously ranked third in FBS rush defense at 67.9 yards per game.  Riddick’s century-mark effort was his second in a Notre Dame uniform; he ran for a previous career-best 107 yards against Navy on Sept. 2, 2012.  

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o

A senior from Laie, Hawai’i, Te’o recorded a game-high 10 tackles, a quarterback hurry and the fourth interception of his season and career in No. 5 Notre Dame’s 17-14 comeback victory over BYU.  Te’o’s 10-takedown effort included a half-tackle for loss, and marked the 25th time he has led the Irish in tackles; the double-digit stop performance was his third in a row and 23rd of his career.  With four interceptions on the season, Te’o is tied for the national lead among linebackers.