The Air Force Falcons and their improved defense are starting to see the recognition roll their way as one of their key defensive backfield players win the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. Senior safety Christian Spears was honored by the Conference today for his outstanding play against Academy rival Navy Midshipmen last Saturday. Spears recorded 10 tackles, six of which were solo, and had a huge interception in the end zone to stop a Navy drive in the first half to keep the score at 14-7 in favor of the Falcons.
Spears and his crew took over the second half, limiting the nation's leading rushing team to 36 yards on the ground in the second half and 135 yards total in the half to finish off the 30-21 victory which gave the Falcons a huge leg-up on the Commander-in-Chief trophy. He also joins fellow starting safety Weston Steelhammer as recipients of the award, as Steelhammer was last week's Defensive Player of the Week following his three interception game against Boise State.
Winning the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week award was Utah State sophomore quarterback Darell Garretson, the Falcons next opponent in Mountain West action this upcoming weekend. Garretson was 19-of-25 passing against the BYU Cougars with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Garretson also had a rushing touchdown. Garretson led the Aggies to a 35-20 victory over their in-state rival by equaling his career high in touchdown passes in a game. Garretson had a huge 72-yard pass to Hunter Sharp with 55 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Aggies a comfortable 28-14 lead at the half. With their victory, Utah State snapped a 17-game road losing streak in Provo and gave the Aggies a victory over the highest-ranked team they have ever defeated in school history.
As for the Special Teams Player of the Week, San Jose State junior kicker Austin Lopez earned the award for the second time this season. Lopez would connect on field goals from 32, 33, 47 and 47 yards in the Spartans 33-10 victory over UNLV. The four field goals kicked by Lopez tied a school record for kicks made in a game. He finished the game with 15 points as he made all three of his PATs as well.