Griz Pounce on Season’s Second Defensive Player of the Week Award
The season is only three weeks old, and the fans aren't the only ones who think this defense is pretty special.
University of Montana Sports Information Director Eric Taber reports that today (Monday), Griz senior linebacker Patrick O'Connell was named Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week. It's the first time in this young season and the second time in his career that Pat has earned the honor (it won't be the last). It's also already the second time this season that a Grizzly linebacker has earned the award, as Braxton Hill received the same recognition two weeks ago.
The conference preseason pick for defensive player of the year had another eye-popping performance in Saturday's win at Indiana State. O'Connell racked up nine tackles, including three for losses, along with two-and-a-half sacks. The first sack also forced a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown. It was Montana's first score of the day, kick-starting a 49-14 romp over the Sycamores.
Patrick's 2.5 sacks and three tackles-for-loss were the most by any defensive player in the Big Sky Conference this past week. Montana's 3-0 record just ahead of conference play has showcased three outstanding defensive efforts on the team's road to outscoring their first three opponents by a combined 120-21. Also, today, the latest Football Championship Subdivision rankings have the Griz firmly ranked no. 2 in both major polls, behind North Dakota State, who moved up to FBS competition Saturday night, and more than held their own in a 31-28 loss at Arizona.
So, it's on to Big Sky Conference play and Homecoming this Saturday when the Griz host Portland State. Fans should definitely join the free Yell Night Pep Rally event on the UM Campus Oval Friday evening. Details here.