Utah State’s Kyler Fackrell named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State linebacker Kyler Fackrell has been named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, it was announced Monday by the conference office.

It is the first time this year and fourth time in his career that the 6-foot-5, 250-pound native of Mesa, Ariz., has earned conference player of the week accolades. Fackrell also garnered the weekly award from the Western Athletic Conference twice during his redshirt freshman season in 2012 and once from the MW during his sophomore campaign in 2013.

This is the third time this season that USU has received a MW Player of the Week honor as sophomore QB Kent Myers was tabbed the league’s Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 12 and junior WR Andrew Rodriguez earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors on Sept. 7.

Overall, this is the Aggies’ 12th MW weekly accolade in their third season in the league.

Fackrell helped anchor a dominant defense performance in a 52-26 win against then-No. 21 Boise State last Friday night on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium. The MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year was one of two Aggies to record double-digit tackles with a season-high 11 stops, including 2.5 tackles for loss, in the victory.

Fackrell also had two quarterback hurries, forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles as part of eight takeaways by Utah State against the Broncos, the most turnovers in a single game in the program’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history (since 1996), and the most since committing 12 at Montana in 1989. The Broncos entered the game having committed just six turnovers in their first six games.

The Aggies forced a school-record tying eight turnovers in nine Boise State possessions between the first and second halves. Utah State, which snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Broncos, turned seven first-half turnovers into 35 points.

According to ESPN, the seven turnovers by the Broncos were the most by an FBS team in a first half in 10 years. Prior to Friday night, the last Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team to force eight turnovers in a single game was Arkansas State against Idaho during the 2014 campaign.

Fackrell’s first fumble recovery led to a late first-quarter touchdown that gave the Aggies a 17-3 lead over Boise State. With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Fackrell forced a fumble that was recovered by Utah State senior CB Bryant Hayes. The Aggies scored one play later to open up a 38-10 advantage.

On the season, Fackrell leads the team in tackles for loss (10.5), quarterback hurries (10) and fumble recoveries (4). He also shares the team in lead in forced fumbles (2) and sacks (3.0), and his 37 total tackles ranks third.

Fackrell’s four fumble recoveries lead the nation and rank first in the MW. He also ranks 10th nationally in tackles for loss (1.75 pg), tied for first in the MW and tied for 24th nationally with two fumbles forced, tied for seventh in the MW with 3.0 sacks and tied for 30th in the MW with an average of 6.2 tackles per game.

The Aggies (4-2, 3-0 Mountain West) return to action on Oct. 23, when they take on San Diego State (3-3, 2-0) at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., in the second of three consecutive Friday night contests for Utah State. The game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. MT and will be televised on ESPN2.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

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Posted in USU