MAC Announces Week Five East and West Division Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week

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East Division
Offensive Player of the Week: Ohio QB Nathan Rourke
Ohio junior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) got the job done with both his arms and his legs in a 58-42 victory over UMass on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Peden Stadium, rushing for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. He also passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns, going 27-of-32 through the air with one interception. Rourke helped Ohio’s offense explode for a program-record 664 yards of offense.

Defensive Player of the Week: Buffalo LB Khalil Hodge
Buffalo senior linebacker Khalil Hodge (Stockton, Calif.) tied a career-high 20 tackles in a 42-13 loss to Army. He had three solo stops and assisted on 17 others.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Miami KOR Maurice Thomas
Miami junior kickoff returner Maurice Thomas (Oxford, Ohio) broke two school records on Saturday in a 40-39 loss to Western Michigan. Thomas opened the contest with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the longest kick return in Yager Stadium history. Overall, Thomas had seven returns for 237 yards, an average of 33.9 per return. The 237 return yards in a single game are the most-ever by a RedHawk.

West Division
Offensive Player of the Week: Western Michigan WR Jayden Reed
Western Michigan freshman wide receiver Jayden Reed (Aurora, Ill.) had four touchdowns, seven catches and 137 yards receiving in a 40-39 win at Miami on Saturday. Reed's four touchdown receptions tied the school record set by Greg Jennings in 2005. Reed becomes just the second freshman ever in the history of the MAC to catch four touchdowns in a game, joining former Miami player Sam Martin. It was the third time 100-plus yard receiving game, which leads the MAC this season. He also leads the league in receiving touchdowns with six. Reed caught two touchdowns in the first quarter, the first from 10 yards out and the second from 33. Reed's third touchdown was a 27-yarder that pulled the Broncos to within six, 27-21, in the third quarter. Reed's fourth touchdown was his biggest catch of the game and came on 4th and goal with 7:25 remaining. Reed also had a 34-yard punt return.

Defensive Player of the Week: Northern Illinois LB Antonio Jones-Davis
Northern Illinois junior linebacker Antonio Jones-Davis (Vero Beach, Fla.) led a tremendous defensive effort in a 26-23 (3OT) win at Eastern Michigan. Jones-Davis led the team with 13 tackles, two quarterback sacks, a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss at critical moments, broke up two passes and recovered a fumble. After Eastern Michigan scored on its first two possessions of the game, the Huskie defense held the Eagles without a first down on its next nine possessions and on 10 of the Eagles’ 12 possessions the rest of the game. The dominance continued in the second and third overtimes as, after scoring a touchdown in the first overtime, Eastern Michigan gained just four total yards in the second and third overtimes.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Eastern Michigan P Jake Julien
Eastern Michigan sophomore punter Jake Julien (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) was called upon nine times for an average of 43.8 yards per kick in a 26-23 (3OT) loss vs. Northern Illinois on Sept. 29. The 394 yards via punt ranks 17th most in program history. Additionally, he boomed a long of 55 yards and pinned once pinned the Huskies inside the 20-yard line.