For the second time this season, Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton has been honored by the Western Athletic Conference.
Keeton, San Jose State defensive end Travis Johnson and Louisiana Tech place-kicker Matt Nelson were named the WAC offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively, it was announced Monday by the league office.
“It’s really just a testament to our offense and our coaches,” Keeton said. “Our coaches gave us a great game plan this week to utilize some of the weaknesses that UNLV had. Our receivers definitely made a lot of big plays and our offensive line gave me a lot of time to stand back there and throw.
“On top of that, our running backs — Robert Marshall, Kerwynn Williams and Joe Hill — all ran the ball well and definitely gave us more opportunities to throw the ball because they had a run threat to worry about.”
Keeton was 21 of 34 for a career-high 402 yards and four touchdowns in the Aggies’ 35-13 Homecoming victory over UNLV last Saturday night at Romney Stadium.
“It was a great game for Chuckie,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “He threw the ball well. ... Chuckie threw the screen passes very well, he controlled the offense very well, which we will need to do this week (against BYU). The young men are going to have to make plays when the opportunity presents itself.”
The 402 passing yards by Keeton are the 10th-most in school history and the most by an Aggie quarterback since 2002.
“Chuckie is always good, he is a great player,” USU wide receiver Chuck Jacobs said. “I can tell in his eyes that he wants to win and when he sees his opportunity he will take it, and he saw a few of them (last) Saturday night and he took advantage of them.”
This is Keeton’s third WAC award overall.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore from Houston was also named College Sports Madness’ WAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against UNLV.
On the season, Keeton ranks first in the WAC and 27th in the nation in total offense (297.4 ypg), fifth in the WAC and 26th in the nation in passing efficiency (156.4), fourth in the WAC and 37th in the nation in passing (256.2 ypg), and eighth in the WAC in rushing (41.2 ypg).
“I think he is playing like a senior — he is a sophomore playing like a senior,” Jacobs said of Keeton. “If he keeps this up he will be a great player. It is in him, I see it in him, he just needs to keep maintaining it and rising.”
Johnson, a senior from Sunnyvale, Calif., made eight tackles and forced a fumble in San Jose State’s 12-0 victory at Navy.
Nelson, a senior from Cibolo, Texas, kicked three field goals (31, 40 and 45 yards, respectively) and five extra points in Louisiana Tech’s 44-38 win at Virginia.
Punter Tyler Bennett was tabbed the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Punter of the Week, it was announced Sunday.
For Bennett, it is the second time in as many weeks he has been recognized by the CFPA as he earned honorable mention punter of the week honors following USU’s 31-19 road win at Colorado State on Sept. 22.
“Tyler did a nice job kicking the football consistently, getting the ball out and doing a very nice job,” Andersen said. “I was proud of him. He was a big part of that game.”
Bennett averaged 47.4 yards on five punts against the Rebels. More importantly, all five were downed inside the 20-yard line. He had a long of 59 yards.
On the season, Bennett ranks fourth in the WAC and 31st in the nation in punting (43.4 ypp).
The Aggies had two other players recognized by the CFPA this week as senior running back Kerwynn Williams earned honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week honors, while Keeton garnered honorable mention quarterback of the week accolades.
Williams is receiving national recognition from the CFPA for the third straight week after garnering honorable mention running back of the week honors last week and honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week accolades two weeks ago.
The Las Vegas native had 260 yards of total offense — 147 receiving and 113 rushing — against UNLV.
On the season, Williams ranks first in the WAC and 20th in the nation in all-purpose yards (156.2 ypg).