Oct. 8, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming senior linebacker Ghaali Muhammad was recognized on Monday by College Football Performance Awards as having one of the best performances of the week among linebackers across the country.
Muhammad was one of 13 linebackers in the nation recoginzed for their performances this past week. He earned Honorable Mention honors, while Kevin Minter of LSU and Kiko Alonso of Oregon were named the Co-Linebackers of the Week. The Honorable Mention selections were: Muhammad (Wyoming), Chase Thomas (Stanford), Jake Knott (Iowa State), Josh Francis (West Virginia), Jack Tyler (Virginia Tech), Randall Joyner (SMU), R.J. Young (UL-Monroe), Trashaun Nixon (New Mexico State), Dallas Bollema (New Mexico), Ben Heeney (Kansas), Tyler Matakevich (Temple).
Against Nevada, Muhammad had a personal best 15 tackles (9 solos and 6 assists), including 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. He recovered a fumble that led to Wyoming's first scoring drive of the game and made a tackle on a fourth and goal at the four-yard line that ended a Nevada scoring drive late in the fourth quarter.
He was the leader of a Wyoming defense that held the nation's leading rusher, Stefphon Jefferson of Nevada to 78 yards rushing -- 97 yards under his average of 175 yards per game in Wyoming's 28-35 overtime road loss.
Muhammad's fumble recovery came on Nevada's second offensive series of the game and gave the Cowboys the ball on the Nevada 40-yard line. Six plays later, Wyoming took a 7-0 lead. His three tackles for losses came on a Jefferson one-yard loss, a Jefferson one-yard loss and a sack of Nevada quarterback Devin Combs for a four-yard loss.
The sack came at a critcial point late in the fourth quarter with Nevada beginning a drive at the Wyoming 36-yard line following a punt, Muhammad sacked QB Combs for four yards early in the drive. Later in that same drive, Muhammad teamed with Cowboy defensive back Luke Anderson to tackle Combs for only a two-yard gain on a fourth and goal from the six-yard line that preserved a 28-21 lead for the Cowboys at the time.
Of Muhammad's 15 tackles on the day, he tackled Jefferson eight times. Seven of those eight tackles of Jefferson were for three yards or less, including gains of 3 yards, 3 yards, -1 yard, -1 yard, 3 yards, 0 yards and 1 yard. Muhammad also returned one kickoff for 15 yards.