Oct. 19, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming sophomore linebacker Brian Hendricks was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance versus Air Force this past Saturday. Hendricks set a new UW single-game tackle record with 23 total tackles against the Falcons, breaking the UW record that had stood since 1972 when Frank Erzinger made 21 tackles against New Mexico.
Hendricks, a sophomore from Burlington, Colo., had 11 solo tackles, 12 assists and also forced one fumble. The Falcons ran a total of 74 offensive plays on the day of which Hendricks made the tackle on nearly one-third of those plays (23 total). His biggest stops came midway through the second quarter as Air Force had a first-and-goal at the Wyoming 10-yard line. Hendricks made tackles on both first and second down, holding the Falcons to only seven yards on those two plays. Air Force ended up going for it on fourth-and-goal, but Hendricks and the UW defense forced an incomplete pass to maintain a 0-0 tie going into the half.
Hendricks got stronger throughout the game. He made three tackles in the first quarter, five in the second, seven in the third and eight in the fourth. He becomes only the third Cowboy in 113 seasons of Wyoming Football to record 20 or more tackles in a single game. In addition to Erzinger's 21 tackles in 1972, former Wyoming All-America linebacker Paul Nunu made 20 tackles against New Mexico in 1976.
Despite the loss, Hendricks and the Cowboy defense held Air Force to its lowest point total of the season -- 10 points -- and held the Falcons 90 yards under their total offense average (269 yards of total offense as compared to 359.0 average for the season) Only Navy held Air Force to fewer total yards this season (240). Wyoming's defense also held Air Force to only two yards passing - the second fewest in MWC history.
Earlier this season, Hendricks recorded 18 tackles against Colorado, which tied for the fifth-best, single-game tackle total in school history at the time.
It is Hendricks' first MWC Player of the Week honor of his career. He is the first Cowboy on defense to earn MWC Player of the Week honors this season. He joins teammates Austyn Carta-Samuels (two-time MWC Offensive Player of the Week), Austin McCoy (Special Teams Player of the Week for Sept. 5) and Ian Watts (Special Teams Player of the Week for Sept. 26) as Cowboys to earn the honor this season.