Wyoming's Brett Smith Receives National and MW Honors
Sept. 23, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith received accolades for his prolific performance over the weekend, as he was named the Co-National Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards, along with being tabbed as the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. The conference honor was announced by the MW office.
The player of the week nod is Smith's first such honor this year and the sixth of his career.
Smith enjoyed the greatest day ever by a Wyoming quarterback in the game against Air Force, accounting for a school record 511 yards of total offense, breaking the previous Wyoming single-game record of 482 yards set by Josh Wallwork in 1996 versus Idaho.
Smith's 511 yards of total offense is the second-best single-game total in the FBS this year - second only to Johnny Manziel's 562 yards versus Alabama. The 511 yards of total offense by Smith also ranks as the fourth most in a single game in Mountain West history.
The junior from Salem, Ore., completed a personal best 85.4 percent of his passes (35 of 41) versus the Falcons for 373 yards and threw four TD passes. He ended the day with a pass efficiency rating of 193.98. Over the course of his 35 pass completions on Saturday, he completed 10 straight at one point and had another streak of 11 straight completions later in the game.
Smith also rushed for 138 yards and one TD, and averaged 8.6 yards per carry on 16 carries.
Although a quarterback, Smith's 138 rushing yards were the second most in a single game by any Mountain West player, regardless of position, this season.
He becomes only the second player in Mountain West history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in a single game. The only other MW player to accomplish that was UNLV's Omar Clayton in 2007.
Smith threw four touchdown passes and ran for another, tying his career high of five TDs responsible for in a game.
He guided Wyoming to 622 yards of total offense as a team, which is the most by any Mountain West team this season.
After Air Force took a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game, Smith broke through the Falcon defense for a 74-yard run on Wyoming's first play from scrimmage, taking the ball down to the Air Force one-yard line. Smith later hit junior wide receiver Dominic Rufran on a seven-yard TD pass on that drive for Wyoming's first score. Smith would connect with Rufran for a 61-yard TD pass later in the quarter to put Wyoming up 14-10 at the end of the first period.
In the second quarter, Smith led Wyoming's offense to 28 points to open up the lead to 42-17 at half on way to a 56-23 win.
The 56 points were the most ever scored by a Wyoming team against Air Force, and were the Cowboys most points scored since 1997, when the Cowboys defeated Iowa State 56-10.
Smith was previously named the MW Player of the Week twice as a freshman in 2011 and three times as a sophomore in 2012.
Smith also received national recognition on Monday by being named the Co-National Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards. Smith received the honor following his performance versus Air Force this past Saturday. He shared this week's honor with Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage. Savage completed 23-of-33 passes for 424 yards and threw 6 touchdown passes in a 58-55 win over Duke. The six TD passes tied an ACC single-game record.
The Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week this week was junior defensive end Brock Hekking of Nevada. The MW Special Teams Player of the Week honor went to sophomore punter Logan Yunker of UNLV.
Wyoming's other nominees for MW Player of the Week this past week included Lucas Wacha, who was nominated for Defensive Player of the Week. Wacha led Wyoming with 10 total tackles versus Air Force, including six solo tackles and four assists. The true freshman helped Wyoming's defense hold the Falcons to only 23 points, with only six points being scored in the second half. For Wacha, the 10 tackles marked the second time during his true freshman season that he recorded double figures in tackles in a single game.
Freshman punter Ethan Wood was the Cowboys' nominee for Special Teams Player of the Week. Wood played a critical role in controlling field-position for Wyoming versus Air Force, punting three times for a 51.3 yard average. Wood's punts resulted in one -8 yard return by Air Force, improving Wyoming's net punting average as a team to 54.0 yards per punt. He placed one of his three punts inside the Falcons' 20-yard line. His long punt went for 58 yards, and his other two punts were 55 and 41 yards.
Wood also was recognized by the College Football Performance Awards, one of 10 punters in the nation to receive Honorable Mention Performer of the Week honors at punter. This week's CFPA National Punter Performer of the Week was Trevor Pardula of Kansas.