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Sunday, December 3, 2023


ICYMI: Two Cougars earn football’s top honors

Senior linebacker Steven Taylor was named AAC Defensive Player of the week for his performance on Thursday night. | Reagan Earnst/The Cougar

Senior linebacker Steven Taylor’s 5.5 sacks leads all players in NCAA football. | Reagan Earnst/The Cougar

Two members of the football team secured awards for their performances in Thursday night’s 40-16 win over the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.

The American Athletic Conference named senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and senior linebacker Steven Taylor as players of the week on Monday. The award is the second of the season so far for Ward, as he earned the honor on Sept. 5 for his play against the University of Oklahoma Sooners.

This award is the first of the year for Taylor.

Ward threw for 326 yards and a touchdown with just 12 incompletions on Thursday night. Even with a sore shoulder, the senior rushed a career-high 26 times and fought through his injury. Also rushing for 76 yards, the senior scored two touchdowns on the ground to seal the win in fourth quarter.

The victory marks the 16th consecutive win when Ward has started at quarterback.

On the defensive side, Taylor dominated the Bearcats offense by leading the team with nine tackles and two sacks. He now has recorded multiple sacks in five consecutive games, dating back to last season. The senior linebacker also returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown in the waning minutes of the game.

Taylor’s 5.5 sacks this season lead the nation.

The Cougars now have four conference Player of the Week honors through the first three weeks, as senior cornerback Brandon Wilson was also named Special Teams Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 5.

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