Senior defender brings home weekly conference honor
Following a clutch performance by the Cougars that sealed a 35-22 victory against the SMU Mustangs on Saturday, the American Athletic Conference announced Monday that senior safety Terrell Williams has been named AAC Defensive Player of the Week.
“It feels good, but overall I’m just happy to get the win with my team,” Williams said following the game. “Without them, I couldn’t have done any of that. They brought out the pressure and locked everyone else up, so without them I couldn’t have done anything.”
Interceptions by Williams ended each of the Mustangs’ final two possessions of the game.
With just minutes remaining and the SMU offense knocking on the door, the defense needed a defensive stop — or two — to prevent panic from sinking in. Clinging to a 13-point lead, Williams locked in and intercepted SMU quarterback Ben Hicks on the goal line to silence a 75-yard trip into Cougars’ territory.
A stalled drive immediately ended in a punt for the Cougars’ offense, allowing Hicks one last shot at a possible comeback. Williams had none of that, yet again intercepting the sophomore QB, this time at his own 6-yard line.
“I feel like we applied ourselves as a defense,” Williams said. “When they got in between the 20-yard line and the goal line, we stepped up. We knew it was time.”
Prior to the pair of takeaways, Williams had never recorded a game with multiple interceptions. Add in five tackles and a pass-breakup, the choice was clear who deserved to take home the all-conference honor.
Williams joins teammates Ed Oliver and Dane Roy as the only Cougars to take home weekly honors in 2017.