Nancy Yasharoff, Senior Associate Commissioner
New Orleans – The Sun Belt announced its football honors for Week 14 of the season on Monday.
Defensive Player of the Week
Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina
(Jr, Bandit – Durham, N.C.)
Redshirt junior Jeffrey Gunter played a key role in a balanced defensive attack that held the high-powered BYU offense to just 17 points. It was a season-low for the Cougars who were averaging 47.6 points per game which ranked fourth nationally. Gunter was one of six Chanticleers with five tackles or more in the win finishing with six tackles, one tackle-for-loss, a forced a fumble, plus a quarterback hurry. Saturday night’s win over No. 8 BYU is Coastal Carolina’s best ever victory in terms of the opponent’s FBS ranking. The win was the Chants’ second-ever over a top-25 nationally-ranked opponent with both wins coming this year (30-27 win over then-No. 21 Louisiana on Oct. 14.) The Chants’ 10-0 start is the best start by any football team in Sun Belt Conference history.
Offensive Player of the Week
Corey Rucker, Arkansas State
(Fr, WR – Yazoo City, Miss.)
Wide receiver Corey Rucker broke the NCAA FBS record for single-game receiving yards by a freshman during Arkansas State’s 48-15 victory over ULM, recording a career-high nine receptions for a school-record 310 yards and four touchdowns. The Red Wolves piles up 511 passing yards which is the third highest mark in program history. Rucker’s 310 yards were also the second most in Sun Belt Conference history and the most by an FBS player since 2016. The true freshman’s four touchdown catches tied the school record and tied the second most ever by a Sun Belt Conference player. Each of Rucker’s four scoring receptions covered at least 30 yards and two went for at least 55. The Yazoo City, Miss. native also had a career-long reception of 69 yards, and averaged 34.4 yards per catch for the fifth-best average in Sun Belt history.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern
(So, PR – McDonough, Ga.)
In a scoreless game in the second quarter, Georgia Southern’s Khaleb Hood fielded an FAU punt just inside the 50 yard line and returned it 49 yards for the sophomore’s first career touchdown. The Eagles went on to beat Florida Atlantic 20-3 improving their record to 7-4 including a perfect 6-0 at home.
SBC Weekly Honors Season recap:
Offensive Player of the Week
Sept. 7 Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
Sept. 14 Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State
Sept. 21 Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
Sept. 28 Daetrich Harrington, App State
Oct. 5 Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
Oct. 12 Gunnar Watson, Troy
Oct. 19 Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State
Oct. 26 Kawaan Baker, South Alabama &
Zac Thomas, App State
Nov. 2 Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
Nov. 9 Cornelious Brown IV, Georgia State
Nov. 16 Levi Lewis, Louisiana
Nov. 23 Brady McBride, Texas State
Nov. 30 Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
Dec. 7 Corey Rucker, Arkansas State
The 2020 Sun Belt Conference Football Championship Game, which will pit West Division champs Louisiana vs. East Division champion – and host – Coastal Carolina, will be held on Saturday, December 19 at noon ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.