Fresno State linebacker Jeffrey Allison, who had 14 tackles, one sack and a fourth-quarter fumble recovery in the Bulldogs’ victory over BYU, was honored on Monday as the Mountain West defensive player of the week.
It is the second weekly honor for Allison, who is averaging 8.9 tackles per game, first on the team and ninth in the conference
The sack and the fumble recovery by Allison played large in securing the Bulldogs’ sixth victory this season and bowl eligibility for the first time since 2014.
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BYU was on a 15-play, 64-yard drive in the second quarter and closing on the red zone when on a third-and-10 Allison chased down quarterback Beau Hoge for a 5-yard loss, forcing the Cougars to settle for a field goal.
Hoge stepped up and away from pressure coming inside from defensive tackles Nate Madsen and Malik Forrester and outside from defensive end Tobenna Okeke, and as he broke to his right Allison disengaged from a blocker and took Hoge down.
In the fourth quarter, having preserved a seven-point lead with two stops already, Allison and the Bulldogs’ defense came up with a third.
On a first-down play from the 5-yard line, Hoge hit Matt Bushman for a 20-yard gain but safety Mike Bell separated the BYU tight end from the football with a solid strike. The ball popped into the air and Allison was able to close and capture it before it hit the ground.
Honored with Allison were San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny as the offensive player of the week and Wyoming kicker Cooper Rothe as the special teams player of the week.
Allison, who was honored by the conference Oct. 23 after racking up 10 tackles including nine solo and forcing a key fumble in the Bulldogs’ victory at San Diego State, is the first Fresno State player to earn two defensive player of the week awards in a season since All-American safety Phillip Thomas in 2012.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada