Laramie, Wyo. (Sept. 2, 2013) — Wyoming senior free safety Marqueston Huff was named Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance against Nebraska in the 2013 season opener for the Cowboys.
The native of Texarkana, Texas led Wyoming with 18 total tackles (eight solo tackles) as the Cowboys dropped a narrow 37-34 decision to No. 18 Nebraska on the road.
Huff forced one fumble against Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez in the fourth quarter and recovered it at the Wyoming 38-yard line. That turnover led to a Wyoming touchdown three plays later that pulled the Cowboys to within three points at 37-34 with 2:01 left to play in the game.
His 18 total tackles ties him for the nation’s lead. He is tied for second in the NCAA in forced fumbles (1) and tied for fifth in fumbles recovered (1). His eight solo tackles rank him ninth in the country. Huff was also credited with a pass breakup.
It is the second Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week honor for Huff. He also was named MW Defensive Player of the Week as a junior for his performance against UNLV when he forced a Rebel fumble at the one-yard line to save a touchdown and was credited with seven tackles.
The Mountain West named Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and place-kicker Colin McGuire as the Offensive and Special Teams’ Players of the Week.
Wyoming’s other nominees for Mountain West Players of the Week were junior quarterback Brett Smith from Salem, Ore. and freshman punter Ethan Wood from Colorado Springs, Colo.
Smith accumulated a career high 475 yards of total offense versus No. 18 Nebraska, before the largest crowd in Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium history. His 475 yards of total offense ranks as the fourth highest total ever recorded against a Nebraska defense.
Smith’s 475 yards were second most of any player in the nation this week (second only to Fresno State’s Carr, who had 480), and came on the road against a Top 25 ranked opponent in No. 18 Nebraska.
The junior led a Wyoming offense to 602 yards of total offense against Nebraska. The 602 yards of total offense ranks as the eighth highest total ever given up by a Nebraska team in its history.
Smith also broke the Mountain West Conference and University of Wyoming records for consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception. His streak ended with 183 pass attempts without an interception from 10-20-12 to 8-31-13). The previous MW and UW records were held by Wyoming’s Casey Bramlet (178 passes from 8-30-03 to 9-27-03)
Smith threw for 383 yards and rushed for 92 yards against NU. He also threw four TD passes versus the Huskers.
His Week 1 performance ranks him No. 2 in total offense in the nation (475 yards), No. 5 in points responsible for (24.0 points per game), No. 8 in passing yards (383), No. 25 in passing efficiency (168.3 rating) and No. 67 in rushing (92 yards).
True freshman Wood punted four times for a 52.2 yard average. He ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in punting average with his 52.2 average. Wood also placed two of his four punts inside the Nebraska 20-yard line. His other two punts went for touchbacks, resulting in no punt returns for Nebraska. Wood started his first college game on Saturday.