Blue Raiders sweep SBC football awards

Trio becomes first to sweep since 2001

October 30, 2006 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee pulled a sweep of the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week awards for the first time since 2001 as announced by the league office today. Quarterback Clint Marks was the SBC Offensive Player of the Week, while Damon Nickson brought home the defensive award, and Colby Smith earned the special teams honor.

The Blue Raiders swept the awards in back-to-back weeks in 2001 (Sept. 24 and Oct. 1) for the only other time the feat has been accomplished.

In the road win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Marks completed 19 of 26 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown. It went down as the seniors' 17th 200-yard passing game of his career and the third of the season. Marks, who also scored a rushing touchdown, hit eight different receivers and had five passes of 20 or more yards.

Defensively, Nickson became the first player in school history and the Sun Belt Conference to register four interceptions in a game when he turned in the rare effort in the 34-20 win over the Ragin' Cajuns. The Milton, Fla., native did more than intercept passes as he collected six tackles, a forced fumble, averaged 29.5 yards on two kickoff returns, and had a 14-yard punt return. Nickson also earned the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday.

For the second time this season, senior Colby Smith was voted the Special Teams Player of the week after another solid effort in the win at ULL. As a placekicker, Smith scored 10 points and hit both field goal attempts to run his season total to 38 points. In the punting department, Smith boomed five punts for a 46.4-yard average and placed two inside the 20-yard line.

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