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Nolan and Whatley earn C-USA Player of the Week honors

Duo played pivotal role in MT's overtime victory at FAU

September 23, 2013 · @MTAthletics

IRVING, Texas - Middle Tennessee's Dearco Nolan and Reggie Whatley earned Conference USA Playerof the Week honors for their standout performances at Florida Atlantic, as announced by the league office on Monday. 

Whatley was tabbed C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, while Nolan earned Defensive Player of the Week accolades.

Whatley racked up a career-best 154 yards with three touchdowns on 10 carries in the Raiders' thrilling 42-35 overtime win over the Owls. The Rome, Ga., product came off the bench to average 15.4 yards per carry on Saturday. He bolted 64 yards for a Blue Raider touchdown with just 1:32 left in the fourth quarter to give MT a touchdown advantage.

He also had TD runs of 19 and 15, while making a 33-yard run that set up a Middle Tennessee touchdown. In addition to his strong play at tailback, Whatley totaled 80 yards in two kickoff returns.

Nolan was an unstoppable force at Florida Atlantic. The Blue Raider defensive end gathered four tackles with a career-high three sacks, while forcing two fumbles in the victory.

The redshirt senior stripped the ball away from FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson at the MT 20 yardline to prevent an Owls touchdown late in the first half. The Atlanta product then sacked Johnson for a four yard loss on third down in overtime. That play forced the Owls into an all or nothing fourth down, which eventually sealed a Blue Raider victory.

The two honors are the first for Middle Tennessee in the C-USA era. Last season, Whatley was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Nov. 5, 2012 for his performance against WKU.

On Tuesday, the tandem were named Tennessee Sports Writers Association Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week. 

Middle Tennessee (3-1) returns to action this Friday, Sept. 27 with an 8 p.m. CT kickoff at BYU. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

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