For the first time since joining the Big Sky Conference, the North Dakota football team had multiple players selected for the ROOT SPORTS weekly accolades. Junior linebacker Dayo Idowu (Dye-o E-dough-woo) was named the Defensive Player of the Week, while senior Alex Tillman was named the Special Teams Players of the Week in an announcement made by league officials on Monday.
Idowu equaled his career-high with eight tackles and his third-quarter interception led to UND's go-ahead touchdown drive in his team's 24-16 Homecoming win over Portland State. Idowu's pick came after he batted the ball in the air before catching it and advancing it 11 yards into Vikings' territory at the 46-yard line. The biggest of Idowu's tackles came on the game's final play when he stopped Nate Tago short of the goal line with the Vikings facing a 4th-and-goal from the four. He also added a 0.5 tackle for loss in the contest.
Tillman set a school record with a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown and the fourth-quarter scoring play put UND up by its final margin. He finished with two punt returns for 106 yards (51.5 ypr) and scored a return touchdown for the second time this season (92-yard INT return vs. Stony Brook; Sept. 20). He now owns the second longest punt return and INT return in the FCS this season and UND has now scored a non-offensive touchdown in four straight games.
Earlier this season, Tillman became the first UND player to earn the distinction after his return heroics in the 13-3 win over Stony Brook (Sept. 20). Tillman played his first three seasons at Houston of the Football Bowl Subdivision before transferring to UND for his final collegiate season.
Montana State's Dakota Prukup collected his second consecutive Offensive Player of the Week accolade after leading the Bobcats to a 77-37 victory over UC Davis. Prukup totaled 509 yards of offense (361 pass, 148 rush) and accounted for six touchdowns.
UND has a bye this week and will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 25 at Southern Utah.