DALLAS (FWAA) – Tulsa linebacker Zaven
Collins picked off an SMU pass with just over a minute
left to seal another Golden Hurricane comeback, this one a 21-point
rally in the second half for a 28-24 win over the No. 19 Mustangs.
Collins had six tackles, two tackles for losses and a sack to earn
the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week
honor for games in the weekend of Nov. 14, as selected by the
Football Writers Association of America.
This is the first time for a Tulsa player to earn this weekly
Collins, a 6-4, 260-pound junior from Hominy, Okla., led a defensive
effort that held an SMU offense that entered the game eighth in
the nation in total offense (526.3 ypg) to just 351 yards, and more
importantly shut the Mustangs out in the second half giving up only
165 yards in the final two quarters while its offense mounted the
comeback. The win marked the first time in school history that Tulsa
has defeated two ranked teams in the same season; it also took down
No. 11 UCF on the road Oct. 3.
Collins' interception at midfield with 1:29 left clinched the
win that kept the Golden Hurricane undefeated in the American Athletic
Conference. He leads the conference in interceptions per game (0.60)
and has three interceptions and 10.0 tackles for loss this season.
In five games thus far, including three against top-25 opponents
(Oklahoma State, UCF and SMU), Collins has 24 solo tackles among
his 33 total stops and 10 TFL's for minus-45 yards and four sacks.
He took back one of his three interceptions for a 38-yard touchdown
at USF and the 2018 FWAA Freshman All-American has been named The
American's Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.
Tulsa, nationally-ranked in the AP poll (25th) for the first
time since 2010, hosts Tulane at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday on ESPN.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected
a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists
for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Dec. 9. The national defensive
player of the year will announced on Dec. 22 and chosen from those
finalists who are part of the 2020 FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since
1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary
two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated
college football then became a star for professional football's
Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter
member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of
America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college
football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and
publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve
the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations,
major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for
the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional
football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and
services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship,
scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised more than $2 million to
benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information,
contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
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2020 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 5: Isaiah Kaufusi, LB, BYU
Weekend of Sept. 12: Curtis Ryans, DE, Georgia Tech
Weekend of Sept. 19: Tavante Beckett, LB, Marshall
Weekend of Sept. 26: Jahron McPherson, S, Kansas State
Weekend of Oct. 3: Bumper Pool, LB, Arkansas
Weekend of Oct. 10: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Weekend of Oct. 17: Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas
Weekend of Oct. 24: Nick Andersen, S, Wake Forest
Weekend of Oct. 31: Joseph Ossai, DE/LB, Texas
Weekend of Nov. 7: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Weekend of Nov. 14: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Weekend of Nov. 21: Blake Gallagher, LB, Northwestern
Weekend of Nov. 28: Nate Landman, LB, Colorado
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)
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