BIG SKY CONFERENCE PRESS RELEASE
OGDEN, Utah (Sept. 10, 2018) – The Big Sky Conference has announced its ROOT SPORTS Players of the Week. Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gurbrud has been named the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week. For the second week in a row, Montana linebacker Dante Olson has picked up Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week honors, while UC Davis punter Daniel Whelan earned Big Sky Special Teams accolades.
Gubrud, a senior for the Eagles, led Eastern Washington to a 31-26 win over Northern Arizona on the road. Gubrud had 402 yards of total offense – 322 passing and 80 rushing – in EWU’s victory. He completed 18-of-33 passes and had four touchdowns and no interceptions, as he finished with his 13th game with at least 400 yards of total offense.
Olson came up big for the Griz in their 48-16 win over Drake at home. He recorded 11 tackles in the first half and finished with 16 tackles, a Big Sky best this season. Olson also tallied 3.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a pass breakup, and two sacks.
“That’s a pretty big day,” said head coach Bobby Hauck following Saturday’s game. “He’s obviously off to a great start to the season. We need him to be that guy.”
Olson’s 16 tackles were by far the most of any defender in the Big Sky on week two, with the closest competitors notching 12 takedowns (Landon Stice of Weber State and Keifer Glau of UNC). His two sacks tied for the most of any other player in the league this season as well.
His combined 29 tackles on the year rank him at No. 3 in the FCS and No. 1 in the league, averaging 1.45 takedowns per game. His three total sacks on the year rank him at No. 6 nationally and No. 1 in the Big Sky as well. He’s also nationally ranked at No. 11 in tackles for loss, putting him at No. 2 in the Big Sky.
Whelan’s superb punting skills on Saturday helped lift UC Davis to a 2-0 start this season and a 54-21 win over San Diego. He recorded seven punts for 285 yards, including a career-long of 58 yards. San Diego never crossed its 37-yard line at any point of the first half. In addition to pinning the Toreros inside the 20 on three of his seven punts, one Torero drive started on the one-yard-line with another starting on the seven. For the 22 minutes of game time, USD’s average drive start was the nine-yard-line.
Other Nominees for ROOT SPORTS Offensive Player of the Week: Josh Davis, WSU; Chris Helbig, SUU; Jerry Louie-McGee, UM; Bryant Perkinson, SAC; Charlie Taumoepeau, PSU; David Ungerer; UI, Alex Wesley, UNC.
Other Nominees for ROOT SPORTS Defensive Player of the Week: Dorian Clark, UI; Dylan Ledbetter, UI; Adam Rodriguez, WSU; Vincent White, UCD;
Other Nominees for ROOT SPORTS Special Teams Player of the Week: Roldan Alcobendas, EWU; Manny Berz, SUU; Malik Flowers, UM; David Ungerer; UI,
The first ROOT SPORTS Game of the Week will be on Sept. 22 when Montana hosts Sacramento State at 1 p.m. MT in Missoula.