OGDEN, Utah (November 19, 2018) – The Big Sky Conference has announced its final ROOT SPORTS Player of the Week honors for the 2018 season. With a ton of thrillers throughout the season and this past week, the players honored shined for their teams. The ROOT SPORTS Offensive Player of the Week went to UC Davis’ Jake Maier and Eastern Washington’s Eric Barriere. Grant Collins of Montana State earned ROOT SPORTS Defensive Player of the Week accolades, while UC Davis’ Daniel Whelan and Montana State’s Jered Padmos ROOT SPORTS Special Teams Player of the Week accolades.
Maier helped UC Davis clinch a share of the Big Sky title and win the Causeway Classic with a 56-13 victory over Sacramento State. The junior quarterback completed 37 of 46 passes for a career-high 478 yards and no interceptions. Maier threw four touchdowns, ran for another two, and was directly responsible for 42 of the Aggies’ 56 points – the second-highest total out of the 65 Causeway Classics played.
Barriere was instrumental in Eastern Washington’s six touchdowns and 315 yards of offense in EWU’s 74-23 win at Portland State to clinch at least a share of the Big Sky title. He had 216 passing on 15-of-27 passing with five touchdowns and an efficiency rating of 176.5. He also rushed for a career-high 99 yards and a 66-yard TD on the third offensive play of the game.
Collins made key plays down the stretch to help Montana State to a thrilling 29-25 win over Montana in Missoula. The Bozeman native finished with a team-high 12 tackles, including 1.0 for a loss and 0.5 sacks. He forced two fumbles, recovering one. With a little over two minutes left to play, Collins knocked the ball out of the quarterback’s Sneed’s hands and recovered the fumble, to set up the scoring drive that gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game. Then, with the Grizzlies facing a second-and-goal from the MSU four, Collins helped stop Adam Eastwood short of the goal line to set up a third-and-goal with 14 seconds to play. On that game-winning play, the Cats knocked the ball out and recovered the fumble to secure the victory.
Whelan was an integral part of why the Hornets were limited to 13 points on the day. He helped keep Sacramento State as far away from its end zone all day. Whelan finished with 585 yards on nine punts and averaged 65.0 yards per kick. Whelan’s kicks held Sacramento State to zero punt return yards.
Padmos punted seven times in the Bobcats’ win on the road at Montana. He averaged 42.9 yards per punt and pinned the Grizzlies inside the 20-yard line four times. In helping MSU flip field position in the middle portion of the game, Padmos pinned Montana inside the five-yard line once in the second quarter and twice in the third. The Griz returned just one punt for seven yards. Montana’s average starting field position for the game was its own 27.