MTSU and UL-L Honorees

Due to some scheduling conflicts, we were unable to release our picks for the Cyber Game Ball last week in our win over MTSU. So, we're combining our picks for last week and this week in this article.

The struggles our team has endured this year have has been frustrating, especially so for the guys who put on the Silver and Gold week-after-week. These guys have worked as hard as any group before them, committing their springs, summers and countless hours during the season to our program.

The honors below are an attempt on our part to single out the guys who are making the biggest impact, despite our win/loss record. There are several players on this team who are among the very best in the conference, and are deserving of recognition on this site, at the very least.

Winners for the MTSU game
A week ago, our defense put up its most consistent effort for a complete game this season. As a result, they held a team below 20 points for the first time since the 2000 season. Granted, MTSU's quarterback was hobbled with a groin injury (they started a redshirt freshman, but he left the game in the 1st quarter due to a separated shoulder, and their other freshman quarterback left after 2 drives went no where). But, with him working out of a shot-gun formation we still applied enough pressure that he did little or no time to find a receiver. We gave up some big yards on occasion against one of the best running backs in our conference (Dwone Hicks), but flexed when we needed to. It was a solid all around defensive effort.

Offensively, the team looked unstoppable on the first drive, then became very hot and cold the rest of the day. They were, however, able to post enough points against a solid MTSU defense for the win.

Below are our picks for the game.

Honorable Mention:
The Idaho Defense

On a day that would require one of the best performances by our defense this season, the guys stood up to the challenge. In summary, with the game on the line, and our offense unable to budge in the second half, and some big miscues on special teams, these guys applied more heat than we've seen them bring all year. As a result, Brian Howard moved to the top of the SBC in tackles by a defensive lineman this year for a week. Redshirt freshman linebacker Mike Anderson had his best day as a Vandal, recording the second most tackles on the team and one quarterback sack. Junior linebacker Chad Kodama had an outstanding, one-on-one open field tackle on a screen play for a loss. And the list goes on. These guys did an outstanding job, from beginning to end.

The Cyber Game Ball Winners:
Jordan Kramer
, 6-2, 235, Sr, Strongside Linebacker
Blair Lewis, 5-11, 216, Sr, Running Back
The efforts of Jordan and Blair on this afternoon at The Dome were huge. Both of these hard-nosed seniors had a fantastic day statistically, and lead by emotion and example. Blair rushed for 228 yards on 24 carries for 2 touchdowns (including an exhilirating 81 yard touchdown burst). Jordan led the team with 12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack. Equally important within the realm of the Sun Belt, both moved to the top of their respective charts for a week. Blair became the Conference's leading rusher, averaging 94 yards per game. Jordan moved to the top of the Conference in tackles on the season, and was tied for second in quarterback sacks on the year. Both guys imprinted their marks as leaders on this team with these performances, and we congratulate both on their outstanding effort.
Jordan Kramer, 6-2, 235, Senior
Strongside Linebacker
Parma, Idaho
Blair Lewis, 5-11, 216, Senior
Arcadia, California

Winners for the Louisiana-Lafayette game
Saturday's game was a disappointment, for sure. In a steady downpour in the second half, our offense could only generate one touchdown (congratulations to senior wide receiver Eric Hunter on hauling in a TD pass for the second week in a row). The defense did a great job keeping the game winnable until the very end, as we led this contest until the final 49 seconds of the game. The guys recorded five quarterback sacks (senior defensive tackle Talifaia Atoe had 2 on the day), an interception, and scooped up a fumble. Junior middle linebacker Patrick Libey continues to be a quiet but steady force in the middle, leading the team today with 8 tackles overall, and is currently #2 tackler on the team overall. In short, this was a solid defensive effort all around.

Below are our picks for the game.

Honorable Mention:
Jordan Kramer
, 6-2, 235, Sr, Strongside Linebacker
The guy is all over the place, on every play. If he isn't in on the tackle, he's in the vacinity. On this day he would record his first interception of the season (returned 14 yards), had six tackles (5 solo), and is the #2 tackler in the conference behind North Texas linebacker Casey Taylor (Casey has 80 tackles and 1 sack on the season, Jordan has 79 tackles and 5 sacks on the season). We've needed a senior to step up this year, and Jordan is definitely leading the charge.

The Cyber Game Ball Winner:
Chad Kodama, 6-2, 235, Jr, Weakside Linebacker
This is as much given to Chad for his efforts in the game Saturday, as it is for his consistent performance all year. Chad worked exceptionally hard this off-season, and impressed the new defensive staff enough to be named the Weakside Linebacker starter for the first game. He's grown into the position all year, and has started every game. He's currently ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 43 on the year, including 5 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback sacks, an interception, and 1 pass breakup. Against the Cajuns he had 6 solo tackles and a quarterback sack. He will definitely be a force on our linebacking corp next fall.
Chad Kodama, 6-2, 235, Junior
Weakside Linebacker
Seattle, Washington

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