Poppinga named MWC Defensive Player of the Week

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PROVO, Utah (November 12, 2007) -- Senior linebacker Kelly Poppinga has been named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high 17 tackles in the Cougars' 27-22 win over TCU on Thursday.

Poppinga's performance marked the most number of tackles by a BYU defender in a single game since Rob Morris registered 17 tackles against San Diego State during the 1998 season. Overall, the Evanston, Wyo., native was credited with seven solo and 10 assisted takedowns, a four-yard tackle for loss, a QB hurry and a 22-yard interception.

Holding a 17-9 lead early in the third quarter, Poppinga intercepted an Andy Dalton pass and returned it 22 yards to the TCU 3-yard line. One play later, Harvey Unga scored on a three-yard run, giving the Cougars' what would be the game-winning touchdown. The play marked Poppinga's first interception of the season.

Poppinga was most effective against the TCU rushing attack, recording 11 tackles on plays that had a net gain of five yards or less. (Nine stops were for four yards or less and six tackles were for three yards or less.) Poppinga leads the Cougars with 77 tackles, including 32 stops in the last two games.

Poppinga is the third BYU player to receive Mountain West Conference Player-of-the-Week honors this season. Freshman running back Harvey Unga and senior linebacker Bryan Kehl have previously earned the weekly honor.

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