Unga, Payne Named MWC Players of the Week

Unga, Payne Named MWC Players of the Week

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PROVO, Utah (Nov. 26, 2007) -- Playing critical rolls in No. 19 BYU's 17-10 win over in-state rival Utah, freshman running back Harvey Unga and freshman kicker Mitch Payne have been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively.

With 38 second remaining in the game, trailing 10-9, the freshman All-America candidate scored the most important touchdown of the season, and of his career -- a game-winning, 11-yard run to give the Cougars a 15-10 lead. (Max Hall completed a pass in the pass of the endzone to Austin Collie for the two-point conversion to give BYU a 17-10 lead.) Unga's game-winning touchdown helped BYU secure its second straight, outright Mountain West Conference Championship. Unga carried the ball 23 times for 141 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry against the Utes. During the game, Unga became the first freshman running back in BYU football history to record over 1,000 yards rushing in his first season. In addition, Unga was credited with his sixth 100-yard game of the year, including his third 100-yard performance against a Mountain West Conference opponent. Unga also had one reception for 27 yards, finishing the day with 168 total yards.

Payne, a freshman from North Ogden, Utah, connected on a career-best three field goals in the Cougars' victory. Payne's field goals of 22, 23 and 35 yards gave BYU a 9-3 advantage late into the fourth quarter. His three field goals marked the first time a BYU kicker has had three field goals in a game since BYU-'s double-overtime loss at Boston College last season.

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