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Utes' Johnson MWC offensive player of the week



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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Brian Johnson (Utah), Ward Dobbs (Wyoming) and Deante' Purvis (UNLV) are Mountain West Conference Players of the Week for games through Nov. 9. Johnson claims Offensive Player of the Week honors, while Dobbs garners the Defensive Player award and Purvis receives Special Teams recognition. This marks the third and second career weekly awards for Johnson and Dobbs, respectively. Purvis is a first-time weekly award winner.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

BRIAN JOHNSON, UTAH
Senior, Quarterback, Baytown, Texas/Robert E. Lee HS

Brian Johnson completed 24-of-39 passes without an interception for 230 yards and the game-winning touchdown in leading No. 9 Utah to a 13-10 victory over No. 11 TCU.

With the Utes trailing 10-6 and 2:48 left to play in the game, the senior quarterback engineered an 80-yard scoring drive over a 2:06 span by completing seven of his last nine passes for 65 yards and a 9-yard touchdown strike to Freddie Brown.

Johnson produced four first downs during the final drive, including a critical 11-yard pass to Brown on fourth and five at the TCU 26 yard line. A native of Baytown, Texas, Johnson also rushed for 10 yards to finish with 240 yards of total offense.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

WARD DOBBS, WYOMING
Senior, Linebacker, Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley HS

Ward Dobbs recorded a game-high 13 tackles, including eight solo stops, and one interception return for touchdown to help Wyoming post a 13-7 non-conference road victory over Tennessee.

Dobbs, a product of Fairbanks, Alaska, also recorded four tackles for loss (-11 yards) and a sack (-8 yards) as part of his defensive effort. With Wyoming leading 7-0 midway through the second quarter, the senior linebacker stepped in front of a Tennessee pass at the Vols' 24-yard line and returned it for the score to put the Cowboys on top 13-0.

Dobbs' first career interception return for a touchdown proved to be the difference in the game as a third-quarter Tennessee score narrowed the gap to 13-7. On the Vols' final possession of the game, Tennessee had a first and 10 on the Wyoming 39-yard line. Dobbs sacked UT quarterback Jason Crompton for an eight-yard loss back to the UT 47 and three plays later, the Vols turned the ball over on downs, securing the Wyoming victory.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

DEANTE' PURVIS, UNLV
Freshman, Kick Returner, Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley HS

Deante' Purvis blocked a punt and recorded 140 return yards as UNLV snapped a five-game losing streak with a 27-20 victory over New Mexico.

The true freshman from Pinole, Calif., registered the longest return by a Rebel since 2004 in the second quarter when he brought a Lobo kickoff back 55 yards. In the fourth quarter, with UNLV holding on to a 20-17 lead and New Mexico punting at midfield, Purvis blocked Adam Miller's attempt. UNLV wide receiver Rodelin Anthony picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone for what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown after New Mexico scored a late field goal.

It was the first blocked punt for UNLV this season and the first returned for a score since 2006.

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