Sept. 2 Football Players of the Week
Sep 2, 2013
A pair of performers that set multiple school records highlight this week's Conference USA Football Players of the Week. East Carolina junior QB Shane Carden has been named the Offensive Player of the Week after setting new ECU records for completions and yards, while being one of five FBS quarterbacks to throw five touchdowns during opening weekend. The Defensive Player of the Week honor went to North Texas senior LB Zach Orr, who had double-digit tackles and a hand in multiple forced turnovers as the Mean Green held Idaho to six points. The Special Teams Player of the Week award went to UAB junior KR Jamarcus Nelson, who had the most all-purpose yards in the FBS with 367. C-USA Football Players of the Week are voted on by a panel of the league's media.
Carden established new single-game school records with 447 passing yards and 46 completions, while matching a program-best with five touchdown throws to lead East Carolina to a 52-38 non-conference victory over Old Dominion. In all, he completed 46-of-54 attempts (85.2 percent) without an interception to record his second career 400-yard passing effort, his fifth 300-plus and ninth 200-plus game. Twenty-one (21) of Carden's 46 completions went for 10 or more yards and he opened the contest by completing his first nine passes (and 15-of-16). In his last two games at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (including season finale vs. Marshall in 2012), he has completed 84-of-101 passes for 886 yards and eight TDs. Carden has accounted for 37 of 51 offensive TDs as the Pirates' top quarterback dating back to last year and has converted 54-of-57 red zone opportunities while under center - including a current run of 42-straight conversions (6-of-6 vs. ODU on Saturday). This is his fourth career Offensive Player of the Week honor after earning it three times last season.
Orr led all defenders with 11 tackles and added one quarterback sack and one tackle for loss in the Mean Green's 40-6 win over Idaho. Orr also forced and recovered a fumble and had one pass break-up. The senior was the leader of a defense that held Idaho scoreless for the last 58 minutes of the game. The North Texas defense allowed just 124 total yards of offense in the second half, including 24 on the ground.
Nelson set a UAB record for the longest kickoff return in history as he went the distance for 97 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter of the Blazers' 34-31 overtime loss at Troy Saturday. He also set a UAB single-game mark for all-purpose yards with 367, the most of any FBS player opening weekend. Nelson totaled 168 kickoff yards on four returns to average 42.0 yards, while registering 199 receiving yards. Nelson's kickoff return average was seventh-best nationally and No. 1 in Conference USA among kick return specialists last weekend. The kickoff return for a touchdown was UAB's first since the 2011 season.