Maka Earns Mountain West Honor|
Sept. 24, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV junior linebacker Tani Maka (Long Beach, Calif.) has been named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.
The graduate of Jordan High School is the first Rebel linebacker in three years to earn the honor after posting 10 total tackles and recovering a key fumble to help his team defeat Air Force 38-35 on Saturday.
Maka had stops that led to a pair of turnovers on downs in the first half and then, with the Falcons driving to increase their 28-17 lead in the third quarter, teammate Kenny Brown forced a rare Air Force fumble that Maka grabbed out of the air. It marked the first turnover of the season for the Falcons and the Rebels used the momentum change to drive down for a touchdown of their own that pulled them to within 28-24.
The last time a UNLV linebacker earned the league's weekly award was Jason Beauchamp Oct. 26, 2009.
Nevada, Reno running back Stefphon Jefferson and Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith were named MW Co-Offensive Players of the Week while New Mexico kicker Justus Adams got the nod for special teams.