Dunlap, Purvis Both Earn MW Honors
Oct. 31, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - After having no Mountain West weekly honorees through the first half of the football season, UNLV got two on Monday as defensive end James Dunlap and kickoff returner Deante' Purvis were both named by the league.
It marked the first time UNLV football had earned more than one player-of-the-week honor in the same week since Sept. 24, 2007, when running back Frank "The Tank" Summers and linebacker Beau Bell took home the awards on their respective sides of the ball following a 27-0 blanking of Utah.
Dunlap, a senior defensive end from Pasadena, Calif., turned in a career day in the Rebels' 38-35 victory over Colorado State on Saturday and was named MW Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. He was the first Rebel to earn conference defensive honors since linebacker Jason Beauchamp was picked on Oct. 26, 2009.
Dunlap, a former junior-college transfer, contributed 4.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, a career-high seven total tackles (five solo) and forced a fumble vs. the Rams. He currently ranks third in the MW and 33rd in the nation with 1.29 TFL per game and is tied for fifth in the league with 4.5 sacks in 2011. He shared this week's award with TCU safety Jonathan Anderson, who had 17 total tackles and an interception in the Horned Frogs' victory over BYU on Friday.
Purvis, a senior defensive back and special teams standout from Pinole, Calif., totaled 202 yards on five kickoff returns (40.4-yard average) in the victory en route to earning MW Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Purvis, who also won the award on Nov. 10, 2008, became the first Rebel to earn the special teams nod since KOR Marcus Sullivan was tabbed on Nov. 29, 2010.
Purvis' 98-yard return for a touchdown in the first quarter swung the momentum back to the Rebels after CSU had taken the lead on a defensive score. The return was the second-longest in school history and the second KOR for a score of his career. Purvis also had three other returns longer than 26 yards on the day, which helped him become the league's all-time leader in both kick returns (88) and kickoff return yardage (2,110). He leads all returners in the MW this season with a 28.47-yard average.