DENVER - Nevada running back Vai Taua, New Mexico State defensive end Donte Savage and New Mexico State placekicker Tyler Stampler were named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively.
Taua, a senior from Lompoc, Calif. (Cabrillo HS), rushed for 196 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries in a 35-13 win over San Jose State. He scored his first touchdown on a one-yard run in the second quarter to give Nevada a 21-10 lead. He then ripped off a 73-yard run in the third and added a four-yard scoring run to close out the scoring in the fourth. It was his fifth straight game of rushing for at least 100 yards and the 22nd in his career. He also caught two passes for 18 yards in the game.
Savage, a junior from Portland, Ore. (Fork Union Prep), led New Mexico State with nine tackles, including four for a loss of 33 yards (2 sacks), forced two fumbles and broke up two passes in a 16-14 win over rival New Mexico. His second forced fumble came late in the game with New Mexico holding a 14-13 lead and was recovered by the Aggies leading to the eventual game-winning field goal.
Stampler, a sophomore from Davie, Fla. (Ventura College), hit three field goals in the win over New Mexico that snapped an 11-game losing streak for the Aggies. He made a 39- and 34-yarder in the first quarter and then hit the game-winner with 1:56 left from 22 yards out to become the first New Mexico State kicker to make three field goals in a game since Nov. 6, 2004.
Others nominated on offense: junior quarterback Kellen Moore, Boise State; senior slot receiver Greg Salas, Hawai'i; freshman wide receiver Tim Molton, Louisiana Tech; and sophomore running back Robert Clay, New Mexico State.
Also nominated on defense: junior defensive end Shea McClellin, Boise State; junior defensive tackle Logan Harrell, Fresno State; senior cornerback Jeramy Bryant, Hawai'i; junior linebacker Adrien Cole, Louisiana Tech; senior defensive end Dontay Moch, Nevada; and junior linebacker Bobby Wagner, Utah State.
Other special teams nominations included: sophomore punter Alex Dunnachie, Hawai'i; sophomore kick returner Mike Ball, Nevada; freshman kicker Harrison Waid, San Jose State; and senior kicker Peter Caldwell, Utah State.