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Penny becomes first player in MW history to win two weekly awards in same week


Photo:  Rashaad Penny (pictured) was named both the MW Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week, while Noble Hall was the MW Defensive Player of the Week.  Courtesy

September 11, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego State football team swept the Mountain West weekly awards after a 30-20 victory at Arizona State on Saturday, the league announced Monday. Senior Rashaad Penny (Norwalk, Calif.) became the first player in MW history to win two of the three awards in a single week, capturing both the offensive and special teams award, while junior Noble Hall (Las Vegas) picked up the MW Defensive Player-of-the-Week award.

It is just the eighth time in the 19-year history of the league that a team has swept the weekly awards (excluding co-players) and the league-record third by the Aztecs (also Oct. 23, 2000 - Derrick Lewis (offense), Jomar Butler (defense) and Nate Tandberg (special teams) and Nov. 2, 2015 - Donnel Pumphrey (offense), Damontae Kazee (defense) and Donny Hageman (special teams)).

Penny rushed 18 times for a career-high 216 yards (12.0 avg.) and a touchdown, while adding four catches for 38 yards and a touchdown, and a 99-yard kick return for a score. Penny, who yesterday was named the Walter Camp FBS Offensive Player of the Week, became the first player in FBS this season with at least one rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown and one kick return score in the same game.

Penny’s 353 all-purpose yards (216 rushing, 99 kick return and 38 receiving) are the most in a FBS game this season (second is 272), third most in SDSU single-game history, only trailing Marshall Faulk’s 422 vs. Pacific on Sept. 14, 1991 and Darnay Scott’s 354 against UTEP on Oct. 17, 1992, and rank as the fifth most in Mountain West history. The 216 rushing yards are also the fifth most in a game this season in FBS play.

Penny’s first score was a 95-yard rushing touchdown to put San Diego State up 7-0 in the first quarter, which is the longest rushing play in FBS this season, third-longest rushing play in program history and longest since a 99-yard run by Ronnie Hillman vs. Wyoming on Oct. 29, 2011. He later added a 99-yard kick return touchdown in the second quarter to put the Aztecs up, 14-7, tied for the fifth-longest kick return in FBS this season and tied for the seventh-longest kick return in program history. It extended his school record with his sixth career KR score. Penny finished his scoring with a 33-yard touchdown catch from Christian Chapman in the third to give SDSU a 27-14 advantage.

Penny, who last Monday was named the MW Offensive Player of the Week for the first time, became the 11th player in SDSU history with multiple 200-yard rushing games, recording his seventh career 100-yard rushing game (all over the past 12 games). Penny now has 18 career rushing touchdowns and 29 overall touchdowns (also six kick return and five receiving), and 25 touchdowns (17 rushing, four receiving and four kick return) over his last 20 games. Penny, whose six career kick return touchdowns are also the most among active FBS players and one shy of a NCAA record, moved into 17th place on San Diego State’s all-time rushing list, now with 1,821 yards.

Penny was also named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for his outstanding versatility against Arizona State and as a CFPA Honorable Mention National Performer of the Week.

Hall, meanwhile, picked up his first career defensive honor, the first by an Aztec since Malik Smith won the weekly award on Nov. 30, 2015, the first by a SDSU defensive lineman since Jerome Long on Sept. 13, 2011 and just the third San Diego State defensive lineman to win the award in the MW era (since 1999). Hall set career highs in every category against the Sun Devils, registering five tackles (four solo), 1.5 sacks for 13 yards, 2.5 tackles for loss for 20 yards and two forced fumbles. The two forced fumbles are tied for the most in a FBS game this season as he helped limit the high-powered ASU offense to just 44 rushing yards on 31 carries (1.4 avg.).

On the season, Hall has nine tackles (seven solo), 4.5 tackles for loss for 26 yards, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Among the NCAA FBS leaders, Hall ranks in a tie for second in forced fumbles per game (1.00) and in a tie for 11th in tackles for loss per game (2.25).