Northern Illinois University defensive end Sutton Smith has earned Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week honors for the second time this season, following his performance in NIU’s 24-21 Homecoming victory over Ohio.
Smith continues to make huge plays for the Huskie defense and on Saturday versus Ohio, came up with one of the biggest plays of the game with a strip sack and fumble recovery to set up NIU’s game-winning touchdown in a 24-21 victory. After NIU scored to trim Ohio’s led to 21-16, Smith sacked Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke, stripping the ball in the process, and then fell on the ball to give the Huskies possession at its 47-yard line. The fumble recovery was Smith’s second of the game.
A native of St. Charles, Mo., Smith had two sacks for minus 18 yards and 2.5 tackles for loss among his five total tackles in the game. Smith has three strip sacks-forced fumbles on the season, seven sacks, which ranks 10th nationally, and 13 tackles for loss, ranked fourth nationally. He leads the MAC in both categories.
Smith earned the same award earlier this season following his game against Utah, while NIU linebacker Antonio Jones-Davis also earned MAC West Defensive Player of the Week following his play in the Huskies’ overtime win at Eastern Michigan.