Mountain West Announces 2011 Football All-Conference Teams and Individual Honors
Dec. 6, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2011 All-Mountain West football teams and individual award winners were announced today as voted on by the eight head coaches and select media panel. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was chosen as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, while TCU linebacker Tank Carder was named MW Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. TCU kick returner Greg McCoy earned the MW Special Teams Player of the Year award, while Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith was honored as Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Dave Christensen of Wyoming was selected as the MW Coach of the Year.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
KELLEN MOORE, SENIOR, QB, BOISE STATE
Moore is Boise State's first Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year award recipient.
Is the 10th quarterback since the inception of the league to be named MW Offensive Player of the Year.
Completed 300-of-405 passes for 3,507 yards and 41 touchdowns during the regular season, setting Boise State and Mountain West single-season records in completions and touchdowns, respectively. His completion percentage (.741) is also the highest single-season mark in program history. His completion percentage is also on pace to set the MW single-season record with only the bowl game remaining.
Ranks first in the Mountain West and fourth nationally in pass efficiency (176.8)
Ranks first in the MW and 12th in the FBS in passing yards per game (292.2). Also ranks first in the Mountain West and 19th nationally in total offense with an average of 286.8 yards per game.
Named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year four times in 2011 (Sept. 5, Sept. 19, Oct. 10, Oct. 23).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
TANK CARDER, SENIOR, LB, TCU
Carder is the fourth player in league history to win back-to-back Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors (Kirk Morrison, LB, San Diego State, 2003-04; Eric Weddle, DB, Utah, 2005-06; Jerry Hughes, LB, TCU, 2008-09).
Recorded 66 tackles (41 solo) though 12 games this season.
Notched two interceptions (both for touchdowns) and 4.5 tackles for loss (-10 yards) in the regular season. Also has registered four pass breakups during his senior campaign.
Named MW Defensive Player of the Week once in 2011 (Nov. 20).
Anchors a TCU defense that is ranked 29th in the nation in rushing defense (126.1 yards per game), 30th in scoring defense (21.25 points per game), 32nd in total defense (346.3 yards per game) and 56th in pass defense (220.2 yards per game).
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
GREG MCCOY, SENIOR, KR, TCU
McCoy's honor marks the third straight year a TCU player has earned the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year award since the inception of the award in 2006. (Jeremy Kerley, PR/KR, 2009-10). McCoy is also the third non-kicker since 2006 to capture the accolade.
Leads the MW and ranks fourth nationally with a kick return average of 31.6. Has recorded 915 total yards on 29 kick returns and two touchdowns. The two kick returns for touchdowns tie the MW single-season record and came on a 94-yard return against Louisiana-Monroe and a 99-yard return against UNLV.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
BRETT SMITH, QB, WYOMING
Smith is the second Wyoming player to earn Mountain West Freshman of the Year accolades in program history (QB Austin Carta-Samuels in 2009). Also is the third Poke to earn conference freshman of the year accolades in school history (OL Steve Scrifes claimed the league award in 1993).
Ranks second in the Conference and 31st nationally in total offense (261.7 yards per game). He also ranks No. 4 in the MW and 54th in the NCAA in passing yards (207.9 yards per game) in 2011.
Set new Mountain West freshman single-season record with 3,140 yards of total offense, surpassing former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton (2,691 yards in 2007). Smith is fifth on Wyoming's single-season list for total offense.
Has had five, 300-yard games in terms of total offense this season (338 vs. Weber State, 309 vs. Texas State, 304 at Bowling Green, 365 vs. San Diego State and 352 vs. New Mexico).
Is third on the Mountain West Freshman Passing Yards list with 2,495 yards. He needs 168 yards in the bowl game to set a new MW freshman single-season record.
Is currently averaging 53.8 rushing yards per game (645 total rushing yards).
Has posted a combined 28 touchdowns in 2011 (18 passing, 10 rushing).
COACH OF THE YEAR
DAVE CHRISTENSEN, WYOMING
Led Wyoming to an 8-4 regular-season record and a 5-2 mark in Mountain West play.
Led Wyoming to its most wins in 13 years (since the Cowboys had eight victories in 1998).
Improved the Pokes' record from 3-9 in 2010 to 8-4 in 2011, and secured Wyoming's second bowl appearance in the last three years. Wyoming had not appeared in two bowl games in a three-year span since 1988-90 (1988 Holiday Bowl, 1990 Copper Bowl).
Wyoming's five Mountain West victories this season tie a program record. The Cowboys went 5-3 in league play in 2006.
Christensen is Wyoming's first MW Coach of the Year recipient since the league's inception in 1999. The last Cowboy coach to earn a conference coach of the year honor was Joe Tiller in 1996.
Six student-athletes were repeat first-team all-Conference selections, including New Mexico LB Carmen Messina (2009), San Diego State RB Ronnie Hillman (2010), LB Miles Burris (2010), DB Leon McFadden (2010) and P Brian Stahovich (2010) and TCU LB Tank Carder (2010).
Boise State senior OL Nate Potter and San Diego State sophomore RB Ronnie Hillman were unanimous first-team selections. Hillman is the fifth sophomore to earn first-team running back accolades (Cecil Sapp, Colorado State, 2000; DonTrell Moore, New Mexico, 2003; Rodney Ferguson, New Mexico, 2006; Ed Wesley, TCU, 2010). He is also the first Aztec running back to earn first-team all-MW accolades in back-to-back seasons in league history.
Air Force senior OL A.J. Wallerstein, New Mexico senior LB Carmen Messina, San Diego State sophomore TE Gavin Escobar and TCU sophomore DL Stansly Maponga are all first-team selections in 2011 after being second-team honorees in 2010.
TCU has claimed a first-team kick returner honoree in each of its seven years as a member of the Mountain West (Greg McCoy, 2011; Jeremy Kerley, 2008-09-10; Brian Bonner, 2006-07; Cory Rodgers, 2005).
San Diego State senior Brian Stahovich is the third punter to earn first-team all-MW honors in at least two consecutive seasons (Louie Sakoda, Utah, 2007-08; Matt Payne, BYU, 2002-04). Last season, Stahvoich became the first SDSU punter to receive first-team honors in Mountain West history.
Josh Boyce is the first TCU wide receiver to earn first-team honors in Conference history. Boyce is also the third sophomore to earn first-team wide receiver accolades (David Anderson, Colorado State, 2003; Ryan McGuffey, Wyoming, 2001).
Gavin Escobar is the second San Diego State tight end selected to the first team in MW history (Gray McNeill, 1999).
TCU has had at least two first-team offensive lineman honorees for three consecutive years.
Of the 50 first and second-team selections, 31 were seniors, 9 juniors, 9 sophomores and one freshman. The first team had 17 seniors, three juniors and five sophomores.
New Mexico's Deon Long is the first freshman to earn second-team wide receiver accolades since the inception of the Mountain West in 1999. UNLV's Ryan Wolfe is the only freshman to garner first-team wide receiver honors in 2006.