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Sports

College Football: Wake Forest Demon Deacons Safety Nick Andersen is Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

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College Football: Wake Forest Demon Deacons Safety Nick Andersen is Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

2020-10-28 10:52:18

 

-Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Wake Forest safety Nick Anderson. (Image Source: Wake Forest Athletics)​ 

Freshman walk-on safety intercepts three passes in win over Virginia Tech    

DALLAS (FWAA) – Wake Forest safety Nick Andersen had three interceptions – one in his own end zone and another to seal the game – that led a standout defensive effort against one of the ACC's top offenses in a 23-16 win over No. 19 Virginia Tech. The walk-on true freshman added a career-high 11 tackles to earn the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Oct. 24, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

This is the second time for a Wake Forest player to earn the weekly honor and the first since 2005.

Andersen, a 5-11, 185-pounder from Clinton, Va., is the first Wake Forest player since 1987 to make three or more interceptions in a game and the fourth all-time. No ACC player has had three or more picks in a game since 2014.

The first interception for Andersen, a former regional qualifier in the high jump and part of Centerville High School's Class 6A state champion basketball team, came off a deflection in the end zone, diving to stop a Hokies drive just before halftime and Wake Forest nursing a seven-point lead. The second stopped another drive in Deacons territory in the third quarter and the third sealed the game near midfield in the final seconds to kill Tech's last game-tying threat.

Virginia Tech entered the game as the ACC's top rushing team (312 yards per game) and second-best in scoring (42.0 points). Andersen's game-high 11 tackles – nine of them solos – helped hold the Hokies to 210 rushing yards and 16 points, and kept Khalil Herbert, the nation's leading rusher by average, to less than half (64 yards on 14 carries) of his 148 yards per game.

Wake Forest's nine interceptions this season are tied for second in the FBS and Andersen's three immediately vault him into a tie for the national lead with 12 others. The Deacs' second-leading tackler with 33 stops and 21 solos who also has a fumble recovery is at the close of a banner month. In a 40-23 win over Virginia on Oct. 17, he registered nine tackles (six solo) and two pass break-ups.

The Demon Deacons play at Syracuse on Saturday.

Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy later this season. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2020 FWAA All-America Team.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

2020 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 5: Isaiah Kaufusi, LB, BYU
• Weekend of Sept. 12: Curtis Ryans, DE, Georgia Tech
• Weekend of Sept. 19: Tavante Beckett, LB, Marshall
• Weekend of Sept. 26: Jahron McPherson, S, Kansas State
• Weekend of Oct. 3: Bumper Pool, LB, Arkansas
• Weekend of Oct. 10: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
• Weekend of Oct. 17: Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas
• Weekend of Oct. 24: Nick Andersen, S, Wake Forest

 

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