Philadelphia, PA – The nation's best.
Indiana State running back Shakir Bell, Monmouth linebacker Dan Sullivan, Samford running back/kick returner Fabian Truss, Cal Poly place-kicker/punter Bobby Zalud and South Dakota State linebacker T.J. Lally have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week 3 for games ending Sept. 15.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Shakir Bell, Indiana State, Junior, 5-8, 185, RB, Indianapolis, Ind.
Bell rushed for 349 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries as the Sycamores took down Drake, 27-10, at home. The junior set a Missouri Valley Conference rushing record and topped his prior school record by nearly 100 yards (set last year versus Youngstown State with 256 rushing yards). It was the eighth-highest single-game rushing effort in FCS history and the highest in all of Division I this year. Bell also caught two passes for 27 yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dan Sullivan, Monmouth, Junior, 6-2, 235, LB, Manasquan, N.J.
In his team's Northeast Conference opener, Sullivan led a Hawks defense which forced three turnovers and totaled six sacks on the day in a 38-17 victory over Wagner. The junior finished with 3 1/2 sacks, 4 1/2 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two quarterback hurries and a team-leading nine tackles. Wagner was limited to 145 total yards, including 54 net yards rushing and only nine first downs.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Fabian Truss, Samford, Junior, 5-9, 190, RB/KR, Birmingham, Ala.
Truss had one of the biggest plays of the game in Samford's 43-23 win at Gardner-Webb. After Gardner Webb pulled within 21-17 midway through the third quarter, the junior took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a comfortable cushion before they pulled away with the win. Truss finished with three returns for 146 yards and now leads the nation with a 38.3- yard average. He completed the game with four total touchdowns and 262 all- purpose yards.
Bobby Zalud, Cal Poly, Junior, 5-7, 190, PK/P, Carlsbad, Calif.
Cal Poly scored its only points of the fourth quarter on Zalud's 51-yard field goal, which proved to be the game-winner as the Mustangs took down Wyoming, 24-22. Cal Poly earned its fourth win against an FBS school since 2003 and moved to 2-0 on the season. The junior, who also handles punting and kickoff duties, punted eight times for an average of 42 yards and had a long of 62 yards. All but one of his five kickoffs went for a touchback.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
T.J. Lally, South Dakota State, R-Freshman, 6-0, 225, LB, Chicago, Ill.
As the Jackrabbits posted a 12-8 victory over UC Davis in his first career home start, Lally set the tone for a SDSU defense which didn't give up a touchdown and held the Aggies to just 1.7 yards per carry. The redshirt freshman came away with four sacks - the most by a Jackrabbits player in the Division I era - and 10 tackles, all of which were solo. He also recovered a fumble in the Aggies' final offensive series to seal the win. UC Davis never passed the Jackrabbits' 25-yard line throughout the game.