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North Dakota wide receiver Greg Hardin, Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney, Duquesne linebacker Dorian Bell, Lehigh defensive back/specialist Laquan Lambert and Jacksonville State defensive back Jermaine Hough have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week 8 for games ending Oct. 20.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Greg Hardin, North Dakota, Junior, 5-11, 167, WR, Bellevue, Neb.
Hardin was a nightmare for Montana's secondary all game long in a dramatic, 40-34 Big Sky Conference victory. He set a new Big Sky single-game record with 333 receiving yards on 12 receptions and scored three touchdowns. It was only fitting that his last catch of the game - a 32-yard reception for a touchdown - came with 12 seconds left in regulation, providing the win. The junior also handled kick return duties for UND, bringing back three kickoffs for 87 yards to give him 420 all-purpose yards - good for the second-best mark in conference history. His 333 receiving yards set a 2012 FCS single-game high and he scored three receiving touchdowns in a game for the third time this season.
Gavin McCarney, Colgate, Junior, 6-2, 205, QB, Jefferson Township, N.J.
McCarney proved once again why he is one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the FCS. In a 57-36 offensive showcase versus Georgetown, the junior completed 22-of-28 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns and ran 15 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns. McCarney accounted for 510 of Colgate's school-record 707 yards of offense and he helped the Raiders remain a perfect 2-0 in Patriot League play this season. Through seven games, he ranks No. 12 in the FCS in total offense, with 296 yards per contest, and No. 3 in scoring with nearly 10.6 points per game.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dorian Bell, Duquesne, Junior, 6-1, 234, LB, Monroeville, Pa.
Bell was an absolute beast in Duquesne's impressive 35-3 victory over Sacred Heart. The junior spearheaded the Dukes' dominant defensive effort by totaling 14 tackles, four sacks, five tackles for a loss, one interception and a forced fumble. Bell helped his defensive unit limit Sacred Heart to just 215 total yards and he now leads the Northeast Conference in tackles per game (11.3) and forced fumbles with three. The Dukes picked up their fifth win of 2012 and improved to 3-1 in NEC play.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Laquan Lambert, Lehigh, Freshman, 6-1, 180, DB, Chichester, Pa.
Lambert played a huge role in the Mountain Hawks' superb special teams play in a 42-19 Patriot League win over Bucknell. The first-year defensive back/specialist blocked two punts, while Lehigh as a team blocked four kicks in the game. Lambert's first blocked punt came midway through the first quarter as he fought off a defender, tipped the ball and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. The play not only set the tone, but it gave Lehigh an early 7-0 lead. On top of that, it was his first career touchdown. His second blocked punt occurred in the second quarter and gave Lehigh the ball at the Bucknell 15-yard line. Two plays later, the Mountain Hawks scored to make it 21-6.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State, Freshman, 5-9, 163, DB, Lovejoy, Ga.
Hough had two key interceptions as Jacksonville State handed previously unbeaten and then-No. 17 Tennessee State a 31-28 overtime defeat. The true freshman also collected three tackles as JSU picked up a crucial Ohio Valley Conference, improving to 3-2 in the title race. Hough's first interception - which was also the first of his career - came on TSU's third play of the game as he picked off Tigers quarterback Michael German. It led to a touchdown nine plays later as the Gamecocks took an early 7-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, Hough intercepted his second pass and returned it 14 yards - just one play after JSU had fumbled at its own 40-yard line.