Mocs' Bradford, Williams claim SoCon honors
CHATTANOOGA (UTC) -- Two more University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football student-athletes took home Southern Conference Player of the Week honors Monday.
Senior Joel Bradford, a senior wideout who added punting duties to his plate earlier this season, was named the league's Special Teams Player of the Week. Defensive end Josh Williams was also named the SoCon's Defensive Player of the Week.
The duo's honors give UTC a SoCon-high ten weekly individual honors in the 2011 season, which extends the new school record set earlier this year.
Bradford picks up his first special teams honor after punting nine times for a 40.4-yard average in Chattanooga's 24-9 win at Samford. Arguably the team MVP in the game, he connected on three kicks that were over 50 yards and pinned the Bulldogs inside their own 20 four times. He also had two other punts that were downed inside Samford's own 22-yard line. He uses a low-rolling, rugby-style kick that is difficult to return.
His last two punts of the game were both career-longs and huge field-position plays. With 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and from his own 28, he kicked a then-career-long 58-yarder to Samford's 14. After the Mocs next drive stalled on their own 25 with three minutes to play, he booted a career-long 59-yarder that rolled out of bounds on Samford's 16.
This is the fourth career SoCon Player of the Week honor for Bradford and his second this season. He was the Offensive Player of Week following Week 2's win over No. 10 Jacksonville State. He is the first Moc to win both the offensive and special teams awards in the same season.
Williams secured his second career honor and his first defensive award. He was also the SoCon Freshman of the Week on Nov. 16, 2009. He led a strong defensive effort that kept Samford out of the end zone, tying career-highs with seven tackles and three sacks while adding a QB hurry.
With the Mocs holding a 17-6 lead in the fourth quarter, Williams sacked Samford QB Dustin Taliaferro for a 16-yard loss back to the UTC 26-yard line on second down. Williams hurried Taliaferro into an incompletion on third down, forcing Samford to attempt a field goal. Williams leads the SoCon and ranks 12th in the nation with 9.5 sacks this season. He is UTC's all-time sack leader with 21.5 for his career.
Williams is a big part of the Mocs' unit that leads the SoCon and is No. 7 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 297.0 yards per game. UTC has not allowed a point in the first quarter in the last seven games and has not given up a touchdown in the first half in six of the last seven games.
The Mocs have finally hit their off week, sitting at 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the SoCon. UTC has one more chance to secure a third-straight winning season when top-10 ranked Wofford visits Finley Stadium on Nov. 19.
Information provided by UTC Sports Information and GoMocs.com.