Bowling Green, Ky. — After recording a career-high 3.5 sacks in WKU’s 26-13 win over Arkansas State, Hilltopper senior defensive end Quanterus Smith was named the Sun Belt conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
This is the third straight week in which at least one Hilltopper has earned a league player-of-the-week award. WKU swept the honors following its overtime win at Kentucky with running back Antonio Andrews taking the offensive award, while defensive back Jonathan Dowling and punter Hendrix Brakefield took the defensive and special teams honors, respectively. Andrews was also the offensive player of the week last Monday following his performance in a win over Southern Miss.
Smith finished with seven total tackles in Saturday’s victory — six of which came behind the line. In addition to his 3.5 sacks, Smith’s 5.5 tackles for loss were also a career best. He had a three-sack game earlier in the year at Alabama. Smith was able to pressure ASU quarterback Ryan Aplin on a number of occasions, helping WKU limit the Red Wolves to 123 yards after halftime and just 71 total yards until late in the fourth quarter.
Though five weeks of the season, Smith is currently leading the nation averaging 1.62 sacks per game. His 2.38 tackles for loss per contest also ranked first in the Sun Belt and tied for fifth nationally. Smith already has 9.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in his four games played in 2012. He entered the year with 11.5 career sacks.
In addition to his Sun Belt honor, the College Football Performance Awards also named Smith their National Defensive Performer of the Week and National Defensive Lineman of the Week.
The Hilltoppers enter their bye week with a 4-1 record, and are off to a 1-0 start in Sun Belt Conference play for the first time since joining the league in 2009. WKU is only the third team in league history to start a season with a 4-1 record or better. Louisiana-Lafayette got off to a 6-1 start in 2011, while Middle Tennessee won its first five games of the 2001 campaign.
WKU returns to action on Thursday, Oct. 11 when it visits Troy for a 6:30 p.m. (CDT) contest. The matchup between the Hilltoppers and Trojans will be televised nationally on ESPNU.