WKU’s Smith named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week

WKU defensive lineman Quanterus Smith sacks Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, forcing a fumble in the process, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 8. The Hilltoppers lost 35-0 to the defending BCS National Champions.

Lucas Aulbach

Senior defensive end Quanterus Smith has joined the growing list of Toppers to earn conference player of the week honors on Monday when he was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

It is the first time this season Smith has earned the honor.

Smith had his biggest game of the season on Saturday, sacking Arkansas State quarterback and preseason conference player of the year Ryan Aplin 3.5 times and recording seven total tackles in WKU’s 26-13 win.

His 6.5 sacks this season currently rank tied for No. 3 in the nation and his average of 1.62 sacks per game leads the NCAA.

He averages 2.38 tackles for loss per game, which ranks at the top of the Sun Belt.

It is the third week in a row that a Topper has been named league player of the week.

WKU running back Antonio Andrews, safety Jonathan Dowling and punter Hendrix Brakefield earned the offensive, defensive and special teams player of the week awards, respectively, two weeks ago after the Toppers beat Kentucky.

Andrews was honored again after his performance against Southern Mississippi last week.

Coach Willie Taggart said on Monday that Smith has the ability to be as dominant in every game he plays as he was on Saturday.

“More than anything, he’s doing what he expected from himself and really putting the work in,” Taggart said. “He played with fanatical effort on Saturday.

“I think that showed him if he did that every single Saturday or Thursday or Tuesday night that we play on, he can become a dominant player.”