DALLAS (FWAA) – Safety Khoury Bethley
intercepted two passes, one of which set up a game-tying touchdown
drive, to go with nine tackles and a sack in leading the Hawaii
defense and a come-from-behind 27-24 win over No. 18 Fresno State.
For having a hand in three of Hawaii's six takeaways in the school's
first win over a ranked team since 2010, Bethley earned the
Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week
honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 2, as selected by the
Football Writers Association of America.
This is the first time for a Hawaii player to earn this weekly
honor. Bethley will be added to this season's Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Bethley's first interception stopped a drive in Hawaii territory
just before the half and the second led to Hawaii's game-tying drive.
Then with the score tied at 24, Bethley's strip-sack of Fresno State
quarterback Jake Haener near midfield set up what would be the game-winning
field goal to end a 13-game losing streak to ranked teams. Hawaii's
last win over a ranked team came on Oct. 16, 2010, a 27-21 defeat
of No. 19 Nevada.
The 5-10, 200-pound senior from Chino, Calif., tied for the team
lead with nine tackles against Fresno State and is now tops on the
Rainbow Warriors with 38, including 29 solo stops. His 5.0 tackles
for loss and 3.0 sacks also lead Hawaii and he had another strip-sack
in a Sept. 25 win at New Mexico State that led to a Hawaii touchdown
drive. Bethley has 16.0 tackles for loss in his 44 career games,
and Saturday marked the second time he's had two interceptions –
the other came in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl against BYU. He led the team
in tackles (83) and solo wrap-ups (61) in 2019 and was second in
2020 with 70.
Hawaii (3-3) is idle this week. The Rainbow Warriors play at
Nevada on Oct. 16.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected
a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists
for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17. The national defensive
player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part
of the 2021 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy
at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree
on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since
1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary
two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated
college football then became a star for professional football's
Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter
member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America
consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers
and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works
to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards
and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive
Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for
the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional
football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and
services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship,
scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised and donated nearly $3 million
to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information,
contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
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2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Jordan Davis, DE, Georgia
Weekend of Sept. 11: Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
Weekend of Sept. 18: Jared Bartlett, DE, West Virginia
Weekend of Sept. 25: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 2: Khoury Bethley, S, Hawaii
Weekend of Oct. 9: Matt Hankins, CB, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 16: Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)
• Download the Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree logo:
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