DALLAS (FWAA) Wyoming strong safety Alijah Halliburton posted a career-high 17 tackles and a fumble recovery as the Cowboys beat Missouri, 37-31, in their season opener and earned a fifth consecutive win dating back to last season. For his 13 solo tackles and a game-changing takeaway and return, Halliburton has earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Aug. 31, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
The senior from Aurora, Colo., came up with his takeaway as Missouri was driving toward a tying touchdown in the final minute before halftime. The Tigers faced third-and-goal at the one-yard line when senior linebacker Ben Wisdorf knocked the ball loose from the Missouri running back and Halliburton picked up the ball at the Wyoming nine and ran 79 yards to the Missouri 12. The takeaway led to a Cooper Rothe field goal as Wyoming extended its halftime lead to 27-17.
Of Halliburton's 17 tackles, five of them held Missouri players to three yards or less and one was for a four-yard loss. Halliburton led a Wyoming defense that forced three turnovers, sacked the quarterback twice for minus-9 yards and had five tackles for losses for 20 yards.
The win was Wyoming's first over a Power 5 opponent since 2008.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. Halliburton will be added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Wed., Nov. 20. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2019 FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's entire membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists. The committee members then select the winner as the best defensive player in college football.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Mon., Dec. 9 in Charlotte. In addition to the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award.
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 1,400 men and women who cover college football.
The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key
executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas
that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 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 1991, the club has raised more than $2 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
2019 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Aug. 31: Alijah Halliburton, Wyoming
· Weekend of Sept. 7: Evan Weaver, Cal
· Weekend of Sept. 14: David Reese II, Florida
· Weekend of Sept. 21: Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State
· Weekend of Sept. 28: Benny Walls, Temple
· Weekend of Oct. 5: Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
· Weekend of Oct. 12: Israel Mukuamu, South Carolina
· Weekend of Oct. 19: Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech
· Weekend of Oct. 26: Chase Young, Ohio State
· Weekend of Nov. 2: Dele Harding, Illinois
· Weekend of Nov. 9: Terrel Bernard, Baylor
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)