IRVING, Texas – After producing a career-best performance to lead East Carolina to a conference-opening victory, Pirates junior RB Reggie Bullock has been named this week’s Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week. The Defensive Player of the Week award went to UAB senior S Jamie Bender for his terrific all-around game against ECU. Special Teams recognition went to Southern Miss senior K Danny Hrapmann, whose versatile performance helped the Golden Eagles to a win at Virginia. C-USA Football Players of the Week are voted on by a panel of the league’s media.
Bullock rushed for a personal-best 169 yards and one TD on 24 carries to help East Carolina to a 28-23 Conference USA victory against UAB. He averaged 7.0 yards per attempt in posting the second-highest single-game total by a C-USA running back this season. Bullock also caught three passes out of the backfield for 12 yards. Bullock’s rushing yardage was the most by a back in the Ruffin McNeill era and most by an ECU player since Dominique Lindsay tallied 172 yards against Tulsa Nov. 15, 2009. He currently ranks second in C-USA in rushing yards per game (82.0) and eighth in all-purpose yards per contest (118.0). Bullock owns 15 of the Pirates’ 20 rushing first downs and currently averages 6.3 yards on first-down carries. He is the first Pirates running back to win the award since current Tennessee Titans star Chris Johnson won on Nov. 5, 2007.
Bender led a UAB defense that forced seven East Carolina turnovers as the senior safety was in on 11 tackles and one tackle for loss, while causing two fumbles and returning an interception 35 yards for a touchdown. Bender, currently tied for 11th in the country in tackles per game (11.0), had eight solo hits against the Pirates. On ECU’s first second half possession, he stepped in front of a Dominique Davis pass and went 35 yards for a score, giving the Blazers a 17-14 lead with 10:54 to go in the third period. The interception TD was UAB’s first defensive score since the 2009 season. He is the first Blazers defensive player to gain Player of the Week honors since Hiram Atwater on Oct. 5, 2009.
Hrapmann had an all-around good day in leading the Golden Eagle special teams to a win at Virginia. First, he converted three of four field goals (43, 35 and 27 yards), including two in the final quarter of the 30-24 victory. Secondly, he converted a fake punt deep in the Golden Eagle end and ran 31 yards for a first down. Thirdly, he kicked off seven times for an average of 68.7 yards per kickoff and lastly, he notched one punt for 50 yards. In the Golden Eagle career record books, he also moved into third place for kick scoring (196) and field goals made (38) with his 12 points in the game (three FGs and three extra points). This is Hrapmann’s second C-USA Special Teams Player of the week honor.