East Carolina sophomore Van Eskridge was named Conference USA Defensive Player-of-the-Week league officials announced Monday afternoon.
A native of Shelby, N.C., Eskridge racked up eight total tackles, including seven solo hits during ECU's 45-42 overtime win at UTEP. He was also credited with a pass breakup and became the first Pirate in three seasons to return a fumble for a touchdown. Eskridge scooped up a Lorne Sam fumble at midfield and raced 50 yards for a touchdown to erase an early 7-3 deficit. The return was the first for ECU since Jamar Flournoy picked up a loose ball agaisnt USF on Nov. 13, 2004 and also ranked as the seventh-longest in school history. Eskridge was part of a Pirate defense that forced three Miner turnovers. He currently serves as the Pirates leading tackler with 59 stops (also a team-high 34 solo hits).
Eskridge is the third Pirate this season to capture C-USA weekly honors following Patrick Pinkney (Sept. 10) and Chris Johnson (Oct. 8).
Joining Eskridge as Players-of-the-Week were Donnie Avery (WR, Houston) and Jose Martinez (K, UTEP).
The Pirates will take a break from league action this week and will square off against in-state for NC State this Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 (EDT).