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Utah Utes, BYU football: Several Utah, BYU players earn all-MWC honors

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 30 2010 10:27 p.m. MST

Zane Taylor

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Utah and BYU were shut out of the Mountain West Conference football awards announced Tuesday, but a total of 25 Utes and Cougars were recognized by the league.

TCU, which is which is undefeated and bound for a BCS bowl for the second consecutive season, and San Diego State, which is going to a bowl for the first time in 12 years, dominated the MWC honors.

Horned Frog senior quarterback Andy Dalton earned the offensive player of the year award after throwing for 2,638 yards and 26 touchdowns. Dalton's teammate, linebacker Tank Carder, was named defensive player of the year. Special teams player of the year honors went to TCU's Jeremy Kerley, who beat out Utah's Shaky Smithson.

SDSU coach Brady Hoke engineered an impressive turnaround for his program this season and he received the coach of the year award. Aztec running back Ronnie Hillman, who rushed for 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns, was the league's freshman of the year.

The All-MWC first-team offense included Utah offensive linemen Caleb Schlauderaff and Zane Taylor; Ute placekicker Joe Phillips; and BYU offensive lineman Matt Reynolds.

The first-team defense featured defensive lineman Vic So'oto and safety Andrew Rich from BYU and Utah defensive lineman Christian Cox. The Utes continued their streak of 10 consecutive seasons with a first-team all-MWC defensive lineman.

The Utes placed wide receiver Jereme Brooks, offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, and Smithson on the All-MWC second-team offense while defensive back Brandon Burton, who blocked a last-second field goal to preserve a 17-16 victory over BYU last Saturday, and linebacker Chaz Walker were on the second-team defense.

"I think we had fairly good representation," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

Running back JJ Di Luigi was the lone Cougar on the All-MWC second-team.

Reynolds, who has given up just one sack from his left tackle spot this season, made the All-MWC first-team for the second consecutive season. Rich, who was a second-team All-MWC selection last year, leads the Cougars in tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and pass breakups. So'oto also earned first-team honors for the first time in his career after leading the Cougars in sacks and quarterback hurries. Di Luigi is No. 2 in the MWC in receiving and rushing yards combined and No. 3 in rushing yards per game and all-purpose yards per game.

"Our players honored are all very deserving," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "This recognition highlights their strong contributions to our football team."

Five Utah players received honorable mention: defensive backs Brian Blechen and Lamar Chapman; wide receiver DeVonte Christopher; linebacker Matt Martinez; and defensive lineman Sealver Siliga.

For BYU, wide receiver Luke Ashworth, offensive linemen Terence Brown, Jason Speredon and Braden Hansen; linebacker Shane Hunter; cornerback Brian Logan; and kicker Mitch Payne all received honorable mention.

The all-conference team was voted on by the nine league coaches and a media panel.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Andy Dalton, Sr., QB, TCU

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Tank Carder, Jr., LB, TCU

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jeremy Kerley, Sr., KR/PR, TCU

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State

COACH OF THE YEAR

Brady Hoke, San Diego State

2010 All-Mountain West Football First-Team

Offense

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