FRESNO – Fresno State junior linebacker George Helmuth was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. It is his first career player of the week honor. Helmuth is the third Bulldog to receive MW Defensive Player of the Week honors this season and it is the fourth award overall. Juju Jughes (Oct. 9) and Jeffrey Allison (Oct. 23/Nov. 6) earned the league's weekly honor earlier this season. With four Bulldogs receiving MW Defensive Player of the Week awards, Fresno State has received the most MW weekly defensive honors in one season since 2012.
The Valley native played a crucial role in Fresno State's 13-7 win at Wyoming this past Saturday that guaranteed the Bulldogs a date with Boise State in the Mountain West championship game on Dec. 2. The junior led Fresno State with a career-high 11 tackles (seven solo) and recovered a critical fumble for one of the two turnovers the defense gained in the win.
Play of the Game
In what was slated to be a defensive battle, Helmuth had arguably the biggest play of the game in the second quarter. Helmuth recovered a fumble at the 21-yard line that set Fresno State up for its only touchdown on the ensuing play, a 21-yard strike from Marcus McMaryion to Ronnie Rivers that gave the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.
- Helmuth stopped a Wyoming drive in the second quarter sitting at fourth-and-1 from the Fresno State 37-yard line, looking to take the lead, he tackled Cowboy quarterback Nick Smith at the line of scrimmage to turn the ball over to Fresno State on downs.
- Member of a defense that held Wyoming to 77 yards rushing.
- Member of a defense that held Wyoming scoreless through the first three quarters.
- Member of the defense that held Wyoming to 24 total yards in the third quarter.
- Wyoming had 126 yards in the first half, Fresno State still hasn't allowed 200 yards in MW play, Helmuth led Bulldogs with five tackles in the first half, four solo.
- Prior to October, Fresno State had not logged a MW Player of the Week since Kyrie Wilson received the same honor on November 10, 2014.
- Fresno State captured its third West Division title in the last five seasons.
- With the four Bulldogs named DPOTW in 2017, it ups Fresno State's total to 10 all-time defensive player of the week selections. Overall, it is the 26th all-time selection.
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