Northern Illinois University linebacker Tyrone Clark (St. Louis, Mo./Mehlville) was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week Monday after intercepting a career-high two passes in NIU’s 33-7 victory over defending MAC champion Central Michigan.
Clark’s two interceptions came in the second quarter – both coming off of tipped balls – to stop Chippewa drives and ensure that the Huskies would have a halftime lead.
His first interception came off a screen pass at the Central Michigan 37-yard line as Sean Progar tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage and Clark grabbed it and returned it three yards. Following the interception, Northern Illinois drove to the Central Michigan seven and hit a 24-yard field goal with 2:44 left in the half and would not trail again in the game.
On the Chippewas’ next possession, Clark tipped a pass to himself and picked it off at the Northern Illinois 26-yard line to stop Central Michigan from scoring prior to the half. Clark, who also had two tackles in the game, extends NIU’s streak of a MAC player of the week to six straight weeks.
Jimmie Ward earned the honor last week after his punt block against Buffalo and earlier this season when he blocked a punt at Minnesota.
Quarterback Chandler Harnish was named offensive player of the week for his performances against Temple and Akron, while tailback Chad Spann was named the MAC West offensive and player of the week following the Minnesota game.
Punter Josh Wilber began the streak when he earned special teams player of the week recognition after his performance at Illinois.
Northern Illinois is back in action at 11 a.m. Saturday when the Huskies travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., to face Western Michigan.