Northern Illinois cornerback Marlon Moore, a true freshman from Mobile, Ala., has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Moore earned the honor after intercepting two passes and making five tackles, four solo, Saturday in NIU’s 45-3 win over Buffalo at Huskie Stadium.
He picked off passes on successive drives in the third quarter as the Northern Illinois defense held an opponent without a touchdown for the first time in 22 games (since Nov. 26, 2010).
Moore’s first interception came on the NIU six-yard line and stopped a Buffalo drive that had reached the NIU 11. His second pickoff came on UB’s next possession and once again occurred with the Bulls inside the Huskie 20-yard line as he intercepted Buffalo QB Alex Zordich in the end zone and returned the ball 12 yards. Moore also broke up a pass in the contest.
He is the first Northern Illinois player to intercept two passes in a game since Tyrone Clark versus Central Michigan in 2010.
Moore’s efforts helped Northern Illinois hold Buffalo to just one field goal on five trips inside the red zone Saturday. NIU is ranked fifth in the nation in red zone defense. Moore is one of two true freshmen contributing on the Huskie defense this year as he has 19 tackles, including one for loss, in seven games.
A Northern Illinois player has now won one of the MAC West Player of the Week honors every week this season and in each of the last nine straight weeks dating back to last year. Moore is the fifth different Huskie, and the third defensive player, to earn the honor in 2012. Last season, Northern Illinois players garnered just seven player of the week awards all year with just two going to NIU defenders.