MSU’s Owens is top defensive player

OGDEN, Utah —  The Big Sky Conference has selected the ROOT SPORTS football Players of the Week for games played on Saturday, Sept. 29. Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams is the Offensive Player of the Week. Montana State linebacker Jody Owens is the Defensive Player of the Week. Sacramento State kicker Edgar Castaneda is the Special Teams Player of the Week.

Adams, a 6-foot, 180-pound redshirt freshman from Pasadena, Calif., completed 25-of-41 passes for 353 yards with three touchdowns as No. 7 Eastern Washington rallied for a 32-26 victory over Montana. Adams, making his second career start, completed 13-of-21 passes for 171 yards with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He hit Brandon Kaufman on a 30-yard score with 2:19 to play to cut Montana’s lead to 26-24. After Eastern Washington recovered an onside kick, he guided the Eagles down the field for the game-winning score. With 53 seconds remaining, Adams hit Ashton Clark for a 20-yard touchdown. Adams also had a team-high 54 rushing yards and accounted for 407 of EWU’s 447 yards of total offense. This is Adams’ first career Player of the Week honor.

Owens, a 6-foot, 223-pound senior from Mesquite, Texas, recorded a team-high 13 tackles – 11 solo – with a forced fumble and a sack in No. 2 Montana State’s 24-17 road win over Southern Utah. Owens had two tackles for loss. Eight of his tackles were on gains of 6 yards or less. Owens helped Montana State help limit the SUU running game to 69 yards. MSU’s defense sacked Southern Utah QB Brad Sorensen five times. This is Owens’ first Player of the Week honor.

Castaneda, a 5-9, 175-pound junior from Alameda, Calif, tied a school single-game record with four field goals in Sacramento State’s 54-31 road win over Idaho State. Castaneda made field goals of 41, 25, 38 and 51 yards to become the third player in school history to make four field goals in a game. Castaneda also made all six of his extra points to finish with 18 points. Midway through the game, he took over kickoff duties and had six touchbacks. This is Castaneda’s second Player of the Week honor.

ROOT SPORTS, the official television partner of the Big Sky Conference, will air two conference games Saturday. At 1:30 p.m. Mountain, Northern Colorado plays host to Montana. At 4:15 p.m. Pacific, No. 2 Montana State takes on UC Davis.

Others Nominated


Deonte Williams, RB, Cal Poly

Kevin Yost, QB, Idaho State

Jordan Canada, RB, Montana

Shaun Sampson, OL, Montana State

Cary Grossart, QB, Northern Arizona

Ezekiel Graham, RB, Sacramento State

Mitch Jessop, WR, Southern Utah

Dalton Turay, FB, UC Davis


Nico Molino DB, Cal Poly

Ronnie Hamlin, LB, Eastern Washington

Taison Manu, S, Idaho State

Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana

Austin Hasquet, LB, Northern Arizona

Ian Sluss, LB, Portland State

Ryan McMahon, S, Sacramento State

Zak Browning, LB, Southern Utah

Byron Gurendl, LB, UC Davis


Shaquille Hill, Eastern Washington

Andy Wilder, K/P, Northern Arizona

Thomas Duyndam, P, Portland State

Brock Miller, P, Southern Utah

Brady Stuart, K, UC Davis

— Big Sky Sports Information