Oct. 21, 2013
CONWAY - After a thrilling double-overtime win at Liberty, a trio of Chanticleers were honored by the Big South as Lorenzo Taliaferro was tabbed the league's Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week, Quinn Backus was selected the league's Defensive Player of the Week and LaDarius Hawthorne was named the league's Special Teams Player of the Week.
In addition, Taliaferro has been named the CollegeFootballPerformanceAwards.com (CFPA) National Running Back Performer of the Week with Backus and placekicker Alex Catron earning honorable mention recognition for their respective positions.
Taliaferro rushed for 151 yards and tied the Big South single-game record with four rushing touchdowns in Coastal Carolina's 55-52 double-overtime win at Liberty. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry and finished the game with 175 all-purpose yards versus a Liberty defense that ranked 27th in the NCAA FCS in rush defense (126.0 ypg) coming into the contest. Taliaferro amassed 100 rushing yards in the second half and overtime, with three scores to help the Chants erase two 19-point deficits. He accounted for either a first down or touchdown on seven of his 11 touches in the second half and his seven-yard rush in the second overtime put Coastal well into field goal range.
Taliaferro, who leads the NCAA FCS in scoring and ranks fourth in rushing yards, has 986 rushing yards in just seven games this season and a school-record 17 rushing touchdowns. He needs just 122 yards to break the CCU single-season rushing mark of 1,107, set by Patrick Hall when he was tabbed the 2004 Big South Offensive Player of the Year.
Backus tallied 10 tackles (seven solo, two assisted) and two tackles-for-loss at Liberty. He tallied five fourth quarter stops, including a TFL, and seven total tackles in the second half. With Liberty ahead 42-30 and facing a 3rd-and-1 situation in the fourth quarter, Backus came through with a one-yard tackle-for-loss to force a punt. The Chanticleers scored on the ensuing drive to make it a five-point game.
Hawthorne blocked a field goal for the second time this season, as he came off the left edge and got a hand on Liberty's 40-yard attempt that would have tied the game and forced a third overtime. Hawthorne's deflection forced the kick to fall well short and preserved Coastal's 55-52 double-overtime win over the Flames.
On special teams this season, Hawthorne has two blocked field goals, two recovered fumbles and one forced fumble (that was recovered by a CCU player).
Taliaferro earns the Big South weekly honor for the second consecutive week and third time this season. He becomes the third Chanticleer to earn the league's weekly honors three times in a season, joining Tyler Thigpen in 2006 and Aramis Hillary in 2012. This also marks the third time Backus has been honored by the league this season, giving the junior eight weekly honors in two seasons. Hawthorne earns the league's Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season.