Two days after enjoying one of the best performances of his career in Tulane's 14-7 win over Tulsa, Green Wave football standout Sam Scofield was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week based on a vote of a panel composed of league media.
A 6-1 junior from Lafayette, La., Scofield earned the honor after posting a career-high 18 tackles to go with a pair of pass break-ups, 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble against the Golden Hurricane. It was the second honor for him in as many days as Scofield claimed College Sports Madness Defensive Player of the Week recognition on Sunday.
"He played an amazing game," second-year Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "This kid has been playing so well, he did a very good job of getting stronger over the summer and it shows. He's always been a good player, but he's gotten injured a lot. Now he's playing with a swagger. He's playing very well."
The C-USA Defensive Player of the Week title is the first of Scofield's career and the fourth overall for the Green Wave as sophomore defensive back Jordan Batiste earned the honor on Sept. 30, sophomore cornerback Lorenzo Doss did so on Oct. 7 and senior nickelback Derrick Strozier followed suit on Oct. 14. Scofield's honor was the seventh of the year for the Green Wave as redshirt-freshman quarterback Devin Powell and senior place kicker Cairo Santos were named Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 12, respectively, while Strozier picked up Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 5.
Fourteen of Scofield's tackles on Saturday were solos, and his 18 total stops surpasses his previous high of 15 against South Alabama back on Sept. 7. It was his third double-digit tackle total of the 2013 season and the sixth of his career. Two of Scofield's plays against the Golden Hurricane were fourth-quarter drive stoppers as he forced a fumble - which was recovered by teammate Zach Davis - on Tulsa's second-to-last possession and he batted down a pass on fourth-and-25 with 1:42 left on the clock to clinch the victory.
Scofield has started all eight games in 2013 at strong safety and leads the team with 66 tackles (52 solo, 14 assists) while sitting tied for first with one fumble recovery, second with 8.0 tackles for loss, tied for third with seven pass break-ups and one forced fumble, and tied for seventh with 1.0 sacks. He ranks seventh in C-USA with 8.3 tackles per game, is tied for seventh with 1.00 tackles for loss per contest and is tied for 10th with 0.88 passes defensed per outing. Scofield's tackles-per-game average also ranks 71st among NCAA Division I-Football Bowl Subdivision players.
For his career, Scofield has played in 28 games with 12 starts, posting 121 tackles (86 solo, 35 assists), 9.5 tackles for loss, nine pass break-ups, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, one sack and a fumble recovery.
Scofield and the Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Nov. 2, when they travel to Boca Raton, Fla., to face C-USA newcomer Florida Atlantic at 4 p.m. (CDT) at FAU Stadium. The game against the Owls is the first of two road games as Tulane will play at Texas-San Antonio on Nov. 9 before returning to New Orleans to close out the home portion of the 2013 regular season against UTEP on Nov. 23.