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Senior nose tackle wins C-USA Defensive Player of the Week

Senior nose tackle wins C-USA Defensive Player of the Week

Senior nose tackle wins C-USA Defensive Player of the Week
November 23
14:03 2020

Following a 27-17 win on senior day against Rice, North Texas senior nose tackle Dion Novil earned the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week and PFF College Football Defensive Player of the Week for Week 12.

Novil led the Mean Green defense with a season-high eight tackles (seven solo), a career-high five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a sack. His five tackles for loss put him in 11th place all-time in program history with 28. The win against Rice was the first game in five weeks after multiple postponements/cancellations.

In the first quarter, North Texas fell behind 10-0, later holding the Owls to seven points in the final three quarters and stopping Rice in their own territory twice.

“You’re going to be rusty after not playing for 35 days,” Novil said. “That just comes with it, but we all knew that and once we got through that first quarter, we knocked that rust off and everyone started to play well. That first quarter was a wake-up call and we made errors, eventually making adjustments and started to make plays.”

North Texas held Rice to 49 yards rushing, while the Owls averaged 181 rushing yards per game heading into the matchup.

“[Novil] really started clicking [against Middle Tennessee],” head coach Seth Littrell said. “He’s big and strong and hard to block, and if they have to double him, you’re freeing up linebackers. I think that light bulb went off in the last two games. He has played as good of ball as he has during his time here.”

Featured Image: Senior defensive lineman Dion Novil prepares to rush the Rice quarterback on Nov. 21, 2020. Image by Zachary Thomas, Courtesy Mean Green Sports

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