Dyer Named Second Team All-Mountain West
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Five University of New Mexico Lobos earned conference postseason accolades as announced by the Mountain West on Wednesday.
Among them was a second team distinction for junior punter Tyson Dyer and four on the honorable mention list in senior running back Ahmari Davis, senior linebacker Alex Hart, and junior offensive linemen Teton Saltes and Kyle Stapley.
Wednesday’s conference honor marks the second for Dyer, who was named honorable mention last season and the first for Davis, Hart, Saltes and Stapley.
Making an appearance in all 12 games this season, the Australian punter recorded 59 punts for a total of 2718 yards, averaging 46.1 yards a punt. He twice recorded a season long of 63 yards, with the first instance coming at Notre Dame and the other the following week against New Mexico State. Of his 59 punts, 35 were downed inside the 20-yard line and 22 went a distance of over 50 yards. His 35 punts inside the 20 led the nation, as did his 59.3% mark for punts inside the 20.
Dyer was second among all punters in average yards per punt on the season in the MW. In conference play alone, the junior was third in average yards per punt at 44.9, recording 37 punts in eight games with a total of 1,660 total yards. Twenty-four punts were downed inside the 20 and his longest punt went 60 yards at San José State. Additionally, Dyer was one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s best punter.
A running back from Oakland, Calif., Davis accounted for 832 yards on 140 carries on the season in nine games, and averaged 5.94 yards per carry with seven touchdowns. He finished third among running backs in the league in yards per game and was tied for second in overall yards per attempt. In conference games, Davis tallied 471 yards in five games played, averaging 94.2 yards per game and 6.83 yards per carry.
Against Hawai’i on Oct. 26, Davis finished with a season-high 200 yards on the ground, the second-highest total amongst rushing performances in conference competition. In addition, Davis registered his longest run of the season coming against the Rainbow Warriors at 67 yards and scored a season-high two touchdowns in the contest. Davis missed the final three games of the season with a torn ACL. When he got injured, he was third in the nation in rushing yards per home game, averaging 146.7 yards per game.
Hart had his best season as a Lobo in 2019, finishing as the leading tackler after appearing in all 12 games and recording 46 solo tackles and 36 assisted tackles (82 total), 9.5 tackles for loss as well as four sacks.
In addition, he was one of four Lobos to register an interception on the season, which came at Boise State and he returned for 19 yards. In the same game against the nationally-ranked Broncos, the linebacker accounted for six solo tackles and two assisted tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. In the Nov. 23 game against Air Force, the redshirt-senior caused his lone forced fumble of the season.
In the eight conference games this season, Hart tallied 28 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles for a total of 53 and 2.5 sacks, and averaged 6.6 tackles a game. His tackles per game ranked him 19th in the conference among all defensive players. Four of his five pass breakups of the season came against MW opponents and three of his four quarterback hurries came in the final two games of the season.
Stapley and Saltes were steady anchors on the offensive line for the Lobos this season, starting in every game this season at center and right tackle, respectively.
The Lobo offensive line was the final team in the FBS to allow a sack, and the team has allowed 18 for the year. UNM currently is tied for 27th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed. The Lobos were led by Rimington candidate Stapley, who has allowed just two sacks, one hit and two hurries in 375 pass blocking sequences. His pass blocking efficiency rating according to Pro Football Focus is 99.1% and that’s the fourth-best mark in the Mountain West among all linemen with 350 pass blocks and 600 total snaps, and best among all Mountain West centers. Saltes anchored the right side of the line, and was a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy.
The five honorees is one more than UNM received in each of the last two years on the Mountain West Football Postseason Teams.
San José State quarterback Josh Love was named the Offensive Player of the Year, Boise State defensive end was named Defensive Player of the Year, Boise State return specialist Avery Williams was named Special Teams Player of the Year, Boise State running back George Holani was named Freshman of the Year and Hawai’i head coach Nick Rolovich was named Coach of the Year to complete the major awards.