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Hannah, Haulcy Earn Mountain West POTW Honors

by Frank Mercogliano

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  — The University of New Mexico picked up a pair of honors as Reco Hannah was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, and A.J. Haulcy was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Week.  It’s the second straight week that UNM picked up an honor from the league as Christian Washington was the Freshman of the Week last week.  UNLV’s Aidan Robbins was the Offensive Player of the Week and Boise State kicker Jonah Dalmas was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.

Hannah won it on the strength of forcing a fumble and scoring on a 22-yard interception return, a play that game UNM a very quick 10-0 lead.  Just two plays after UNM took a 3-0 first quarter lead, Hannah picked off a deflected pass and raced untouched into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.  In the fourth quarter, Hannah forced a fumble after a 23-yard pass that turned into UNM’s sixth takeaway of the game.

Haulcy nearly did the same thing, picking off a pass and forcing a fumble. However, his forced fumble was a game-changer, as he tracked down a UTEP receiver after a 75-yard jaunt, karate-chopping the ball away as the receiver extended the ball towards the goal line. The ball was jarred loose and hit the pylon, resulting in a touchback and keeping the score 20-3 in favor of UNM.  His leaping interception ended a first half drive and it marked the first of UNM’s seven takeaways in the game.

UNM had seven takeaways for the first time in 36 years.  The Lobos head to Baton Rouge for their first road game of the year, facing LSU on 5:30 pm Mountain Time.