Mike Taylor Named Defensive Co-Player of the Week
AMHERST, MA – Amherst College senior inside linebacker Mike Taylor (Evanston, IL) has been named the NESCAC Football Defensive Co-Player of the Week for his performance during Saturday’s 13-3 win over Tufts University.
This is the second NESCAC Defensive Co-Player of the Week nod of the season for Taylor, who also earned the honor after recording 16 total tackles (3.0 TFL) during an Oct. 3 win over Bowdoin. Amherst has earned at least a share of the Defensive Player of the Week award four times this season.
Taylor matched his season high by recording 16 tackles at Tufts to lead an Amherst defense that allowed -15 rushing yards on 36 attempts. In addition to his eight solo tackles, 3.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks, Taylor forced two fumbles—one of which he recovered—and broke up a pair of passes. The Lord Jeffs had 8.0 sacks on the day and held the Jumbos to 1-of-15 on third down attempts in the game.
Sharing Defensive Co-Player of the Week honors with Taylor is Wesleyan junior outside linebacker Justin Freres, who helped the Cardinals earn a 43-39 win at Bowdoin College. Freres had 12 tackles (11 solo), returned an interception 27 yards, broke up two passes and returned a fumble on a Bowdoin two-point conversion attempt 92 yards to create a pivotal four-point swing.
Through the first six weeks of the season, Taylor leads the NESCAC in total tackles (71) and forced fumbles (3) and is fifth in tackles-for-loss (9.5). Taylor has led the Jeffs in tackles in five of six games this season. Amherst leads the conference in several categories, including scoring defense (8.3 ppg), rushing defense (32.5 ypg) and turnover margin (+8).
The Lord Jeffs are a perfect 6-0 for the first time since 2001, but they will face their biggest challenge Saturday, Nov. 7 when they host Trinity College (5-1) at 12:30 p.m. Amherst has not defeated Trinity since 2001.