After making arguably the biggest play in UNLV’s 41-38 win over Hawaii early Sunday morning, Rebels senior linebacker Tau Lotulelei was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Lotulelei, who had seven tackles, including 1½ for loss, forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter to set up a game-winning 28-yard field goal by Evan Pantels. The Maui High School product chased down Rainbow Warrior quarterback Dru Brown from behind after he ran for a first down at the UNLV 47-yard line and popped the ball loose. Rebels cornerback Darius Mouton recovered the fumble and UNLV (3-4, 2-1 MW) then drove down the field for its first win in Hawaii since 2000.
Lotulelei, an all-conference candidate who leads the team with 61 tackles through seven games, is only the second Rebel since 2012 to earn a MW defensive honor, joining fellow starting linebacker Ryan McAleenan, who won the same award last season.
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