January 19, 2018 Currently: 68° | Complete forecast

Rebels football:

UNLV linebacker Tani Maka earns weekly defensive honor from the Mountain West


Stephen Sylvanie

The Rebels take the field during pregame festivities as UNLV hosted Air Force on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.

UNLV junior linebacker Tani Maka is the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, it was announced Monday.

In Saturday's 38-35 victory against Air Force, Maka made a key fumble recovery and had 10 tackles. He had multiple stops on Air Force's drives that ended with turnovers on downs, and his recovery of a fumble forced by Kenny Brown led to UNLV's drive that cut the deficit to 28-24 early in the second half.

Maka is the first UNLV linebacker to earn the league's weekly award since Jason Beauchamp was honored on Oct. 26, 2009. UNR running back Stefphon Jefferson and Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith were the league's Co-Offensive Players of the Week and New Mexico kicker Justus Adams earned special teams honors.

UNLV hits the road this weekend to play at Utah State on Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. That's awesome Tani! These kinds of rewards can be very motivating not only to the player but to the defense and the entire team. Will need an even bigger effort this weekend playing out of town. Bring it!