ST. LOUIS—South Dakota senior safety Andrew Gray has been named the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Saturday's 31-24 win against Southern Illinois at Saluki Stadium. It is the first such honor for Gray, a senior all-Valley performer from New Lenox, Illinois.
Gray compiled a career-high 14 tackles (11 solo), an interception and a tackle-for-loss against the Salukis. His unit defended more than 100 plays and became the first to hold SIU to less than 41 points all season. Southern Illinois scored on four of 19 drives. One was a 20-yard drive following a USD turnover, and another came against prevent defense in the final minute of the game.
Gray's interception came at the USD 11 in the third quarter. Two plays later, South Dakota was in end zone for a 31-17 lead. It was Gray's first pick of the season and fourth of his career. His 31 tackles thru four games ranks second on the team behind his twin brother, Alex, who earned Valley Player of the Week honors back in week one.
South Dakota (2-2, 1-0 MVFC) hosts Missouri State Saturday in the annual Dakota Days game inside the DakotaDome. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.