USD's Gray Named National Defensive Player of the Week

VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota senior safety Andrew Gray has been named the STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Week for his play in the Coyotes’ 35-28 win against Missouri State Saturday inside the DakotaDome. It is the first such honor for Gray, who has earned MVFC Player of the Week honors in each of the last two weeks.

Gray recorded nine tackles, forced three turnovers and broke up three passes in the Dakota Days’ victory. He forced a fumble inside the Coyotes’ 20, intercepted a pass to set up his offense for a touchdown, and forced a second fumble, which led to a field goal. His final pass breakup occurred on fourth down inside Coyotes’ territory with 18 seconds remaining.

An all-MVFC safety, Gray has picked off a pass in consecutive games to being conference play. He currently ranks second on the team in tackles with 40.

No. 24 South Dakota (3-2, 2-0 MVFC) next hosts UNI (2-3, 1-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday inside the DakotaDome in the first USD night game in Vermillion since 2009. The Coyotes are looking to start 3-0 in Valley play for the second consecutive season.