by staff–6 Sep ’21
The Mountain West Conference announced its Players of the Week on Monday and Wyoming had two players selected for their performances in a 19-16 season-opening victory over Montana State. Linebacker Chad Muma was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week and punter Ralph Fawaz was selected the Mountain West’s Freshman of the Week.
Muma, from Lone Tree, Colo., led Wyoming with 11 total tackles against Montana State, including nine solo tackles, one fumble recovery, one blocked field goal, 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack.
He was responsible for stopping a potential MSU scoring drive midway through the first quarter when he recovered a fumble by a Bobcat wide receiver that was forced by Cowboy safety Braden Smith at the Wyoming 37-yard line.
In the second quarter, Muma and his defensive teammates ended a second potential Montana State scoring drive. On a fourth down and four at the Wyoming 33-yard line, Muma blitzed and sacked the MSU quarterback for a seven-yard loss, giving the ball back to the Cowboys.
Late in the second quarter with MSU attempting a field goal, Muma leaped high to block the field goal to thwart a third scoring opportunity for the Bobcats.
In total, Muma made three key plays that halted potential Montana State scoring drives, and he was the leader of a Cowboy defense that held the Bobcats to only 16 points.
In his first college game, Wyoming freshman punter Fawaz from Cache, Okla., put on quite a show for the Cowboys. He helped shift field position throughout Wyoming’s game vs. Montana State, averaging 45.7 yards per punt on six punts. He also placed five of his six punts inside the Montana State 20-yard line.
Fawaz’s six punts went for: 43 yards to the MSU 28-yard line forcing a fair catch; 54 yards to the Bobcat 14-yard line with a -3 yard return; 33 yards to the MSU 1-yard line; 53 yards to the Bobcat 11; 44 yards to the MSU 11 forcing another fair catch; and 47 yards to the MSU 13.
All total, Fawaz had five punts of 43 yards or more, including two of over 50 yards (43, 54, 53, 44, 47). His sixth punt was a pooch kick that was downed by Wyoming at the MSU 1-yard line.
The Player of the Week awards as selected by the Mountain West were the first of both Muma’s and Fawaz’s careers.
The other Mountain West Player of the Week selections were quarterback Carson Strong of Nevada as Offensive Player of the Week and Connor Coles of Utah State as Special Teams Player of the Week.