Coastal’s Backus ties record with fourth Big South award

After leading a Coastal Carolina defense to a dominating performance in a win over Liberty, sophomore linebacker Quinn Backus was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week for a fourth time this season. Backus joins Gardner-Webb’s Mario Williams (2002) as the only four-time defensive honoree in a season.

Backus (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood HS) was honored the previous week, helping the Chants hold VMI to just 16 rushing yards, as well as earning the honor Sept. 10 for his play versus Furman and Sept. 24 for his play at Toledo.

Versus Liberty, Backus tallied a career-high 15 tackles, adding 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and his first career interception. He headlined a defense that held Liberty to just 86 yards rushing – 100 yards below the Flames’ season average. (Liberty entered the game ranked 33rd in the nation and second in the Big South in rushing with an average of 186.43 yards per game.)

Eight of Backus’ 15 tackles came in the second half as Liberty only managed 31 rushing yards. On the Flames’ first drive of the second half and Liberty facing 3rd-and-8, Backus sacked quarterback Josh Woodrum and forced a fumble on the play. Late in the third quarter, Backus and Arthur Kelley combined for a tackle for loss, forcing a Liberty field goal. Then, Backus cemented the win as he picked off Woodrum on Liberty’s final drive.

Backus and LaDarius Hawthorne, who had a 66-yard interception return for a TD and nine tackles, were also recognized by CollegeFootballPerformance.com  for their play, while CollegeSportsMadness.com named Hawthorne its Big South Defensive Player of the Week.

Backus ranks eighth in the nation and second in the Big South in tackles, averaging 11.25 tackles per game. He has 90 tackles on the season and is on pace to break the CCU single-season record of 116 tackles, set by Jamar Leath in a 12-game 2006 season. Backus is tied for the Big South lead in both fumbles recovered (2) and fumbles forced (2), tying for 32nd and 44th, respectively, in the nation in the categories.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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