Backus, Ross add awards to record-setting weekend

NCAA Big South ConferenceCCU defeats Elon 31 to 3For the second time this season, Coastal Carolina linebacker and Buck Buchanan Award candidate Quinn Backus was named both Big South Defensive Player of the Week and a National All-Star by College Sporting News, while Chanticleer quarterback and Walter Payton Award candidate Alex Ross was named the Choice Hotels Big South Offensive Player of the Week.

Backus, the lone defensive player of the five All-Stars recognized by College Sporting News, tallied 13 tackles, including eight solo stops, en route to becoming Coastal Carolina’s all-time tackles leader, now with 365, as well as becoming the Big South’s all-time leader for solo tackles, now with 201. Backus is also the active leader among NCAA FCS players in both categories as well. Among his 13 tackles versus Elon, 2.5 went for losses, including a six-yard sack. Backus added two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries in the win. He set the tone on Elon’s opening series with four stops, including a sack on third down, during the six-play drive.

Backus led a defense that allowed just three points for the third consecutive game to become the first Big South program to accomplish the feat. Overall, Elon only reached the CCU “red zone” once, and Coastal held Elon to drives of six plays or less on 12 of its 15 possessions.

For his career, Backus has earned Big South Defensive Player of the Week honors 10 times – not including a Freshman of the Week honor in 2011 – and has been a National Player of the Week on six occasions.

Ross earns his first career Big South Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week honor. (Note, Ross was a Big South Freshman of the Week in his lone start of the 2012 season.) The junior completed 34 passes on 47 attempts and tallied 426 yards of total offense – all Coastal Carolina single-game records. In addition, the 34 completions and 426 yards of total offense rank fourth on the Big South single-game list. Overall, Ross threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns while rushing nine times for a game-high 88 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown.

While effective in the first half – completing 21-of-29 passes for 202 yards – Ross was even impressive in the second half. After converting just 2-of-8 third down opportunities in the first half, Ross helped the Chants convert 5-of-7 third down opportunities in the second half, specifically by completing passes for first downs on each of CCU’s last five third down chances. Also, with Coastal owning a 10-3 lead midway through the third quarter, Ross led Coastal to touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to put the game out of reach. During those three drives, he completed 12-of-14 passes for 136 yards, including a pair of 10-yard touchdown passes to Bruce Mapp, and added a 24-yard touchdown run to cap a four-play, 71-yard drive during which he completed all three pass attempts for 47 yards.

Ross is 17-3 as Coastal Carolina’s starting quarterback and, despite being a back-up for seven games as a redshirt freshman, has thrown a touchdown in 21 of his 26 career games played, which includes 19 of his 20 games as a starter.

Photo by Bill Grammer

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