Wyoming senior linebacker Ward Dobbs was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in a 13-7 Wyoming victory at Tennessee on Saturday.
Dobbs recorded a team-high 13 tackles,intercepted one pass, which he returned 24 yards for Wyoming’s second touchdown of the game, had 4.0 tackles for losses; and 1.0 sack in the win.
Dobbs interception came in the second quarter, with Wyoming leading 7-0. He intercepted Tennessee quarterback Nick Stephens’ pass at the UT 24-yard line and never broke stride as he ran the interception back down the sideline an into the end zone for the score. It was Dobbs first interception return for a touchdown of his career and proved to be the game winner.
In addition to his interception return for a touchdown, Dobbs made two other critical plays. On a third and four on Wyoming’s own 37-yard line in the third quarter, Tennessee attempted a screen pass, which Dobbs identified and tackled UT running back Tauren Poole for a 1-yard loss, forcing the Volunteers to punt on the next play.
On the Vols final possession of the game, they had driven down field and had a first and 10 on the Wyoming 39-yard line. UT quarterback Jason Crompton dropped back to pass, but Dobbs came through on a blitz and sacked Crompton for an eight-yard loss back to the UT 47. Three incomplete passes later, the ball went over to Wyoming on downs and UW recorded the first Mountain West Conference win ever against the Volunteers.
The Cowboys win was also the first time a non-BCS conference team had won in Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium since Oct. 11, 1986, when Army defeated the Volunteers 25-21 in Knoxville.
Dobbs also moved into seventh place on Wyoming’s career tackle list with his performance versus Tennessee. He currently has 318 career tackles.
This marked the second MWC Defensive Player of the Week honor for Dobbs. He was also honored in 2006 for his performance in a 31-15 win over Utah.