Sept. 25, 2012. After leading a dominant defensive performance in a 34-17 victory at Chattanooga, Appalachian State University linebacker Brandon Grier (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte) has been named the College Football Performance Awards’ National Defensive Performer of the Week and the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
Grier had seven tackles, including a sack and tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry, a fumble recovery and a 70-yard interception return for the first touchdown of his career in Saturday’s win at UTC. Both of the senior’s takeaways came during a pivotal fourth-quarter spurt that saw Appalachian State stretch a slim 13-10 lead to a commanding 34-10 advantage.
In all, the Grier-led Mountaineer defense limited Chattanooga to 270 yards of offense with only 205 coming before the Mocs put together a 65-yard touchdown drive in the waning moments of the Apps’ impressive victory. Prior to the late touchdown, Chattanooga’s only points came on first-quarter scoring drives that covered just eight and 18 yards following Appalachian turnovers.
The weekly awards are the first of Grier’s career. He is the first Mountaineer to be named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week this season and the first to garner national defensive player-of-the-week recognition since teammate Jeremy Kimbrough (Decatur, Ga./Cedar Grove) was named The Sports Network’s National Defensive Player of the Week after the Apps beat Chattanooga last season, 14-12.
Grier and the Mountaineers (2-2, 1-1 SoCon), who remained at No. 17 in this week’s NCAA Division I FCS top-25 media poll by The Sports Network but moved up two spots to No. 16 in the American Football Coaches Association rankings, host Coastal Carolina (2-2, 0-0 Big South) on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff for the Family Weekend duel is set for 3:30 p.m. A very limited number of reserved seats returned by CCU went on sale Monday afternoon but are expected to sell out quickly. Tickets can be purchased online at GoASU.com, by phone at (828) 262-2079 or in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center.