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October 31, 2007Harper Named National Defensive Player of the Week
ATLANTA -- University of Oregon free safety Matthew Harper has been named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Master Coaches Survey, MCS officials announced Wednesday.
Harper, a senior from Union City, Calif., picked off a pair of passes in Oregon's 24-17 win over USC last Saturday, helping the Ducks climb into the top five in the national polls and setting up this weekend's showdown against Arizona State for control of the Pac-10 race.
Harper's first interception came from a pass near the end of the third quarter and he returned it 27 yards. Oregon went on to score on Jonathan Stewart's 1-yard run to make it 24-10. Down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Trojans were on the march as the game was winding down. USC advanced to the Oregon 33 on their final drive when Harper made his second interception, which preserved the victory.
For his stellar play, Harper was awarded the "MCS Nike Game Ball" for the National Defensive Player of the Week.
Each week during the 2007 college football season, the 17 Master Football Coaches will award an MCS Nike Game Ball to the respective schools of a National Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week. The Master Coaches will also present a game ball to the offensive and defensive coordinator whose game plans made the biggest impact in their respective teams' victory.
In addition to Harper, the Master Football Coaches will also award MCS Nike Game Balls to Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno, Tennessee kicker Daniel Lincoln, Ohio State Offensive Coordinator Coach Jim Bollman and Arizona State Defensive Coordinator Coach Craig Bray.