Cumberland’s Michael Nwokoji was voted the Mid-South Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after rushing for 114 yards and two touchdowns and accounting for 161 all-purpose yards in a 45-43 homecoming victory over Union College.
The Mt. Juliet native led the Bulldogs in rushing and receiving in Saturday's win. He did the bulk of his work in the second half, as he has much of the season, rushing for 95 yards in the third and fourth quarters, including a 30-yard scamper in the third period. His 54-yard TD run with 6:17 remaining proved to be the winning points.
Nwokoji also scored a one-yard touchdown just before the half, helping CU overcome a 20-10 second quarter deficit. In contests at Belhaven and versus Pikeville and Union College over the last four weeks, he has averaged 13.3 carries and 112.7 yards per game in the second half, scoring four touchdowns. Cumberland has won four straight contests after opening the year with a pair of losses.
Nwokoji is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has seven touchdowns so far this season, leading the club with 513 yards rushing on 110 carries. The Bulldogs will play their fourth straight home game this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against 23rd-ranked Faulkner.
Bulldogs return to NAIA poll at No. 25
Cumberland is ranked No. 25 in this week’s NAIA football coaches’ top 25 poll, the club’s first ranking since the preseason poll in August, the national office announced Monday afternoon.
The Bulldogs have won four consecutive games, three of those at home, including last week’s 45-43 Homecoming victory against Union College. Cumberland started the streak with a 41-31 win at Belhaven University on September 21 and also defeated Bluefield College (40-10) and the University of Pikeville (49-42 in overtime).
Michael Nwokoji rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns and also caught five passes for 47 yards, both team-highs, versus Union, while the quarterback duo of Broc Loveless and Reed Gurchiek combined for 366 yards and three TDs in the victory. Nwokoji leads the club with 513 rushing yards and has seven touchdowns. Gurchiek (412 yards, five TDs) and Loveless (370 yards, eight TDs) are right behind, while the QB duo has passed for 750 yards and two more scores.
Cumberland ranks seventh nationally in total rushing yards (1,444) and eighth in rushing offense per game (240.7). The Bulldogs play their fourth straight home game this Saturday, taking on 19th-ranked Faulkner University.
The Mid-South Conference has six teams in this week’s top 25, including the University of the Cumberlands (No. 2), Georgetown College (11), Faulkner (19), Lindsey Wilson (21), Reinhardt (24) and Cumberland.