Baylor’s Russell, Blanchard Card Big 12 Player of the Week Honors

Posted at 7:09 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 20:09:32-04

Baylor football had a pair of players recognized by the Big 12 Conference as QB Seth Russell was named Offensive Player of the Week and NB Travon Blanchard was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Week, conference officials announced Monday.

The two recognitions mark the ninth time in program history that a pair of Bears has been honored in the same week and the first since KD Cannon (offensive) and Andrew Billings (defense) accomplished the feat on Nov. 23, 2015.

Russell threw for 387 yards and four TDs on 18-of-28 passing in Baylor’s 35-24 Big 12 opening win over Oklahoma State Saturday in Waco. He was also BU’s leading rusher in the game with 10 carries for 65 yards.

The senior signal caller gave the Bears the lead (14-7) with a 38-yard TD strike to Ishmael Zamora early in the second quarter and then closed out the half with another 38-yard scoring pass to Zamora to give the Bears a 21-14 halftime advantage. In the second half, Russell connected with Chris Platt twice on TD passes of 89 and 15 yards. The first coming with 6:56 left in the third quarter was a career long pass for Russell and tied for the third longest-pass in program history. Russell capped BU’s scoring by fitting in the 15-yard strike to Platt in the end zone with 5:14 left in the final quarter.

The native of Garland, Texas, improved to 12-0 in his career as a starter. In his 12 career starts, Russell has thrown 47 TD passes (3.9 TD passes/game) and only 10 interceptions.

It is the third player of the week honor of Russell's career, after also earning the accolade on Sept. 8, 2014 and Oct. 19, 2015. The trio of accolades for Russell is second-most in BU history for an offensive player behind Robert Griffin III’s five. He is BU's first Big 12 offensive weekly award winner of the 2016 season. Baylor has now at least one offensive honoree in 11 straight years.

In total, Baylor has had 11 different offensive players honored a combined 19 times since 2002, including 13 honorees in the last five years.

Blanchard had 11 tackles (8 solo), including a career-high 4.5 TFLs in Baylor’s victory over the Cowboys. He also had one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one PBU and one QB hurry.

The Orange, Texas, product’s largest contribution of the game came with Oklahoma State driving with under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and Baylor leading 28-24. The junior was able to punch the ball loose from OSU RB Justice Hill at the BU 2-yard line as the Cowboys were on the verge of taking the lead. Blanchard then pounced on the ball at the BU 1-yard line for a forced fumble and recovery. Hill was originally ruled down, but replay overturned that call to give the Bears the ball at their own 1-yard line. After Blanchard’s recovery, the BU offense sealed the game with a 99-yard TD drive.

Blanchard’s 4.5 TFLs are the most for any Big 12 player in a single game this season and are tied for 2nd-most nationally in a single game for 2016.

For the junior defender, it is his first career Big 12 weekly award. In total, Baylor has had 17 defensive players recognized a combined 22 times since 2001. BU has had at least two defensive winners in six of the last seven years.

Russell and Blanchard join safety Orion Stewart (defense) and running back JaMycal Hasty (newcomer) as BU players to be recognized by the conference in 2016.

The 13th-ranked Bears (4-0, 1-0) will now travel to Iowa State to face the Cyclones (1-3, 0-1) at 11 a.m. CT Saturday on FS1.

For the latest news on the Baylor football team follow its official Twitter account: @BUFootball.

Sept. 12 - Orion Stewart (Defense)
Sept. 19 - JaMycal Hasty (Newcomer)
Sept. 26 - Seth Russell (Offense)
Sept. 26 - Travon Blanchard (Defense)

2002 - Jonathan Golden, RB (Sept. 7)
2006 - Shawn Bell, QB (Oct. 23)
2007 - Blake Szymanski, QB (Sept. 10)
2008 - Robert Griffin III, QB (Sept. 15)
2009 - Nick Florence, QB (Nov. 9)
2010 - Robert Griffin III, QB (Oct. 24)
2011 - Robert Griffin III, QB (Sept. 6)
2011 - Robert Griffin III, QB (Nov. 21)
2011 - Terrance Ganaway, RB (Nov. 28)
2011 - Robert Griffin III, QB (Dec. 5)
2012 - Lache Seastrunk, RB (Dec. 3)
2013 - Lache Seastrunk, RB (Oct. 7)
2013 - Shock Linwood, RB (Nov. 11)
2013 - Bryce Petty, QB (Nov. 18)
2014 - Seth Russell, QB (Sept. 8)
2014 - Bryce Petty, QB (Oct. 13) 
2014 - Corey Coleman, WR (Nov. 10)
2015 - Corey Coleman, WR (Sept. 14)
2015 - Seth Russell, QB (Oct. 19)
2015 - KD Cannon, WR (Nov. 23)
2016 - Seth Russell, QB (Sept. 26)

2001 - Samir Al-Amin, FS (Nov. 24) 
2004 - Willie Andrews, RS (Sept. 27) 
2005 - Colin Allred, LB (Nov. 21) 
2006 - Dwain Crawford, CB (Oct. 2) 
2007 - Jordan Lake, FS (Sept. 24) 
2008 - Joe Pawelek, LB (Nov. 17) 
2009 - Joe Pawelek, LB (Sept. 8) 
2010 - Byron Landor, S (Oct. 18)
2010 - Byron Landor, S (Nov. 1) 
2011 - Elliot Coffey, LB (Nov. 14)
2011 - Sam Holl, S (Dec. 5) 
2012 - Joe Williams, CB (Nov. 19)
2012 - Eddie Lackey, LB (Nov. 26)
2012 - Eddie Lackey, LB (Dec. 3)
2013 - Terrell Burt, S (Sept. 23)
2013 - Eddie Lackey, LB (Oct. 21)
2013 - K.J. Morton, CB (Dec. 9)
2014 - Shawn Oakman, DE (Nov. 24)
2015 - Shawn Oakman, DE (Oct. 26)
2015 - Andrew Billings, NT (Nov. 23) 
2016 - Orion Stewart, S (Sept. 12)
2016 - Travon Blanchard, NB (Sept. 26)