Justin Anderson, who made a career-high 16 tackles to help Louisiana defeat Western Kentucky, 37-20, on Tuesday night (Oct. 15), has been named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week. The award was announced by the Sun Belt Conference office on Monday.
This is the first time that Anderson has earned a league player of the week award. He joins teammates Terrance Broadway (Sept. 21, Offensive) and Darryl Surgent (Sept. 7, Special Teams) as award winners this season.
"This is a nice honor for Justin," Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "He helped to inspire the defensive performance at Western Kentucky last week that gave us a big road victory.
"Justin has not only been our best defender this season, but he has been a leader for the Cajuns on the field. He is a legitimate candidate for Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.
"As much as we appreciate Justin being honored for his play, the focus of the entire Ragin' Cajuns football team is on getting ready for Tuesday night's game at Arkansas State," Hudspeth said.
A 6-2, 232-pound linebacker from Foley, Ala., Anderson may have turned in the game of his career at WKU, helping the Cajuns rally from 10 points down in the second quarter to claim a 37-20 win.
Besides the career-high 16 tackles with two tackles for loss, Anderson twice stole the ball away from Hilltopper receiver Mitchell Henry. The first came after Henry caught a pass for a first down at the UL 20 on a fourth-and-nine play with Anderson returning the fumble 45 yards to set up an Alonzo Harris touchdown that put the Cajuns ahead, 13-10.
Anderson came back in the fourth quarter to do it again, forcing and recovering the fumble that led to a Jacob Maxwell touchdown pass from Terrance Broadway that gave Louisiana a 30-13 lead.
Anderson begins the week ranked sixth nationally and first in the Sun Belt with 67 tackles (11.2 tpg). He is also fourth in both solo tackles (6.8) and forced fumbles (3) and 16th in fumbles recovered (2).
The performance at WKU marked the third time that he set a career high for tackles this season. Anderson opened the year with 14 tackles at Arkansas on Aug. 30 and made 15 stops at Kansas State on Sept. 7.