Okafor Named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Oct. 8, 2012
DALLAS -- Texas Longhorns senior defensive end Alex Okafor has been selected as the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Okafor matched career highs with two sacks and two forced fumbles, as well as blocking one field-goal attempt and posting three quarterback pressures in No. 11/9 Texas's 45-48 defeat to No. 8/7 West Virginia.
Okafor's blocked field goal, the first of his career, prevented the Mountaineers from taking a 10-7 lead in the first quarter.
The Pflugerville, Texas, native's first sack and forced fumble of the game came late in the second quarter when the Mountaineers led 21-14. Junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat recovered the fumble in the end zone for the tying touchdown. Okafor's second forced fumble occurred in the fourth quarter, and was recovered by junior DT Chris Whaley at the WVU 12-yard line. The two forced fumbles marked the fifth and sixth of his career.
It was the third time in his career that Okafor posted two sacks in a game. Texas sacked WVU's Geno Smith four times on the night. The Mountaineers allowed only four total sacks in the first four games of the season.
Okafor is a fourth-year player who has seen action in 44 career games with 26 starts (tops on the defense) and currently leads the team in sacks (6) and quarterback pressures (12). He leads the Big 12 in sacks (1.2 per game) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (1.2 pg).
He has 21 total tackles, including 12 solo stops and six tackles for loss, on the season.
Okafor was named to the 2012 Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and CFPA Defensive Lineman of the Year Trophy watch lists and was tabbed 2012 preseason first-team All-America by Athlon, Blue Ribbon and Phil Steele magazines. He was a 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches' All-American, a unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches) in 2011, named first team All-Big 12 (AP, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and second team (San Antonio Express-News) and was on the 2011 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award watch list.