By ERIC TABER
Montana Defensive Tackle Caleb Kidder has been named the ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week following the Grizzlies 27-13 defeat of UC Davis on the road in California.
Kidder had an extraordinary game for a defensive tackle against UC Davis on Saturday. The junior out of Helena recorded seven tackles, a sack and two forced turnovers to lead a Griz defense that kept the Aggies out of the end zone in the second half.
Five of Kidder’s seven tackles were solo efforts paired with two assisted for a total of seven takedowns.
Kidder also picked up a sack for a loss of 11 yards, recovered a fumble, and hauled in an interception.
Kidder’s interception came at a crucial time early in the second half, when Davis marched down the field in its opening possession to the UM 36, only to have their next play batted down and hauled in by Kidder.
Kidder’s other big forced turnover came on the first play of the 4th quarter, when Jamal Wilson forced the ball out of the hands of Davis running back Manusamoa Luuga and Kidder pounced on it at the Davis 37 yard line.
This is the second ROOT SPORTS defensive player of the week award in as weeks for the Grizzlies. Tyrone Holmes took home the award after UM’s defeat of Northern Arizona with four sacks on the day.
Kidder and the Griz return home to Washington-Grizzly Stadium to face Weber State on Saturday in the annual pink game to support cancer awareness. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. in Missoula.