Leftwich, a junior from Washington, D.C., is the third member of the
Thundering Herd football team to be named MAC Offensive Player of the year
since Marshall rejoined the league in 1997. Randy Moss won the honor in 97
and Chad Pennington took home the award in 1999.
Marshall QB Byron Leftwich
Yates, a senior from Newport News, Va., is the first Marshall player
to ever pick up the MAC Defensive Player of the Year award.
Leftwich has already established a new MAC record this season for
total offense with 3,804 yards this year. He needs just 89 yards passing in
Friday's MAC Championship game against Toledo to break the league mark for
passing yards in a season. Pennington set that record with 3,799 yards in
Leftwich received 35 of 58 votes cast by the MAC News Media
Association for the award. Toledo running back Chester Taylor finished
second (19), with Miami quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (2), Northern
Illinois running back Thomas Hammock (1) and Toledo quarterback Tavares
Bolden (1) receiving the remaining votes.
Marshall linebacker Max Yates
Yates, who leads the Mid-American Conference with 145 total tackles
this year, which is 31 more than the next leading tackler, received 28 1/2
of the 58 votes cast for the award. Eight players split the remaining 29 1/2
votes, with Bowling Green's Brandon Hicks finishing second in the voting
with 10 votes.
The Mid-American Conference will announce the winners of the annual
Vern Smith Leadership Award and the Coach of the Year on Thursday afternoon
at the Vern Smith Awards Luncheon at the Radisson Hotel in Toledo.
The Thundering Herd (10-1) will go for an unprecedented fifth
consecutive MAC crown on Friday night at the Glass Bowl against the Toledo
Rockets (8-2). The game is slated for 7:30 p.m. and will be nationally
televised by ESPN.