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Linebacker Nick Dzubnar Captures Cal Poly, Big Sky and National Honors

Linebacker Nick Dzubnar Captures Cal Poly, Big Sky and National Honors


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly sophomore linebacker Nick Dzubnar has earned numerous awards -- at the school, conference and national levels -- for his performance in the Mustangs' 42-34 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Dzubnar is one of three players named Root Sports Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week after notching nine tackles and returning an interception 40 yards for a touchdown, which gave Cal Poly the lead for good at 14-7 late in the first quarter.

Seven of Dzubnar's tackles were solo stops and the 6-2, 240-pound graduate of Mission Viejo High School also forced a fumble at the Cal Poly one-yard line on fourth down.

In its first season in the Big Sky Conference, Cal Poly earned a share of the Big Sky title and secured an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth. Eastern Washington and Montana State also finished conference play with 7-1 records.

Cal Poly held Northern Arizona to just 95 rushing yards. The Lumberjacks, who finished one game out of the three-way tie for the Big Sky title at 6-2 and were denied a playoff berth despite their 8-3 overall mark, were averaging 181.4 yards per game on the ground.

Dzubnar also was named Coca-Cola/Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week, a College Sporting News national all-star, College Football Performance Awards national linebacker of the week and College Sports Madness national FCS defensive player of the week.

For the season, Dzubnar has a team-leading 97 tackles (54 solo), including 5.5 tackles for lost yardage and one sack. He also has notched five pass breakups, forced two fumbles and recovered two others.

The interception was his first of the season and second of his Mustang career. Dzubnar also intercepted a pass against South Dakota State in 2011.

Montana State defensive end Caleb Schreibeis and Northern Colorado defensive back Marcel Gibbons are the other Big Sky defensive players of the week. Eastern Washington quarterback Kyle Padron and Weber State running back C.J. Tuckett are the Co-Offensive Players of the Week. Montana State kicker Rory Perez is the Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Mustangs, 9-2 overall, earned a first-round bye in the FCS playoffs and will play in the second round against Sam Houston State (8-3) on Saturday, Dec. 1. Kickoff at at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, Texas, is set for 1 p.m. PST.

The winner of the Cal Poly-Sam Houston State matchup will face either Montana State, the No. 3 seed, or the winner of the first-round contest between Stony Brook and Villanova.

Cal Poly football is presented by French Hospital Medical Center.