HOUSTON -- A first team All-American as a true freshman, Houston sophomore defensive tackle Ed Oliver has been named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player, The Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
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Oliver leads the nation with a career average of 1.50 tackles for loss per game, totaling 32 in only 20 career games played.
This season, despite missing three quarters after being injured at Temple on Sept. 30 and being limited in the next four games, Oliver is third on the Houston team with 49 tackles, which ranks sixth nationally among all defensive linemen, while his nine tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries and 2.5 sacks lead the Cougars. He has also broken up three passes, blocked a field goal, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.
He’s recorded multiple tackles for loss in three games this season and now has 11 career games with multiple tackles for loss. Playing the tackle spot in a three-man front, Oliver has at least five tackles in six of eight games this season.
With two forced fumbles this season, Oliver now has five for his career and ranks fourth nationally with a career average of 0.24 forced fumbles per game. His next forced fumble would move him into eighth on the Houston career records chart.
Semifinalist voting for the award will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and will close on Nov. 19. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 20 and a second round of voting will take place at that time.