CHICAGO – Mercer linebacker Lee Bennett was named the STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Week on Monday following his impressive performance in a 24-14 victory over then-No. 17 The Citadel.
Bennett posted a career-high 16 tackles, forced two fumbles, notched his school-record sixth fumble recovery and added one tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry. A native of Leesburg, Fla., Bennett played 72 snaps as Mercer limited The Citadel's rushing attack – which entered Saturday's game averaging 333.5 rushing yards per game – to 201 yards on the ground.
The senior captain's most important play came in the fourth quarter with Mercer leading, 21-7. Bennett burst into The Citadel's back field and dropped quarterback Dominique Allen for a three-yard loss and a turnover on downs with 7:59 left in the game. It was pivotal stop for Mercer and preserved the 14-point lead after the Bulldogs started the drive on the Mercer 21-yard line following a fumble.
Bennett was also named the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
The Bears host SoCon foe Chattanooga (1-5, 1-2) at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Five Star Stadium. The contest will be broadcasted live via Stadium and can be heard live via 96.5 FM The Bull, or via the Sportsmic and iHeartRadio apps.