MANHATTAN, Kan. – Thanks to their impressive performances in Kansas State’s 31-12 victory over Oklahoma State last Saturday, junior running back Alex Barnes and senior defensive back Duke Shelley have been named Big 12 Players of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.
In addition to his co-Defensive Player of the Week accolade, Shelley was also named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll.
It was the first time in Barnes’ career he earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, while it was the second weekly conference award for Shelley following last year’s Texas Tech game. The Wildcats now have 51 conference player of the week accolades since 2011, tied for second in the league.
Barnes rushed a career-high 34 times for 181 yards and a career-high tying four touchdowns against the Cowboys, part of a 291-yard rushing day for the Wildcats. He also led the team with three catches for 51 yards as he became just the third player in school history with 175 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in a single game, joining Tony Jordan (1986 vs. Iowa State) and Darren Sproles (2003 vs. Oklahoma).
Coupled with his 250-yard, three-touchdown output against Baylor the previous week, Barnes leads the Big 12 in rushing (112.6 yds/game) and touchdowns (9), while he is second in all-purpose yards (132.3 yds/game). He also ranks fifth nationally in total rushing yards (788), sixth in rushing touchdowns and 20th in all-purpose yards.
A product of Pittsburg, Kansas, Barnes entered the school’s career top-10 list in career rushing yards with his performance against the Cowboys, a mark that now stands at 2,049 yards.
A product of Tucker, Georgia, Shelley came away with the first multi-interception game of his career when he tallied two picks, a pass breakup and six solo tackles against OSU. He now has three interceptions on the year – all coming within the last two games – to rank fourth in the Big 12 and tied for 27th nationally. He improved his career interception total to eight – with half of those coming against Oklahoma State – as he is now two away from tying for 10th in school history.
Shelley has 12 total passes defended this season to rank second in the Big 12 and eighth in the country. The senior improved his career passes defended total to 39, a mark that is tied for third nationally among active players and ranks seventh in school history.
In addition to his work on defense against Oklahoma State, Shelley also returned a kickoff 26 yards, while his last interception was returned for 30 yards, an effort that landed him on the Hornung Award Honor Roll.
Kansas State is idle this weekend and returns to action on October 27, when the Wildcats travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to face the ninth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. The Wildcats then travel to TCU on November 3, before hosting Kansas on November 10.