Vols Daniel Bituli SEC Defensive Player of the Week After Monster Tackle Peformance
(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee linebacker Daniel Bituli was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week after a stellar performance in UT’s closely-contested 17-13 comeback win at Kentucky, the conference announced Monday.
The senior led Tennessee with a season-high and SEC-best 19 tackles to help lift the Vols to their third consecutive win.
Bituli spearheaded a defense that shutout the Wildcats in the second half. No stop, however, was bigger than Bituli’s tackle on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line when he stuffed Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden’s quarterback option run with just over one-minute remaining to secure the victory.
The Nashville native finished with 10 solo tackles and added a half-tackle for loss as the Vols erased a 13-0 first-quarter deficit and held the Wildcats scoreless in the second half at Kroger Field.
His 19-tackle performance is tied for the fifth-highest total by a Power 5 player in 2019.
The honor marks the second of the year for Bituli who was previously recognized on Oct. 28 after an impressive display in UT’s 41-21 victory over South Carolina when he paced Tennessee with 15 tackles, 1.0 TFL and blocked a punt he returned for touchdown to provide the final scoring margin, which was the largest win the Vols have had over the Gamecocks since 1999’s 30-7 victory.
Bituli was also named to the PFF College National Team of the Week.