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Anthony Harris Named National Defensive Player Of The Week - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Anthony Harris Named National Defensive Player Of The Week

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Junior safety Anthony Harris Junior safety Anthony Harris

The Virginia football team is starting off the season 1-0 for the fourth-straight year under coach Mike London, as the Cavaliers came from behind to beat BYU 19-16 on a rainy Saturday at Scott Stadium.  

The UVa defense held the high-powered Cougars in check for most of the day, and Sunday junior safety Anthony Harris was rewarded for his effort by being named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.  

Harris had eleven tackles, a sack, and a 4th quarter interception against BYU.

"It was a great play by Anthony Harris," said London.  "I don't know about the lateral play, but we had possession at that time, and obviously that was the turning point."

Senior center Luke Bowanko was watching the interception and lateral from the sideline and said, "I'm like, 'What are they doing?'  And then it worked out great.  They must have been practicing that or something."

Harris was all over the field in the Cavaliers season-opening win, even blocking a punt on special teams.

"This year I think I've taken on a bigger leader role," says Harris.  "I see a lot of guys looking up to me, so I tried to keep the spirits up, keep the energy up, and go out there and do what I can to help my team win.  I came free on the punt, and just tried to make a play, and I did.  With the interception, I just played my assignment and keys, and I was in the right spot."

Thanks to the effort of the junior defensive back, both of Virginia's touchdown drives covered less than twenty yards.

Sophomore quarterback David Watford said, "As an offense, at that moment we just said we have to capitalize.  The defense had played a hell of a game all game.  Anthony Harris played his butt off.  We just said at that moment we have to capitalize and put points on the board.  We were kind of leaving the defense out to dry, not scoring, and not capitalizing on certain events.  That moment right there, we said we were going to score, and KP drove it in."

Virginia will host #3 Oregon next Saturday at 3:30 PM.

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