Awards announced: Four EMU players get All-MAC honor

As the football season comes to a close, one thing remains for the Mid-American Conference teams not named Northern Illinois or Kent State.

The MAC announced their postseason awards Nov. 28. Four Eastern Michigan University senior players earned All-MAC honors.

Punter Jay Karutz made the 2012 All-MAC First Team Defense list. This is the first time Karutz has received such honors. Karutz is second in the MAC with 69 punts and 27th in the nation in average yards per punt (42.74). He also totaled 2,949 punting yards this season. His season-long punt was his career long as well, where he booted a 64-yarder at Ball State University.

After being named to the John Mackey Award watch list, senior tight end Garrett Hoskins is now a member of the 2012 All-MAC Second Team Offensive list. In 2011, Hoskins received All-MAC Third Team honors.

Hoskins started and played in all 12 games for the Eagles, catching 38 passes for 537 yards with three touchdowns. His most notable game of the season was Oct. 20 against Army, where he had seven catches for 158 yards and one touchdown.

Seniors Justin Cudworth and Andy Mulumba both made the 2012 All-MAC Second Team Defense list.

Cudworth, an outside linebacker for the Eagles, played 10 games this season totaling 85 tackles, eight tackles for loss, a pair of pass breakups and quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. This is his second All-MAC honors after making the Third Team Defense list last season.

Mulumba, a defensive end, received his first All-MAC honors after playing all 12 games this season. He had 73 total tackles with seven tackles for loss. He also had seven quarterback hurries, one pass breakup, a sack and a forced fumble.

Other notable All-MAC selections went to Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Bowling Green State University defensive end Chris Jones, Kent State running back Dri Archer, Western Michigan wide receiver Jaime Wilson and KSU head coach Darrell Hazell.

NIU’s Lynch won the Vern Smith Leadership Award, was named Offensive Player of the Year and made the 2012 All-MAC First Team Offense list. The Vern Smith Leadership Award recognizes the best player in the MAC and is voted upon by the head coaches.

Lynch, a Heisman candidate, is third in the nation in total offense and extended his streak of games with at least 100 rushing yards to 12 after the double overtime thriller over KSU to win the MAC championship.

BGSU’s Jones is a senior defensive lineman who received All-MAC honors for his third consecutive year. He won Defensive Player of the Year and received First Team honors. Jones totaled 41 tackles, an outstanding 19 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks.

KSU’s Archer made the First Team Offense list and was named Special Teams Player of the Year. Archer had 16 returns for 573 yards and three returns for touchdowns. His longest touchdown was returned for 99 yards. On offense, Archer ran the ball 150 times for 1,352 yards, finding the end zone 15 times. He also caught 35 passes for 539 yards with four touchdowns.

KSU head coach Hazell helped make a huge turnaround for his football program. As a second-year head coach, his team went from a 5-7 overall record (4-4 MAC) last season to being ranked 17th in the Bowl Conference Subdivision standings with hopes of a possible BCS bowl game bid supported by an 11-2 overall record (8-0 MAC).

Their only losses were at Kentucky and in the double overtime thriller against NIU on national TV.

The final score of the MAC Championship game was 44-37. It took NIU two overtimes to win their second consecutive MAC title.

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