Posted on November 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM
Monday, Nov 18 at 5:29 PM
Hard work has paid off in the form of a pair of national college football records – and more honors – for Jerry Rice Award candidate Cooper Kupp.
For the second time this season, the Eastern Washington University redshirt freshman wide receiver has been honored by The Sports Network as its Freshman of the Week in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
With eight catches for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns last Saturday at Cal Poly, Kupp broke the FCS record for receiving yards by a freshman and also equaled the FCS record for most consecutive games with a TD catch of 11 (at any grade level). Kupp, a 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., has caught a TD pass in all 11 games he has played as an Eagle thus far in his career.
“’He’s obviously really talented, but on top of that he maximizes his talent and opportunities,” said Baldwin of the candidate for the Jerry Rice Award given to the top freshman in FCS. “He deserves it because of how hard he works at it. He does all the little things to put himself in position to break those records. He’s always making huge plays – it’s constant.”
Kupp had TD catches of 32 and 24 yards against Cal Poly, and now shares the consecutive record with Randy Moss from Marshall in 1996, Cal Poly’s Ramses Barden in 2008 and EWU’s Brandon Kaufman in 2010.
He has 1,231 yards for the season on 68 catches, breaking the old freshman yardage record of 1,196 set by Sean Price of Appalachian State in 2012
Kupp has 16 TD catches (second in FCS behind Eric Lora of Eastern Illinois with 17) on 68 catches this season – a TD for every 4.3 catches so far. The next-best freshman in FCS has seven receiving TDs. Kupp, who is averaging 18.1 yards per catch, is fifth in FCS and tops among freshmen in receiving yards per game (111.9), fourth in total receiving yards and 24th in receptions per game (6.2).
In the last five games, he has caught 46 passes for 804 yards and eight TDs. Kupp has had performances of 11, 11, 8, 8 and 8 catches in his last four games, with yardage totals of 168, 182, 205, 110 and 139. His 205 yards against Idaho State ranks as the sixth-most all-time at EWU. He has seven performances this season of at least 100 yards.
He garnered co-FCS Freshman of the Week honors from The Sports Network when he caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns versus Montana on Oct. 26. Eastern, which has already assured itself a spot in the FCS Playoffs, closes the regular season against Portland State this Saturday (Nov. 23) at 2:45 p.m. at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.