After a record-setting performance in the season finale against Butler, Morehead State football senior linebacker Vincent Winey has been named Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Week, while teammate BJ Byrd has been tabbed as the league's co-Special Teams Player of the Week.
Winey set Morehead State's single-game tackle record with a career-high 23 stops Saturday. Included in his program record were three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery on a play where Butler looked to be heading for a passing touchdown late in the fourth quarter that could have brought the game to within one score. Twenty-two (22) of his tackles were in the final three quarters.
Winey, who broke the record of 20 from current MSU assistant coach and linebacker alum Ryan Bennett, had eight solo tackles and added a quarterback hurry as well. His performance is the second highest single-game tackle total in the FCS this spring (with both top spots belonging to PFL defenders). Winey concluded the 2021 campaign ranked second in the league with 84 total stops and 12.0 per game.
Byrd amassed 150 yards in kickoff returns, including an 85-yard return for a touchdown. Fielding just three kickoffs in the game, he returned them 21, 44 and 85 yards. Byrd's scoring return came moments after Butler scored to get within a field goal with one second remaining in the third quarter. He returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to end the quarter and secure the victory. He also had three receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns and finished with 203 all-purpose yards on a day the Morehead State offense ran only 41 plays.
Byrd led the PFL with eight receiving touchdowns in 2021 and also ranked as the top scoring player in the league with 54 points. He had 467 yards in the seven games.