The "Hustle Belt" Belt is without a doubt the most distinguished clip art-based award given to Mid-American Conference athletes. Every week such an award will be given to the top offensive, defensive, and special teams player. These athletes can then print off the graphic, if they so choose, and hang it up in their trophy case. Or they can take a regular belt and just paint it gold. They can pretty much do whatever they want.
OFFENSE — Dwayne Priest, Eastern Michigan: 26 carries, 144 yards, two touchdowns in a tough loss to Army. Do the fourth-grade math; that's over five-and-a-half yards per carry against our nation's greatest land unit. Other guys had some solid numbers (quarterbacks Jerry Davis and Spencer Keith, running back Eric Williams, and receiver Marcus Rivers), but they were all padded stats against FCS teams. Very crafty of you to load up on cupcake frosting, gentlemen. Now let's see that razzmatazz against Bowl Subdivision platoons.
DEFENSE — Brian Wagner, Akron. Okay, so the Zips were squeezed by the Orange, dying of scurvy 29-3. But Wagner's 12 tackles, forced fumble and interception forced Syracuse to gather their points elsewhere. And although they did with ease, at least Wagner got his. Honorable hustle mentions are thrown to NIU's Tyrone Clark (nine tackles, TFL, interception) and BGSU's Chris Jones (five tackles, two sacks) for lesser-or-equal-value performances in rough losses.
SPECIAL TEAMS — Temple kicker Brandon McManus was a large part in the Owls' win over Villanova, thanks to four field goals of 40, 43, 44, and 53 yards. There are some NFL teams who can't get that type of accuracy on a given week. And here's a nod to BGSU's Eugene Cooper, who had a 63-yard punt return touchdown, and Toledo's John Penza, who probably had the best night of any Rocket against Arizona, blasting three 50-yard punts for a 48.4 yard average.