IRVING, Texas – East Carolina junior Holton Ahlers has been named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Week according to an announcement by the league office Monday morning. Additionally, sophomore cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian was selected to the AAC’s weekly honor roll for his performance against SMU Saturday.
Ahlers completed 20-of-29 passes (69.0%) for 298 yards and four touchdowns lifting the Pirates to a 52-38 win over the Mustangs. In the first half alone, he was 11-of-17 for 158 yards (and all four scores) as ECU built a 45-7 lead. His biggest second-half completion was a 38-yarder to Blake Proehl with 5:03 remaining on a 3rd-and-7 snap at the ECU 28-yardline with SMU rallying and trailing by 14.
The Greenville, N.C. native upped his career TD pass count to 51 and is one of just six current FBS QBs to have passed for over 7,000 yards (7,093) and rushed for over 1,000 yards (1,060). Ahlers has combined to throw 10 TD passes in his last two outings against SMU with a school-record six in Dallas a year ago.
McMillian, who earned honor roll status for the first time, booked five solo tackles and logged two interceptions, both in the fourth quarter, to thwart a SMU comeback attempt and help preserve ECU’s win on Saturday. He picked off a pair of Shane Buechele passes, both at the East Carolina 34-yard line, returning the second one 31 yards to the Mustang 35 and officially securing the victory with 2:58 remaining.
The two interceptions were his team-best third and fourth of the season (and sixth and seventh of his career). McMillian’s five stops marked the 19th multi-tackle outing of his 21-game career. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native also logged a pass breakup and played a key role on run defense that limited the Mustangs to just 70 yards on the ground.