University of Hawai’i linebacker Jahlani Tavai was selected as the Mountain West’s Defensive Player of the Week after leading a gritty defensive effort in the Rainbow Warriors’ 34-27 double overtime victory over Air Force on Saturday.
The sophomore from Redondo Beach, Calif., tallied 13 tackles, including 10 solo and a team-leading 2.5 tackles for loss against the Falcons. He forced a fumble from quarterback Nate Romine in the third quarter which led to a game-tying field goal, knotting the score at 13-13.
Tavai and the Warrior defense limited Air Force to just 20 yards passing and forced two turnovers, which led to 10 points. In addition, UH stopped the Falcons on fourth down, which led to a field goal in the second quarter.
Tavai leads the Warriors with 70 tackles on the season, including 10 for loss, two sacks, and one interception. The award is the first of his career.
UH next hosts New Mexico Saturday, Oct. 29. Kick-off is 6:00 p.m., on Hawaiian Tel FCU Field at Aloha Stadium.