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Hardin's return work honored by Big Sky, CFPA
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Updated: Saturday 10/07/2013 12:20:16 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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Grand Forks, N.D. - Senior Greg Hardin earned some Big Sky and national recognition for his 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in this past Saturday's 28-25 victory over Idaho State. College Football Performance Awards officials named Hardin the National Kick Returner of the Week, while league officials named him the ROOT Sports Big Sky Co-Special Teams Player of the Week.

Hardin became the first player in UND history with three kickoff returns for touchdowns after taking his second one of the season back against the  Bengals. He is the only Big Sky player with two kickoff returns for scores this season and one of only two in FCS to achieve that feat.

With his team leading 14-10 in the third quarter, Hardin went 99 yards for his fifth touchdown of the season. The 99-yard return is the second longest in UND history. He also owns the third longest at 98 yards. Hardin finished the game with 225 all-purpose yards and has 1,108 for the season (221.6/ypg).

For Hardin, the CFPA honor was the fifth of his career. He was named National Performer of the Week, National Wide Receiver of the Week twice and National Kick Returner of the Week in 2012. The Big Sky weekly honor is the third of his career.

The CFPA also recognized the efforts of linebackers Ben Peters and Dayo Idowu along with defensive back Chavon Mackey. That trio earned CFPA honorable mention honors for their performances in the win over the Bengals.

Peters led the team with eight tackles and also recovered a fumble in the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Idowu had four tackles, including two for a loss, his first career interception and forced the fumble that led to Peter's defensive touchdown.

Making his first start at cornerback this season, Mackey intercepted two passes, made four solo tackles and added two more pass break-ups to lead a UND defense that forced four total turnovers on the day. The defense had forced just two turnovers through four games coming into the contest.

Mackey provided UND with its first interception of the season in the second quarter just one play after an Idaho State interception set up the Bengals inside UND territory. Mackey’s second interception came in the end zone and two plays after the Bengals were set up at UND’s 15-yard line following a UND turnover on a punt return. 

UND returns to the Alerus Center on Saturday for a Homecoming tilt against Eastern Washington. Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m. CT.

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