Bucs' Smith comes off the bench to win SoCon player of the week honors

Joe Avento • Nov 5, 2018 at 2:54 PM

 Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity.

Artevius Smith, a safety on the East Tennessee State football team, was chosen as the Southern Conference defensive player of the week on Monday for his two-interception performance against Mercer.

Smith had opened the season as the starter at strong safety and had lost his job to Titus Tucker.

Tucker was ejected from ETSU’s 21-18 victory over Mercer in the first quarter after a targeting call when he and Jared Folk sandwiched Bears quarterback Harrison Frost on a running play. Smith came in and the Bucs’ defense didn’t miss a beat.

Both of Smith’s interceptions resulted in ETSU touchdowns in a victory that gave the Bucs at least a share of the Southern Conference championship. He also had six tackles.

That result allowed the 8-2 Bucs to move up to 17th in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll and 19th In the STATS poll, both of which were released Monday. They’ve been in the Top 25 for five weeks in a row.

After a bye week, ETSU closes the regular season Nov. 17 when Samford comes to Greene Stadium in a game that could be for the outright SoCon title for the Bucs. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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