College football: Tucker Large named MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week

South Dakota State’s Tucker Large returns a punt during a 70-7 win over Drake at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday. Large was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the win. (Dave Eggen/Inertia)

ST. LOUIS — South Dakota State punt returner Tucker Large was honored Monday as Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after a record-setting performance in the top-ranked Jackrabbits’ victory over Drake this past weekend.

Large flipped the field several times in South Dakota State’s favor, racking up what is believed to be a single-game school record with 149 yards on four punt returns in the Jackrabbits’ 70-7 victory Sept. 16 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The sophomore from Sioux Falls notched returns of 42 and 33 yards in the first quarter, followed by returns of 19 and 61 yards in the second stanza. In addition, Large contributed a tackle and pass breakup from his safety position on defense.

His 149-yard punt return day is nearly three times more than the best single-game performance by a league player this year. For the season, Large is averaging 34.8 yards on five punt returns and also has returned an interception 64 yards for a touchdown.

SDSU, 3-0 overall, is idle this week before opening league play Sept. 30 by hosting nationally ranked North Dakota. Kickoff for the Precision Ag Bowl and Hall of Fame Game is set for 2 p.m. at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.