Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week: Joe Protheroe

Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week: Joe Protheroe

Joe Protheroe, Senior, Fullback, 5-11, 230, Concord, Calif. | Clayton Valley Charter High School

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Senior fullback Joe Protheroe missed nine games a year ago due to an injury, collecting 164 yards and one touchdown in less than six quarters of action.

The Clayton Valley Charter High School (Concord, Calif.) graduate obliterated those numbers in just one game Friday night.

Protheroe established new career highs for carries (43), yards (228) and touchdowns (three) to lead Cal Poly to a 44-15 victory over Ivy League member Brown inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

The performance also has resulted in numerous honors for the fifth-year senior.

One day after earning Big Sky Conference Player of the Week accolades from College Sports Madness, Protheroe picked up two more awards — ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in his Mustang career and Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week for the second time.

He also was an honorable mention for the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week.

Protheroe scored on runs of 5, 3 and 1 yards, breaking off a 26-yard romp to set up his third score of the game late in the third quarter.

Protheroe’s five-yard scoring run with 26 seconds to go in the first half ignited a run of 27 unanswered points by the Mustangs after Brown had scored all of its 15 points in the second quarter.

Protheroe remains No. 7 on Cal Poly’s career rushing list with 2,806 yards but now needs just 219 yards to move into the top five. The school record is 4,205 yards by Craig Young during his four-year career from 1996-99.

Protheroe now has 15 career 100-yard games, including two over the 200-yard mark. He rambled for 217 yards on 31 carries in a win over South Dakota State in 2016 and his effort Friday marked the 22nd time a Cal Poly player rushed for 200 or more yards in a game in 100 seasons of Mustang football.

Protheroe scored three touchdowns on the ground in a single game for the first time in his Mustang career. He had scored twice in a game six times in his previous three-plus seasons as a Mustang.

Landon Stice of Weber State was named the ROOT SPORTS Defensive Player of the Week, while Sacramento State punter Owen Hoolihan picked up ROOT SPORTS Special Teams accolades.

Cal Poly (1-2) opens Big Sky Conference play Saturday at Eastern Washington, with kickoff in Cheney, Wash., set for 1:05 p.m.

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