November 14, 2011

Mitchell BSC Player of the Week for Third Time

Senior quarterback passes for 436 yards and five TDs in 53-51 triple-overtime win, and is just 391 yards from single season record

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has won Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season after recording the ninth-most yards in school history with a 436-yard performance against Cal Poly last Saturday (Nov. 12). Mitchell, who also won following victories over Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado, shares this week’s award with Weber State running back C.J. Tuckett.

Mitchell (#9 in picture) completed 34-of-50 passes with an interception and five touchdown passes to five different receivers. He provided the winning points with a 25-yard TD pass to Greg Herd on the first play of the third overtime and subsequent scramble for the two-point conversion.

Mitchell’s older brother, Cory Mitchell (#19 in picture), caught a 22-yard TD in the game and finished with career highs of seven catches and 132 receiving yards. He was selected as the team's Offensive Player of the Week.

The effort by the “Gunslinger” in the 53-51 triple-overtime victory gives him 3,612 yards for the year – just the 11th performance by an Eagle of at least 3,000 passing yards in a single season. His yardage ranks fifth in school history, ahead of the 3,496 yards he had in 15 games as a junior last season. He is just 95 yards from moving into fourth (Erik Meyer - 3,707 in 2004), 132 from third (Matt Nichols - 3,744 in 2007), 218 from second (Nichols - 3,830 in 2009) and 391 from the school record of 4,003 set by Meyer in 12 games in 2005.

With a quartet of 400-yard passing performances this season – and three more of at least 300 – Mitchell is on pace  to break the school record for both single season and career passing yards per game. His current season average of 361.2 ranks ahead of the current record set in 2005 by Walter Payton Award winner Erik Meyer when he averaged 333.6 yards per game. Mitchell’s career average of 284.3 per outing ranks ahead of the 268.4 average of Matt Nichols (2006-09).

Despite playing just two seasons at Eastern, Mitchell already ranks fourth in school history for career passing yards (7,108) and third in touchdown passes (66), and he is also fourth in completions (581), fourth in attempts (957) and fourth in passing efficiency rating (140.2). He now has nine 300-yard performances in his 25-game EWU career, including four of the 19 400-yard performances in school history.

Mitchell had 440 yards against Portland State on Oct. 29 to rank as the seventh-most in school history. Earning his second-straight Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor, Mitchell had an even 400 passing yards in EWU’s 48-27 win over Northern Colorado on Oct. 15, finishing with three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. He completed 28-of-39 passes with no interceptions. His passing efficiency rating of 183.3 was the second-best performance in his career, ranking only behind the 192.7 rating he had last season versus Northern Arizona (20-of-26, 288 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions).

Mitchell followed his performance against UNC with a 357-yard effort against Sacramento State, throwing four touchdown passes to Nicholas Edwards en route to a 42-35 come-from-behind overtime victory.

In a 36-28 win at Northern Arizona on Oct. 8, Mitchell passed for 356 yards – accounting for all of EWU’s touchdowns and all but 34 of Eastern’s total of 390 yards of offense. One of his TD passes was a 17-yard completion to his older brother Cory Mitchell, who leaped high in the air to pull down the pass that Bo Levi admitted later was intended for another receiver. As a result, Mitchell was selected as Big Sky Conference co-Offensive Player of the Week -- the first such honor for the senior from Katy, Texas.

Mitchell’s career-high for passing yards was 473 in EWU’s season-opener this year against Washington on Sept. 3 when he completed 39-of-69 passes to rank second in school history for yards, completions and attempts.

A year ago, he was an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection and was the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Division I Championship Game won by the Eagles 20-19 over Delaware.

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