University of Washington

UW linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven earns second straight Pac-12 defensive player of the week honor

Washington Huskies linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven (25) and Washington Huskies linebacker Benning Potoa’e (8) combine to tackle Arizona State Sun Devils running back Eno Benjamin (3) in the third quarter. The Washington Huskies played the Arizona State Sun Devils in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.
Washington Huskies linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven (25) and Washington Huskies linebacker Benning Potoa’e (8) combine to tackle Arizona State Sun Devils running back Eno Benjamin (3) in the third quarter. The Washington Huskies played the Arizona State Sun Devils in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. joshua.bessex@gateline.com

After Washington’s victory over Arizona State on Saturday, defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake was lobbying for senior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven to receive a second straight Pac-12 defensive player of the week honor.

On Monday, his hope became reality.

After receiving the title for the first time in his career last week, Burr-Kirven earned it again after recording a career-high 20 tackles in the 27-20 victory over the Sun Devils.

It was the highest total by a Husky player since John Fail recorded 22 tackles against Arizona State in 1996. Burr-Kirven also had two forced fumbles, recovering the second himself.

After the game, Lake called Burr-Kirven’s performance “unbelievable.”

“He plays violent,” Lake said. “He plays at one speed. He practices the same way. He diagnoses plays so quickly.”

Burr-Kirven has 53 tackles this season, which is 30 more than any other UW player.

He is the first player to win back-to-back defensive player of the year honors since Arizona State linebacker Antonio Longino in 2015. A Husky hasn’t earned back-to-back honors since cornerback Derrick Johnson in 2002.

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