MSU's Schaffitzel Picks Up a Pair of National Awards
Oct. 22, 2013
PHILADELPHIA – Missouri State safety Caleb Schaffitzel (Jr., Fair Grove, Mo.) has picked up a pair of national honors after his standout performance in the Bears’ 35-21 homecoming win over nationally-ranked South Dakota State on Saturday.
Schaffitzel, this week’s Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week, was announced as Division I FCS Co-National Defensive Player of the Week by both The Sports Network and BeyondSportsNetwork.com.
Schaffitzel tallied a game-high 14 tackles, broke up four passes and put the finishing touches on MSU's win over the No. 15 Jackrabbits on Saturday with a fourth-quarter interception return. His third interception in four weeks halted the Jackrabbits' final drive of the afternoon and gave the Bears their second straight home victory, both over nationally-ranked Division I FCS opponents. Schaffitzel returned the victory-clinching pick 25 yards before taking a knee to allow the Bears to run out the final 1:48.
After Saturday's performance, the All-American now ranks 37th nationally and first in the MVFC in interceptions per game, 22nd nationally and second in the league in passes defended and is 52nd among all Division I FCS players in total tackles. He added to his MSU career-leading interception return yard total (260) with his eighth career pickoff in the SDSU game. Through eight games this season, he has tallied a team-high 71 tackles, defended nine passes and snagged three interceptions.
He is one of 20 nominees on the 2013 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List -- the award presented by The Sports Network to the outstanding defensive player in the Division I FCS ranks each season.
Last season, Schaffitzel registered a team-high 109 tackles for the Bears with five interceptions and 11 passes defended. He tied for 10th nationally in interceptions per game (0.45) and finished 23rd in tackles per game (9.91) in the final NCAA Division I FCS statistical rankings. He was also a two-time MVFC Defensive Player of the Week, two-time CFPA National Defensive Back of the Week and one-time CFPA National Defensive Player of the Week. The Sports Network placed Schaffitzel on its 2012 All-America third team, and he was also named to the Associated Press All-America third team, Capital One Academic All-America second team, All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team, and MVFC All-Academic first team.
With Saturday's victory, the Bears improved to 2-2 in the MVFC, tied for fourth in the league standings, as they continue conference action at Western Illinois (3-5, 1-3) this Saturday at 6 p.m.