Giza Earns Beyond Sports Network Recognition on Special Teams

Returns Kickoff 84 Yards for a Touchdown against Pacific Lutheran

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior cornerback Tyson Giza (Salem, OR/Sprague HS) has been selected as a national Special Teams Athlete of the Week by the Beyond Sports Network for his efforts against Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 26. The Lutes defeated the Bearcats, 35-24, but WU outscored PLU 17-7 in the second half.

With 10:07 left in the fourth quarter, Giza returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. Overall, he returned two kickoffs for a total of 123 yards, as he averaged 61.5 yards per return. The touchdown was his second score on a kickoff return this season. He returned a kick 85 yards to the end zone in the season opener against Hardin-Simmons University (Texas) on Sept. 6.

Earlier in the game, Giza blocked a punt in the third quarter that shot backward toward the PLU goal line. He was credited with a 39-yard punt return on the play after a Willamette teammate picked up the ball at the Lutes' 10-yard line. A fumble near the goal line at the end of the play was ruled to have gone out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback for PLU.

In addition to his special teams play against the Lutes, Giza earned three tackles and recovered a fumble.

This season, Giza is averaging 35.8 yards on 10 kickoff returns. He has earned 22 tackles, broken-up six passes and recorded four interceptions. He has intercepted 13 passes during his career.

Willamette is ranked #25 in this week's D3football.com Top 25. The Bearcats will host archrival Linfield College, ranked #2 in the Top 25, this weekend at McCulloch Stadium. Game time on Saturday, Nov. 2 is set for 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

Against Pacific Lutheran, Tyson Giza scored his second touchdown on a kickoff return this season. He went 84 yards for the score.

Against Pacific Lutheran, Tyson Giza scored his second touchdown on a kickoff return this season. He went 84 yards for the score.