Dakota Cox, linebacker
One of the Mountain West’s top tacklers, Cox tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee toward the end of last year’s game against Boise State.
He has returned this season to lead the team in tackles again with 67.
“It took me a little while to get my head around getting hurt,” he said. “I went into surgery and knew I had to keep a positive mindset, be the most optimistic person I could be. I took every part of it as a battle.”
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The junior has started 27 games in his career. He has 281 career tackles, including a national-best 12.9 per game last year.
Teriyon Gipson, tailback
The 5-foot-8, 182-pounder’s explosiveness is one reason the Lobos’ triple-option offense is so effective. He averages 6.1 yards per carry and 8.3 yards per catch.
He rolled up 205 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries last year against Boise State, including a 49-yard touchdown run.
Carlos Wiggins, kick returner
The 2013 Mountain West special teams player of the year has returned a conference-record five kickoffs for touchdowns in his career. He doesn’t get the ball much on offense, but he’s dangerous there, too — with 11.8 yards per carry and 18.7 yards per catch.
Wiggins is having another excellent season on special teams: a 29.5-yard average and a touchdown on kickoff returns and a 7.7-yard average on punt returns.