Kelley named Louisiana Player of the Week

Published 1:25 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

After helping Southeastern Louisiana University to a dominant 56-10 victory at Central Connecticut State, SLU senior quarterback Cole Kelley was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Offensive Player of the Week in an announcement from the LSWA on Monday.

Kelley’s weekly honor was the second of the season for the Lafayette, Louisiana native, who took home Louisiana Offensive Player of the Week honors after the season-opening 49-28 win over North Alabama back on Sept. 4.

In Saturday’s win at CCSU, Kelley engineered a SLU offense that produced 571 total yards, 31 first downs and was not forced to punt. The reigning Walter Payton Award winner threw for 444 yards and a career-high tying four touchdowns, while also rushing for a score. Through three games, he has completed a FCS-best 74.4 percent (99-for-133) of his passes and ranks among the national leaders with 1,202 passing yards (2nd) and 10 touchdowns (5th).

Kelley has spread the ball to 15 different receivers this season, but his top targets have been CJ Turner (16 catches, 302 yards, three touchdowns) and Austin Mitchell (19-240-3 TD) – two of the 12 active FCS players with 2,000 or more career receiving yards. Turner (172 catches, 2,221 yards, 17 TD as a Lion) and Mitchell (133-2,205-20 TD) are among the program’s career leaders in every receiving category.

Armed with a plethora of weapons and a stalwart offensive line, Kelley has led an offense that ranks among the FCS national leaders in total offense (553.3 ypg, 4th), scoring offense (49.0 ppg, 5th), passing offense (411.7 ypg, 4th), third-down percentage (55.6, 2nd) and first downs (93, 2nd). Dating back to last season, SLU has scored 40 or more points in seven consecutive games – the longest such streak in school history.

The Lions will have a week off before opening Southland Conference play at McNeese on Oct. 2 at noon in Lake Charles.

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