PISCATAWAY, NJ – A pair of Rutgers freshmen – defensive back Ron Girault (Spring Valley, NY) and kicker Jeremy Ito (Redlands, CA) – have earned BIG EAST Player of the Week honors for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 17. Both played a key role in Rutgers’ 16-6 win over Temple on Saturday at Rutgers Stadium. Girault, the Co-Defensive Player of the Week, earned his first honor, while Ito, the Special Teams Player of the Week, was honored by the conference on Sept. 6 as well.
Girault made his first career start at free safety vs. the Owls and registered 13 tackles to lead RU to a 16-6 win over Temple. His 13 tackles are a single-game high for the Scarlet Knights. Girault, in addition to his tackles, recorded a pivotal interception in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 6-6. Girault intercepted a pass and returned it five yards, setting up a field goal which gave Rutgers a 9-6 lead on its way to the 10-point win.
Girault has seen action in all six games this season and is one of just two true freshmen on the roster to earn a starting assignment. He has 19 tackles through six games, including one tackle-for-loss and one interception.
Ito was 3-for-3 on field goals and converted his lone PAT attempt to lead Rutgers to a 16-6 win over Temple. Ito hit a 43-yarder in the first quarter, his fourth FG this season of 40 or more yards, to tie the game at 3-3 and added a 27-yarder in the third quarter to give RU a 6-3 lead. Then, in the fourth quarter following a Temple turnover, Ito nailed a 38-yard field goal to put Rutgers ahead for good, 9-6.
Ito has hit 12-of-18 field goals through six games this season, including 4-of-6 from beyond 40 yards. This honor is the second of the season for Ito, who was also named Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 6 following his four FG effort in RU’s 19-14 season-opening win vs. Michigan State. He leads the nation in field goals (2.0/game) and paces the BIG EAST in both field goals and scoring (8.3 points per game).
Rutgers has earned BIG EAST honors in each of the last two weeks as quarterback Ryan Hart (Coral Springs, FL) was named Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11 following his 344-yard, 2 TD performance in the Scarlet Knights’ 37-34 win at Vanderbilt.