PISCATAWAY, NJ – Senior defensive end Ryan Neill (Wayne Hills, NJ) and junior Willie Foster (Miami, FL) have been named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively, for their roles in the Scarlet Knights' 38-6 win over Villanova on Sept. 10.
Neill recorded seven tackles, including a career-high 4.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks to lead Rutgers in its home opener. He also posted five quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery that turned into a 44-yard field goal from Jeremy Ito and a 17-6 first half lead. Neill anchored a defense that held the Wildcats to just one first quarter touchdown. For the season, he has 12 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks and is among the BIG EAST leaders in all three categories.
Foster got the Rutgers’ scoring started early on Saturday, taking the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.. It was Rutgers’ first kickoff return for a touchdown to open a game since Sept. 28, 2002, when Nate Jones returned a kickoff 100 yards to open play at Tennessee. Foster, who fielded the ball at the 7-yard line and weaved his way up the right sideline for the score, now has two kickoff returns in his last three games. He also returned a kickoff 80 yards for a score in the 2004 season finale vs. Connecticut (11/25). He is averaging 58.5 yards on his two kickoffs this season.
Rutgers (1-1) returns to action this Saturday, when it travels to play Buffalo at 8:00 p.m. The game will be televised live locally on the YES Network and as part of ESPN's Gameplan college football package