PISCATAWAY, NJ – Three members of the Rutgers football team have been rewarded for their efforts in the Scarlet Knights’ 26-24 victory at Connecticut Oct. 22 with BIG EAST Conference weekly awards.
True freshman running back Ray Rice (New Rochelle, NY) has been named BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Week, senior punter Joe Radigan (Hoboken, NJ) has been named Special Teams Player of the Week, and sophomore defensive back Ron Girault (Spring Valley, NY) has earned a spot on the BIG EAST Honor Roll.
Rice racked up 217 yards on 27 carries at Connecticut, marking the fourth-highest single-game total in RU history and best single-game effort ever for a Scarlet Knight true freshman. The second-highest rushing total in the BIG EAST this season, Rice accumulated 174 of his 217 yards in the second half, as Rutgers fought back from a 10-3 halftime deficit to earn its first-ever 3-1 start in BIG EAST play. Rice’s performance at UConn was the first 200-yard effort for a Scarlet Knight since Sept. 16, 1995, when RU all-time rushing leader Terrel Willis tallied 207 yards against Navy.
Radigan helped keep UConn pinned back in its own territory throughout the fourth quarter, helping RU to the come from behind victory. Radigan, who averaged 41.0 yards per punt on seven punts, dropped four inside the 20-yard line in the fourth quarter, and three inside the 10-yard line. His punts gave the Huskies offensive possessions on their own one, seven, and 12 yard lines in the final stanza, and on the final kick with Rutgers holding a 26-24 lead, his kick pinned the Huskies to their own eight-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Through the game’s first three quarters, Radigan averaged 45.7 yards on three punts.
Girault’s interception of a Dennis Brown pass with 11 seconds left sealed the Scarlet Knights’ 26-24 victory. For the game, Girault tied for the team lead with six tackles and added a pass break-up, making him a key contributor to a RU defense that held UConn to less than 300 yards of total offense (293).
Rice shared the BIG EAST award with Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, who completed 21 of 26 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 46-22 victory at Cincinnati Oct. 22.
The Scarlet Knights (5-2, 3-1 BIG EAST), off to their best overall season start since 1991 and best-ever BIG EAST season-opening mark, will host Navy (4-2) Saturday, Oct. 29, at 3:30 p.m. as Rutgers celebrates Homecoming.