PISCATAWAY, NJ – Four members of the Rutgers football team were awarded for their efforts in the Scarlet Knights’ 31-21 victory against Navy Oct. 29 with weekly awards from the BIG EAST Conference.
Senior Ryan Hart (Coral Springs, FL) was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, while junior Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, NY), sophomore Ron Girault (Spring Valley, NY) and freshman Courtney Greene (New Rochelle, NY) earned spots on the BIG EAST Honor Roll Oct. 31.
Hart was remarkably efficient against Navy, completing 85.7 (18-21) percent of his passes for 221 yards. Hart took the Scarlet Knights on three scoring drives in the first half as they opened up a 21-7 halftime lead. After Navy cut the Rutgers advantage to 24-21 with 8:24 left in the game, Hart drove the Scarlet Knights 62 yards on seven plays, culminating in Ray Rice’s (New Rochelle, NY) two-yard TD run with 5:56 left. Hart completed three of four passes during the drive, including a key 14-yard toss to Leonard on a third-and-nine situation to set up a first-and-goal from the two (resulting in Rice’s score). He also completed passes of 27 yards to Shawn Tucker (Parkland, FL) and 15 yards to Tres Moses (Delray Beach, FL) during the drive.
Leonard racked up more than 100 all-purpose yards for the 20th time in his last 23 games, collecting 58 yards on 19 carries and 53 yards on seven catches (111 total). Leonard scored RU’s first two touchdowns of the game, a seven-yard score midway through the first quarter and a one-yard plunge at the 12:01 mark of the second quarter. With those two TDs, Leonard moved into a tie for third place at Rutgers in career scoring (206 points) and a tie for sixth in rushing touchdowns (23). His 58 rushing yards moved him into eighth place on that RU career list (2,174), and his 111 total yards pushed him into third place in career all-purpose yardage (3,535).
Girault was in on 10 tackles from his safety position, and also came up with two Navy turnovers. The sophomore, who sealed Rutgers’ 26-24 win at Connecticut on Oct. 22 with a last-minute interception, picked off the first pass thrown by Navy QB Lamar Owens (giving him picks on consecutive passes thrown by the opposing quarterback) to set up Rutgers’ first touchdown in the opening quarter. He recovered a Navy fumble in the second quarter that led to a Rutgers score, giving the Scarlet Knights a 21-7 lead. Girault helped spearhead a Rutgers defense that held Navy to 331 yards total offense, 87 below its season average.
Greene led the Rutgers defense with 14 total tackles (six solo, eight assisted) against the Midshipmen, and forced the second-quarter fumble that eventually led to a Rutgers touchdown. Greene helped lead a Rutgers defense that held Navy to 331 yards total offense, 87 below its season average. The second-leading tackler in the BIG EAST (9.6 pg), Greene also is tied for 34th nationally in total tackles and tied for 23rd in solo stops (6.00 pg).
The victory against Navy made Rutgers (6-2 overall) bowl eligible for the first time since 1992, and gave RU its best eight-game start since the 1979 season, when the Scarlet Knights also produced a 6-2 mark.
The Scarlet Knights, tied for second place in the BIG EAST Conference with a 3-1 record, will host South Florida (3-3, 1-1 BIG EAST) Saturday, Nov. 5, at 12:00 p.m.