Due to their performance in the win over Notre Dame USF senior safety Jerrel Young, and kicker Maikon Bonani were honored by the conference.
The BIG EAST Conference has named safety Jerrel Young as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and named kicker Maikon Bonani to the weekly honor roll for their performance in the Bulls thrilling 23-20 season opening win over Notre Dame. Pittsburg running back Ray Graham and West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin were also winners of the conference's weekly football honors for the opening week.
Jerrel Young was a named Big East Defensive Player of the week after helping tilt the field of play in favor of USF during the win over the Irish. Young had a hand in two of USF’s five takeaways as the Bulls scored a 23-20 win at No. 16 Notre Dame. He contributed to a potential 14-point swing in the first half by stripping the ball from an Irish runner at the USF 4-yard line — a fumble that was recovered by the Bulls Kayvon Webster and returned for a 96-yard touchdown. The USF senior also added a fourth-quarter interception on the first play after a weather delay that ended Notre Dame’s comeback bid.
The Bulls junior kicker Maikon Bonani earned a spot on the honor roll after scoring 11 points in the game, including field goals of 49, 17 and 36 yards, in a 23-20 win at No. 16/18 Notre Dame. The 49-yarder tied a career high for Bonani, and the only attempt he missed was a 52-yarder that went just wide left.
Ray Graham was offensive player of the week after rushing for 201 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries to key Pittsburgh to a 35-16 win against Buffalo in the Panthers’ season-opener. Graham’s rushing total — the second 200-yard game of his career — was the second-best by a Bowl Subdivision player in Week 1 and the best against a Bowl Subdivision opponent.
West Virginia’s Tavon Austin earned Special teams POW after he broke open West Virginia’s 34-13 win against Marshall with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave the Mountaineers a 27-13 lead late in the third quarter. Austin finished with 190 all-purpose yards against the Thundering Herd with 119 yards on two kickoff returns and 46 yards on three punt returns
BIG EAST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ray Graham • Jr. • RB • Pittsburgh • Elizabeth, N.J.
BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jerrell Young • Sr. • S • USF • St. Petersburg, Fla.
BIG EAST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tavon Austin • Jr. • WR • West Virginia • Baltimore, Md
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Lyle McCombs • RFr. • RB • Connecticut • Staten Island, N.Y. - Rushed for 141 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries in his collegiate debut in a 35-3 win against Fordham
Chas Alecxih • Sr. • DT • Pittsburgh • Lancaster, Pa. - Had six tackles, two tackles for loss and a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 31-16 win against Buffalo.
Maikon Bonani • Jr. • K • USF • Lake Wales, Fla. - Scored 11 points, including field goals of 49, 17 and 36 yards, in a 23-20 win at No. 16/18 Notre Dame
Ryan Nassib • Jr. • QB • Syracuse • West Chester, Pa. - Completed 20 of 28 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-29 overtime win against Wake Forest
Geno Smith • Jr. • QB • West Virginia • Miami, Fl - Completed 26 of 35 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-13 win against Marshall.
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