Sept. 26, 2011
University of Cincinnati junior punter Pat O'Donnell (Lakeworth, Fla./Palm Beach Central) and senior linebacker J.K. Schaffer (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) were named the BIG EAST Conference Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, the league office announced Monday.
O'Donnell was pivotal in establishing field position in Cincinnati's 44-14 win against North Carolina State as he averaged 59.7 yards on three punts, pinning the Wolfpack inside the 20-yard line twice. North Carolina State's average starting field position in the first half was its own 17-yard line, which helped the Bearcats build a 24-7 halftime lead. O'Donnell is averaging 47.6 yards on nine punts this season.
Schaffer had a team-high nine tackles with an interception to key Cincinnati's defense in a 44-14 win against North Carolina State. Schaffer's 16-yard interception return set up a Cincinnati scoring drive and helped the Bearcats take an early 21-0 lead against the Wolfpack. Schaffer is the BIG EAST leader in passes defended (6) on a defense that has 16 takeaways -- the most in the nation this season.
Senior running back Isaiah Pead (Columbus, Ohio/Eastmoor Academy) was named to the league's weekly honor roll. He rushed for a season-high 167 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries and had three receptions for 24 yards and a TD. Pead leads all BIG EAST running backs with a 7.9 yards per carry average.
Cincinnati (3-1) returns to the field Saturday, taking on Miami (OH) University (0-3) in the 116th Battle for the Victory Bell. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. from the RedHawks Yager Stadium. ESPN3.com will air the game exclusively online via their broadband network. Fans can also tune into 700 WLW AM starting at 12:30 p.m. for complete radio coverage.