CINCINNATI, Ohio – University of Cincinnati sophomore cornerback DeAngelo Smith was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Cincinnati's 30-11 win over No. 7 Rutgers. Seniors Nick Davila and Kevin McCullough also received plaudits from the BIG EAST after Saturday night's performance.
Making the first start of his career, Smith intercepted a Rutgers pass and returned it 84 yards up the sideline for a touchdown to put UC in front 17-0 midway through the second quarter. The Columbus, Ohio product also registered six tackles (five solo) and added a pass breakup.
For Smith, it was his second interception of the season. A key component of the Bearcats' special teams unit, he has two fumble recoveries and 18 tackles on the year.
Against a Rutgers defense that entered the game ranked fourth in the country, Davila completed 11-of-15 pass attempts for 277 yards. Making his first career start for the Bearcats, the junior college All-American completed an 83-yard touchdown pass and also scampered for a score. He connected on five of his first six passes in the game and also converted pass plays of 62 and 38 yards.
Kevin McCullough was recognized on the BIG EAST Honor Roll after recording 10 tackles (9 solo) and three tackles for loss in the win over Rutgers. The middle linebacker from Hudson, Ohio keyed a defense that limited Rutgers' No. 15 ranked rushing attack in the country to 50 yards on the night. Ray Rice, the who entered the game as the nation's third-leading ground gainer averaging 148.2 yards per game, was held to 54 yards on 18 carries.
UC (6-5, 3-3 BIG EAST) concludes the regular season on Saturday at Connecticut. Featured as the BIG EAST Game of the Week, kickoff from E. Hartford, Conn. is set for 12:00 noon on ESPN Regional and WXIX-TV FOX 19 locally.