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PROVIDENCE, R.I. --
The BIG EAST Conference has named Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham and Rutgers linebackers Steve Beauharnais and Jamal Merrell the winners of the conference's weekly football honors for the week-ending Oct. 1.
Graham was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week after he rushed for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and finished with 309 all-purpose yards to lead Pittsburgh to a 44-17 win against No. 16/14 USF. He had four receptions for 42 yards and had 35 yards on kickoff returns as the Panthers keyed an offense that gained 523 yards against the Bulls. Graham, the nation’s third-leading rusher this season (146.8 ypg), was also chosen as the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week.
Beauharnais is the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week after he had nine tackles, two sacks and an interception to lead Rutgers to a 19-16 win at Syracuse in double-overtime. Beauharnais’ interception came on Syracuse’s last drive of the fourth quarter and his 44-yard return allowed the Scarlet Knights a chance at the potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation. Beauharnais anchors a Rutgers defense that leads the nation in takeaways (18) and is fourth nationally in sacks (3.5 per game).
Merrell was chosen as BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week after he blocked two kicks — a field goal attempt and a PAT try — potentially taking four points off the board in a game that went to double-overtime before Rutgers prevailed 19-16 against Syracuse. Merrell also started at linebacker and contributed four tackles and a forced fumble as part of a defense that produced five takeaways against the Orange.
BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ray Graham • Jr. • RB • Pittsburgh • Elizabeth, N.J.
BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Steve Beauharnais • Jr. • LB • Rutgers • Saddle Brook, N.J.
BIG EAST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jamal Merrell • So. • LB • Rutgers • Bear, Del.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
JK Schaffer • Sr. • LB • Cincinnati • Cincinnati, Ohio
Had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a half-sack in a 27-0 win at Miami (Ohio). Led a defense that held the RedHawks to -3 rushing yards.
Johnny McEntee • Jr. • QB • Connecticut • Fullerton, Calif.
Completed 22 of 39 passes for career highs of 300 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-31 loss to Western Michigan.
Jarred Holley • Jr. • S • Pittsburgh • Easton, Pa.
Had 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in a 44-17 win against No. 16/14 USF.
Dustin Garrison • Fr. • RB • West Virginia • Pearland, Texas
Rushed for 291 yards — the most by a Bowl Subdivision player this season — and two touchdowns on 32 carries in a 55-10 win against Bowling Green.
Julian Miller • Sr. • DT • West Virginia • Columbus, Ohio
Had seven tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in a 55-10 win against Bowling Green.