DuVernois Named B1G Special Teams Player of the Week

DuVernois pinned the Huskies inside the 10-yard line twice on Saturday.
DuVernois pinned the Huskies inside the 10-yard line twice on Saturday.

Sept. 16, 2013

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PARK RIDGE, Ill. - University of Illinois junior punter Justin DuVernois (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week Monday for his performance against Washington Saturday at Soldier Field.

DuVernois helped Illinois win the field position battle against No. 19 Washington, punting five times for an average of 45.2 yards per punt, the third-best single-game average of his career. He pinned the Huskies inside the 20 three times, including twice inside the 10, and had a career-high three punts over 50 yards, including a long of 57.

Thanks to DuVernois and the Illini coverage teams, the Huskies' average starting field position was their own 20 yard line, compared to the 31 yard line for the Orange and Blue.

A preseason candidate for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the nation's best punter, DuVernois is averaging 42.1 yards per punt on the season. His career average of 40.6 ranks fifth on the UI career list.

It marks the first Big Ten Player of the Week honor for DuVernois and the second for an Illini this season. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was named offensive player of the week on Sept. 2 following the season-opening win over Southern Illinois. The last Illini to earn special teams player of the week honors was kicker Derek Dimke on Sept. 26, 2011.

Other Big Ten weekly honorees this week include Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton (offensive), Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier (defense) and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (freshman).

The Fighting Illini are off this Saturday before returning to the field on Sept. 28, when Miami (Ohio) comes to Memorial Stadium for an 11 a.m. kickoff. Tickets are on sale now for as low as $39.