Imoh Shares Special Teams Accolades
The Beat
September 29, 2003

Providence, R.I. - Pittsburgh wideout Larry Fitzgerald and Rutgers running back Justise Hairston have been named BIG EAST Offensive Players of the Week, the league announced. Syracuse's Thomas Whitfield earned defensive honors, while Brandon Haw of Rutgers and Mike Imoh of Virginia Tech were chosen as Special Teams Players of the Week.

Fitzgerald (Minneapolis, Minn.) wins the award after grabbing three touchdown catches in the Panthers' 37-26 victory at Texas A&M. The sophomore wide receiver finished with seven receptions for 135 yards, a 19.3-yard average. He had scoring receptions of 34, five and 49 yards. Two of the three TDs came on impressive catches as he outmaneuvered double-coverage by Aggie defensive backs. Fitzgerald leads the nation in receiving with 145.8 yards per game and has caught a touchdown in 10 consecutive games. He has 18 TDs in his last 10 outings.

Hairston (New Britain, Conn.) led the Scarlet Knight offense in Rutgers' 48-27 win over Navy. The true freshman running back, making his first start, scored four touchdowns against the Midshipmen, including two in the fourth quarter as RU pulled away for the win. He finished with 161 yards, the most for a Knight since Jacki Crooks ran for 189 versus Navy on Oct. 10, 1998. The four TDs by Hairston were the most by an RU back since 1993 (Terrell Willis). Rutgers ended the game with 249 rushing yards, its highest single-game total since 1996 (268 vs. Temple).

Whitfield (Windsor, Ontario) led a Syracuse defense in a 34-7 victory over Toledo. The sophomore cornerback had eight tackles, including four solo. He had two tackles for losses (six yards) and a shared sack. He also recorded one pass breakup as SU became the first team to hold the Rockets to seven points since Nov. 21, 1998 (10-7 loss to Eastern Michigan). Whitfield has 19 tackles this season.

Haw (Cheverly, Md.) scored the second special teams touchdown of his career in RU's win over Navy. With the Scarlet Knights leading by a touchdown in the early moments of the third quarter, the senior cornerback grabbed a blocked field goal and raced 88 yards to give Rutgers a 28-14 lead. It was his second touchdown this season.

Imoh (Fairfax, Va.) returned the opening kickoff of the second half 91 yards for a touchdown in Virginia Tech's 47-13 win over Connecticut. The sophomore became the first Hokie player since 1992 (Tony Kennedy, 91 yards vs. Louisville) to return a kick for a score. It was also the first kickoff return for a TD by a Tech player at Lane Stadium since 1989.