Nov. 26, 2006
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Junior running back Kalvin McRae (Decatur, Ga.), senior cornerback T.J. Wright (Beaumont, Texas) and senior kicker/punter Matt Lasher (Copley, Ohio) have been named the MAC East Division Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively, for their efforts in the Bobcats regular-season ending win at Miami on Nov. 24.
McRae won the honor for the third time this season and second straight week after running for a season-high 180 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against the RedHawks. It was McRae's school-record seventh consecutive game with at least 100 yards and his school-record tying eighth 100-yard game of the season. McRae crossed has now amassed 1,139 yards for the season to become only the second Bobcat in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons (Arnold Welcher, 1975-76). McRae is the only East Division player to win the Offensive Player of the Week award four times this season. He shared the final week's honor with Bowling Green's Corey Partridge.
Wright won the award for the first time in his career. The senior corner tied for the team lead with seven tackles, all solo stops. He also broke up two passes and forced and recovered a fumble on Miami's final drive of the game. Wright, Ohio's all-time leader in both pass break-ups and passes defended, is currently ranked fifth in the nation with 1.58 passes defended per game.
Lasher was the division's special teamer of the week for a league-record tying fifth time this season. Lasher punted twice for an average of 38.5 yards, including one inside the 20-yard line, recorded touchbacks on two of his seven kickoffs and went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts. Lasher has now converted nine straight field goal tries. His 12 for the season is tied for second most in school history and is the most by a Bobcat since Kevin Kerr had 12 in 2000.
Northern Illinois' Steve Azar is the only other player to have won the MAC Special Teams Player of the Week Award five times. He collected five awards during the 2003 season.
The Bobcats finished the regular season with 16 MAC weekly awards in 12 weeks, more than any team in the conference.
Ohio (9-3, 7-1 MAC) has won seven straight games and captured its first-ever MAC East Division championship. The Bobcats will face Central Michigan (8-4, 7-1 MAC) on Thursday, Nov. 30 in the Marathon MAC Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit. For ticket information, call the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-575-CATS.