Illinois punter DuVernois earns weekly Big Ten honor

Illinois punter DuVernois earns weekly Big Ten honor
September 16, 2013, 10:30 am
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Vinnie Duber

For the second time this season, a Fighting Illini player was handed a weekly award by the Big Ten.

Justin DuVernois, Illinois' punter, was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday, the first Illini to win this specific award since Derek Dimke on Sept. 26, 2011. DuVernois joins Nathan Scheelhaase in winning a weekly Big Ten award. The Illinois quarterback was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after the season's first week.

In Illinois' 34-24 loss to Washington at Soldier Field on Saturday, DuVernois punted five times, averaging 45.2 yards per punt. Three of those kicks landed inside the 15-yard line, with two landing inside the 10.

[MORE: Illini QB Scheelhaase loses consistency vs. Huskies]

DuVernois, a junior, has punted 14 times this season for the Illini, averaging 42.1 yards per kick. Six have gone for 50 or more yards, including a season-high of 59 yards. He ranks third in the Big Ten in punt average, trailing only Purdue's Cody Webster and Minnesota's Peter Mortell.

Other Big Ten weekly award winners this week included Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton (Offensive Player of the Week), Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier (Defensive Player of the Week) and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Freshman of the Week).