Rainey, McNeal honored

12 09 2010

Per WKU release:
A pair of Western Kentucky University football players were honored on Sunday by the College Football Performance Awards for their play Saturday night at Kentucky. Freshman returner Willie McNeal was one of four named national kickoff returner of the week, while junior Bobby Rainey was an honorable-mention running back of the week.

McNeal returned seven kicks for 204 yards against UK, including a 90-yard touchdown return late in the second quarter. He became the first Hilltopper since 2003 to return a kickoff for a score, ending a drought of 73 games for WKU without a kick return touchdown. Through the first two games of his career on the Hill, the Bradenton, Fla., product leads WKU averaging 204.5 all-purpose yards per game. That average also ranks second in the Sun Belt
and tenth nationally. Additionally, McNeal’s 25.85 yards per kickoff return is also second in the league and 35th among Football Bowl Subdivision returners.

Rainey became the first Hilltoppers since Rod Smart to post 150 or more rushing yards in back-to-back games as he went for a career-high 184 yards on 22 carries against the Wildcats. That performance came on the heels of a 155-yard effort in the season opener at Nebraska. Rainey, who is now averaging 169.5 yards per game, is currently fourth in the nation in rushing.
He trails only Michigan’s Denard Robinson (227.5 ypg), Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter (207.0 ypg) and Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas (185.5 ypg).
The Griffin, Ga., native also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns at UK, including a career-long 56-yard scoring run on the third play of the game. Rainey has now recorded 100 or more rushing yards in four of WKU’s last five games dating back to 2009.

WKU will play its 2010 home opener on Saturday (Sept. 18) when Indiana visits Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium for a 4 p.m. (CDT) kickoff.

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