September 8, 2008

Benoist named SEC Defensive Player of the Week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Vanderbilt junior linebacker Patrick Benoist was named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in the Commodores' 24-17 win over No. 24 South Carolina last Thursday.

The Southlake, Texas native led all Vanderbilt defenders with 15 total tackles, including a six-yard quarterback sack late in the second quarter, another pair of tackles that also resulted in a loss as well as a pass breakup in the win over the Gamecocks.

His performance helped the Commodores limit South Carolina to just 325 yards of total offense and capture the programs second straight win over its Eastern Divisional opponent.

The second year starter currently leads Vanderbilt in total tackles for the season with 20. Benoist registered 32 total tackles last season while missing three games due to a foot injury.

He is the second Commodore recognized by the conference this season for outstanding play. Quarterback Chris Nickson was selected as Offensive Player of the Week after the Commodores' week one victory at Miami (Ohio). He is the first Vanderbilt linebacker to receive such honors since Moses Osemwegie was recognized by the league following a win over Ole Miss in 2005.

The Southeastern Conference also recognized Georgia's Knowshon Moreno as the league's offensive player of the week, Alabama returner Javier Arenas as the league's top special teams performer, Auburn tackle Jason Bosley as the conference's top offensive lineman, Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham as the league's top defensive lineman and Arkansas receiver Joe Adams as the league's top freshman performer for last week.

The Commodores will return to action on Saturday when they host Rice in a matchup of 2-0 teams. Single-game tickets are still available for the low price of $12. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. central.



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