Tuesday, September 06, 2005

OXFORD, Miss. - After helping lead Ole Miss to a season-opening win at Memphis, linebacker Patrick Willis was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, as announced by the league office.
Making his first career start, Willis posted a career-high 15 total tackles, including 10 solos, and two tackles for a loss in the Rebels' 10-6 victory over the Tigers. The junior from Bruceton, Tenn., also forced a fumble inside the game's final three minutes to help preserve the win.
Willis directed an Ole Miss defense that held All-America running back DeAngelo Williams under 100 yards rushing for only the third time in his last 23 games (85 yards on 24 carries). The Rebel defense also forced Memphis into three-downs-and-out on six of 12 possessions and surrendered just 268 total offensive yards on 67 attempts.