Nov. 19, 2012
RICHMOND, Va.--Senior safety Ronnie Akins (Lansdale, Pa.) was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week by the league office this morning in an announcement of the season's final set of weekly awards. Akins led a tremendous defensive effort in a 41-10 win at Delaware on Saturday afternoon with two interceptions in the fourth quarter, including one which he returned for a touchdown.
Akins earns a weekly honor for the first time this season, while this is the third time in 2012 that a Villanova player has been named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week. In all, the Wildcats have garnered 10 weekly awards this season.
In addition to his two interceptions in Saturday's win Akins also had four solo tackles - including one tackle for loss - and a pass break-up. Villanova broke open a close one-possession game with 24 points in the fourth quarter to win the Battle of the Blue trophy against the Blue Hens for the sixth time in the seven years that the trophy has been awarded.
Early in the fourth quarter the Wildcats were leading 20-10 after a Mark Hamilton field goal but Delaware put together a steady drive and after 13 plays had driven to the edge of the red zone at the Villanova 20-yard line. On first down from the 20-yard line however, Akins picked off Blue Hens quarterback Trent Hurley in the end zone with 7:13 to play in the game.
Later in the quarter the Wildcats would go on to score 21 points in a span of less than four minutes. John Robertson scored on an 11-yard run to extend the Villanova lead to 27-10 with 5:13 remaining and on the next Delaware possession Akins picked off Hurley again and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown with 3:47 remaining.
It was the second career interception return for a touchdown for Akins and the first this season. In his second year as a full-time starter Akins ranks second on the Wildcats with 67 total tackles (55 solo, 12 assisted). He is just two tackles off the team lead for the year and his stats also include six tackles for loss, three interceptions, three pass break-ups and one forced fumble.
The combination of the Villanova win over Delaware and other results from around the CAA during the final day of the regular season enabled the Wildcats to claim at least a share of the conference title for the second time in the last four years.
Villanova is the automatic bid from the CAA to the Division I Football Championship and the Wildcats open up postseason play this coming Saturday with a first round playoff game at Stony Brook. The game kicks off at 3 p.m. and can be seen live online on ESPN3.com or through the Watch ESPN mobile app. On the local airwaves the game will also be broadcast live on 950-AM (WPEN).