Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles (14) is pressured by Missouri’s Shane Ray on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. Ray shacked Towles twice in the 20-10 Missouri win and on Monday was named SEC defensive player of the week. Ray now holds the single season record for sacks with 12. The old record was 11.5. Photo by Karen Mitchell
Story by Christian Clark, KBIA Sports
For the third time in five weeks, Missouri defensive end Shane Ray has earned Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week honors.
This time around Ray was rewarded for his two-sack, one pass-break-up effort in Missouri’s 20-10 victory over Kentucky on Saturday.
Both of Ray’s sacks came on fourth down to turn possession over to the Tigers. His last takedown of Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles in the waning moments of the game gave Ray Missouri’s single season sack record.
The senior out from Kansas City has 12 sacks on the year and with four or potentially five games to go, Ray could add to his lead over former greats Michael Sam and Aldon Smith, who held the previous record of 11.5 sacks.
Saturday marked the fifth two-sack game of the season for Ray, who leads the SEC in both sacks (12) and tackles for loss (16). Nationally, he ranks second and third in those respective categories.
Ray was also named one of 20 semifinalists for the 20th Chuck Benarik Award earlier in the day. The award is presented to the most outstanding defensive player in college football, as judged by the Maxwell Football Club. No Missouri player has ever won the award.