Oct. 17, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming wide receiver and punt returner Chris McNeill was named the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in a 41-14 home win over UNLV on Saturday, Oct. 15.
McNeill, a junior from Simi Valley, Calif., returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown at a critical point in the third quarter of Wyoming's game versus UNLV. With Wyoming leading by only nine points (23-14), McNeill fielded a UNLV punt on the bounce at his own 24-yard line and took it down the sideline and into the end zone to extend Wyoming's lead to 16 points at 30-14. It was McNeill's first career punt return for a touchdown, and was the first punt return for a TD by a Cowboy since Josh Barge returned a punt for a touchdown against Ole Miss on Sept. 25, 2004.
On Wyoming's first play of the fourth quarter versus UNLV, McNeill threw the first touchdown pass of his career -- a 28-yard TD strike to quarterback Brett Smith. McNeill followed up that TD pass with a successful two-point conversion, throwing a pass to UW H-Back Mat Birkeness to give Wyoming a 38-14 lead.
This is McNeill's first Mountain West Player of the Week honor of his career.