Minnifield Named Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield has been named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week for his play in UVa’s 24-21 triumph over then-No. 12 Georgia Tech this past weekend.
The Lexington, Ky., native helped the UVa defense hold the high-powered Georgia Tech offense to its lowest yard total of the season at 296. The senior helped limit the Yellow Jackets to its fewest passing yards (24), rushing yards (272), pass completions (2) and first downs (17) of the season. The 24 allowed passing yards were the fewest surrendered by a UVa team since Nov. 17, 1979 when North Carolina only had 17.
Coming into the game, Georgia Tech had 40 plays that went for 20 yards or more. Against UVa, it only had five and none went for more than 29 yards. The Yellow Jackets only had nine plays that went for more than 10 yards (nine rushes, one pass).
Minnifield helped limit the vertical running game on the perimeter with five tackles on rushes. His late second quarter interception thwarted Georgia Tech’s offensive threat and set up a UVa field goal going into the half, extending the Cavaliers’ lead to 10 points, 24-14. At cornerback despite giving up nearly five inches in height, he held Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill to zero catches. Hill came into the game averaging 92 yards per game and an NCAA-best 32.5 yards per catch.
Minnifield entered the season on the Thorpe Award watch list and this is his first career weekly honor from the award. Twice in 2010 Minnifield earned honorable mention nods by the Thorpe Award. Minnifield is also on the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Lott IMPACT Trophy watch lists. Earlier today he was named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.