QB Ward earns increase in playing time

Freshman quarterback Greg Ward took a number of snaps in the second half . | Justin Tijerina/ The Daily Cougar

Freshman Greg Ward will see more time at quarterback in the regular-season finale against SMU and in the Cougars’ yet-to-be announced bowl game. | Justin Tijerina/ The Daily Cougar

After not playing against USF and UCF, the coaching staff made a point to get freshman quarterback Greg Ward on the field again.

He played as a receiver against Louisville and spent time as a quarterback against Cincinnati and will see more playing time in the final regular season game and during a bowl, said head coach Tony Levine.

Levine said his snaps will increase and the team will find creative ways to get him involved, whether it’s at the quarterback position or as receiver.

Ward entered the game at quarterback in the second half, going 5-9 for 74 yards. He also was split out wide at receiver, catching three balls for 42 yards.

“I felt like we needed a spark, so we made the change,” Levine said. “I felt like Greg provided that spark for us.”

Ward has passed 18-26 for 300 yards and a touchdown, ran for 213 along with two more scores and has caught four balls for 49 yards.

Leone named Special Teams Player of the Week

Punter Richie Leone was named the American Athletic Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week. It is Leone’s second of the season, as he received the conference’s initial special teams honor on Sept. 2.

A three-time semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, Leone averaged 44.7 yards per punt on 10 attempts on Saturday while placing five of his 10 punts inside Cincinnati’s 20-yard line with three inside the 10-yard line and two inside the five-yard line without a touchback.

He had a season-high three punts over 50 yards, including one for 64 yards, his fourth punt of at least 60 yards this season.

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