Courtesy of the Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten has announced football players of the week for games on Saturday, Oct. 16, including honorees on offense, defense and special teams, along with a freshman of the week.
Below are this week's honorees:
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
SR, QB, Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic
Stanzi completed 70.8 percent of his passes with three touchdowns to help lead Iowa to 38 points in a road triumph at Michigan, its highest point total ever against the Wolverines. The senior quarterback completed 17 of 24 passes for 248 yards and led the Hawkeyes offense to touchdowns in each of its five trips into the red zone. After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Stanzi connected on scoring tosses of 14 and 31 yards to wideout Derrell Johnson-Koulianos to help Iowa build a 21-7 halftime lead. The Ohio native added a 19-yard scoring strike to Johnson-Koulianos in the fourth quarter to give the Hawkeyes a 35-14 advantage. After Michigan pulled within 35-28, Stanzi guided Iowa on a 10-play, 49-yard drive for a field goal with 2:53 remaining to secure the 38-28 victory. He is now 23-5 as a starting quarterback and has at least one touchdown pass in each of the last 15 games he has played. Stanzi earns his first career weekly accolade.
LAST IOWA OFFENSIVE POW: TE Tony Moeaki on Oct. 11, 2009.
Greg Jones, Michigan State
SR, LB, Cincinnati, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller
Jones racked up a season-high 14 tackles and added a pass breakup and quarterback hurry against Illinois to help Michigan State hold a Big Ten opponent without a touchdown for the first time since 2003. The senior linebacker recorded double-figures in tackles for the second time this season and the 20th time in his career. With the Illini leading 6-3 at halftime, the Spartan defense blanked Illinois in the second half while forcing three turnovers to produce four takeaways in the game. MSU held the Illini to 114 rushing yards, more than 100 yards below their season average. The last time Michigan State held a conference team without a touchdown was Oct. 4, 2003, against Indiana. The reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year earns his second player of the week honor this season and in his career, after being honored earlier this season on Sept. 27.
LAST MSU DEFENSIVE POW: S Trenton Robinson on Oct. 11, 2010.
David Gilreath, Wisconsin
SR, KR/PR, Minneapolis, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong
Gilreath returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to spark Wisconsin to a victory over top-ranked Ohio State, the Badgers’ first victory over a No. 1 team since 1981. The senior wideout’s 97-yard sprint also shattered the Big Ten career record for kickoff return yardage. He finished the game with four kickoff returns for 163 yards, boosting his career total to 2,677 yards and passing Michigan State’s Derrick Mason (2,575 yards from 1993-96) for the Big Ten record. Gilreath entered this year ranked first in conference history in total kickoff returns and has boosted that total to 120 returns. The Minnesota native recorded his first kickoff return touchdown and the first for a Wisconsin player since Lee Evans returned a kickoff for a score at Indiana on Nov. 11, 2000. Gilreath was named player of the week one time in each of his first three seasons, with special teams laurels as a freshman (Sept. 17, 2007) and junior (Dec. 6, 2009) and offensive accolades as a sophomore (Nov. 10, 2008).
LAST WIS SPECIAL TEAMS POW: KR/PR David Gilreath on Dec. 6, 2009.
Rob Henry, Purdue
FR, QB, Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic
Henry accounted for all four of Purdue’s touchdowns in a 28-17 victory over Minnesota to earn his first Freshman of the Week honor. The redshirt freshman completed 13 of 20 passes (65.0 pct.) for 183 yards and a touchdown and added 17 carries for 57 yards (3.4 avg.) and three more scores. The Florida native tallied scoring runs of four and one yards in the first half to give the Boilermakers a 14-0 halftime advantage. He boosted the lead to 21-0 with a 20-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and added a three-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Henry helped Purdue produce 200 or more rushing yards for the fifth straight game for the first time since 1973.
LAST PUR FRESHMAN OF WEEK: NA.