Big Ten Conference News: Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Rutgers Earn Weekly Football Honors

11/1/2021

Following Week 9, the Offensive, Defensive, and Co-Special Teams Players of the Week, and the Co-Freshmen of the Week in the Big Ten were announced this morning. Below are this week’s honorees:

Kenneth Walker III

Offensive Player of the Week
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
RB – Jr. – Arlington, Tenn. – Arlington (Tenn.)

  • Rushed for 197 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries (8.57 avg.) to propel the Spartans to a comeback victory over then-No. 6 Michigan. Added three receptions for 11 yards to compile 208 all-purpose yards
  • Scored all five of Michigan State’s touchdowns in the Spartans’ 37-33 win. The five touchdowns are tied for the second-most ever scored by a Spartan in a single game, trailing only Blake Ezor’s six touchdowns against Northwestern in 1989. Prior to Saturday, Michigan had never surrendered five touchdowns to one player in a single game
  • Became the fastest Spartan in program history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in terms of rushing attempts (153 carries)
  • Ranks first in the FBS in rushing yards per game (149.2) and fifth in all-purpose yards per game (153.75). Is tied for third in the FBS in rushing touchdowns (14) and total touchdowns (15)
  • Earns the second Offensive Player of the Week accolade of his career and his second of the season
  • Last Michigan State Offensive Player of the Week: Jalen Nailor (Oct. 11, 2021)
Jalen Graham

Defensive Player of the Week
Jalen Graham, Purdue
LB/S – Jr. – Detroit, Mich. – Cass Technical (Mich.)

  • Registered the first two interceptions of his career in Purdue’s 28-23 win at Nebraska. Added six tackles and a pass breakup
  • Returned his first interception of the game 45 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter. The interception return for a touchdown marked Purdue’s first pick-six since Oct. 12, 2019, vs. Maryland
  • Became the second Purdue defender to record two interceptions in a game this season, joining junior safety Cam Allen. Is just the 12th Purdue defender to record a multi-interception game since 2000
  • Earns the first Defensive Player of the Week honor of his career
  • Last Purdue Defensive Player of the Week: Cam Allen (Oct. 18, 2021)
Noah Ruggles

Co-Special Teams Player of the Week
Noah Ruggles, Ohio State
K – Gr. – Odessa, Fla. – Steinbrenner (Fla.)

  • Connected on all four of his field goal attempts and both of his extra point attempts to register 14 points and help Ohio State defeat then-No. 20 Penn State 33-24
  • His four field goals marked a career high and tied for the fifth-most in a single game in Ohio State history. The four field goals are the most by an Ohio State kicker since Drew Basil made four against Michigan in 2012
  • Hit a 26-yard field goal with 2:41 remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the win and give the Buckeyes a two-score lead
  • Earns his first career Special Teams Player of the Week award
  • Last Ohio State Special Teams Player of the Week: Drue Chrisman (Dec. 7, 2020)
Adam Korsak

Adam Korsak, Rutgers
P – Sr. – Melbourne, Australia – Maribyrnong College (Melbourne, Australia)

  • Punted six times for 282 net yards (47.0 avg.) and did not allow a punt return in Rutgers’ 20-14 win at Illinois
  • Registered three 50-plus-yard punts and landed three punts inside the 20. Downed punts at the 20, 15, 4 and 1. Has now dropped four punts at the 1-yard line this season and has not registered a touchback in 94 consecutive punts dating back to 2019
  • Has led Rutgers’ punt unit to the No. 1-ranked net punting average in the nation (46.6)
  • Earns the second Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career and his second of the season
  • Last Rutgers Special Teams Player of the Week: Aron Cruickshank (Sept. 20, 2021)
Andrel Anthony

Co-Freshman of the Week
Andrel Anthony, Michigan
WR – East Lansing, Mich. – Lansing (Mich.)

  • Made the first receptions of his collegiate career, hauling in six catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns in Michigan’s 37-33 loss at No. 5 Michigan State
  • On Michigan’s opening drive of the game, made the first catch of his career and took it 93 yards for a touchdown to give the Wolverines an early 7-0 lead. The 93-yard touchdown marked the second-longest play from scrimmage in Michigan history and was the longest play by a Wolverine in the history of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry
  • After the Wolverines fell behind 14-13 in the second quarter, caught his second touchdown of the game on a 17-yard strike shortly before halftime to give Michigan a 20-14 lead
  • Earns the first Freshman of the Week honor of his career
  • Last Michigan Freshman of the Week: Zach Charbonnet (Sept. 9, 2019)
Mar’Keise

Mar’Keise Irving, Minnesota
RB – Chicago, Ill. – Hillcrest (Ill.)

  • Registered a career-high 110 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries (5.79 avg.) in Minnesota’s 41-14 win at Northwestern. Also caught two passes for 5 yards
  • After registered 105 rushing yards vs. Maryland on Oct. 23, becomes the first true freshman in Minnesota history to record consecutive 100-yard rushing games in Big Ten play since Laurence Maroney in 2003
  • Recorded a career-long 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter
  • Earns the first Freshman of the Week honor of his career
  • Last Minnesota Freshman of the Week: Rashod Bateman (Nov. 5, 2018)

COURTESY BIG TEN CONFERENCE

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