Big Ten office hands out Week 1 Players of the Week

Big Ten office hands out Week 1 Players of the Week

The Big Ten office released its Week 1 Players of the Week on Monday, and it was Nathan Scheelhaase (Offense), Collin Ellis (Defense), Sam Ficken (Special Teams) and Christian Hackenberg (Freshman) taking home the season’s first accolades. Read more about their Week 1 performances and watch video highlights in this post.

[ MORE: Week 1 honors, grades & more | What did Tom Dienhart learn? | Week 1 picks revisited ]

Offensive Player of the Week: Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois, Sr., QB, Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst

  • Threw for a career-high 416 yards and two touchdowns in Illinois’ season-opening win over Southern Illinois
  • Completed 28 of 36 passes, a 77.8 percent clip, and climbed into fourth on Illinois’ career total offense list with 7,480 yards
  • Connected with Josh Ferguson for 53 yards and Jon Davis for 11 yards for two second-quarter touchdowns
  • Records his second career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor, the first coming as a freshman on Nov. 1, 2010
  • Last Illinois Offensive Player of the Week: A.J. Jenkins (Oct. 3, 2011)

Defensive Player of the Week: Collin Ellis, Northwestern, Jr., LB, St. Gabriel, La./The Dunham School

  • Became the first player in school history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in Northwestern’s road win against California
  • Recorded his first interception in the third quarter, returning it 56 yards to give Northwestern the lead
  • Intercepted his second pass midway through the fourth quarter, scampering 40 yards to the end zone to increase the Wildcat lead to 10 points
  • Also finished with four tackles, including one for loss
  • Claims his first career Defensive Player of the Week honor
  • Last Northwestern Defensive Player of the Week: Chi Chi Ariguzo (Sept. 10, 2012)

[ MORE: Enter the Buffalo Wild Wings Trip to the Football Championship Sweepstakes ]

Special Teams Player of the Week: Sam Ficken, Penn State, Jr., K, Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso

  • Was perfect in his kicking duties, converting all three field goals and both PAT attempts in Penn State’s 23-17 win over Syracuse
  • Was successful on kicks from 36, 35 and 46 yards, the latter of which was a career long in the fourth quarter
  • Has made 13 straight field-goal attempts dating back to the 2012 season
  • Wins his second career Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honor after being honored on Nov. 26, 2012
  • Last Penn State Special Teams Player of the Week: Sam Ficken (Nov. 26, 2012)

[ MORE: Ficken is kickin’ em through for Penn State ]

Freshman of the Week: Christian Hackenberg, Penn State, QB, Palmyra, Va./Fork Union Military Academy

  • Threw for 278 yards on 22 completions and two touchdowns in his Penn State debut, guiding the Nittany Lions to a 23-17 win over Syracuse
  • The second true freshman quarterback to start a Penn State season opener since 1910, Hackenberg connected on two touchdown strikes of 50 or more yards in the second half
  • Teamed with Allen Robinson for a 51-yard score in the third quarter and Eugene Lewis on a 54-yard strike in the fourth
  • Wins his first career weekly award
  • Last Penn State Freshman of the Week: Kyle Carter (Oct. 22, 2012)
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