staff, October 24, 2011

The Big Ten Conference announced its Week 8 Big Ten Football Players of the Week on Monday. Six players earned honors, including Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw the game-winning Haily Mary touchdown pass to Keith Nichol in Saturday night's upset of then-No. 6 and perfect Wisconsin. Watch the highlights from the Spartans' thrilling victory now and see all the conference's award winners in this post.

Co-Offensive Players of the Week: Marvin McNutt, Iowa, Sr., WR, St. Louis, Mo./Hazelwood Central

  • Set the Iowa career record for touchdown receptions as part of a three-touchdown performance against Indiana on Saturday
  • Scored on touchdown receptions of 80, 28 and 24 yards, bringing his career total to 24, passing the school record of 21 set by former Hawkeyes Tim Dwight (1994-97)and Danan Hughes (1989-92)
  • Finished the game with six receptions for a career-high 184 yards
  • Claims his first career Big Ten weekly honor
  • Last Iowa Offensive Player of the Week: James Vandenberg (Sept. 19, 2011)

Kirk Cousins, Michigan State, Sr., QB, Holland, Mich./Holland Christian

  • Threw three touchdown passes, highlighted by the game-winning touchdown toss to Keith Nichol as time expired, in Michigan State?s win over Wisconsin
  • Completed 22 of 31 passes for 290 yards, his 20th career 200-yard passing game, as the Spartans rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit
  • Won his 22nd game as Michigan State?s quarterback, becoming the program?s all-time wins leader
  • Claims his second career Big Ten weekly honor
  • Last Michigan State Offensive Player of the Week: Kirk Cousins (Oct. 25, 2010)

Co-Defensive Players of the Week: Gerald Hodges, Penn State, Jr., LB, Paulsboro, N.J./Paulsboro

  • Recorded a career-high 14 tackles in Penn State?s win over Northwestern on Saturday
  • Posted 1.5 sacks as a part of the seven-sack effort by the Nittany Lion defense
  • Had a 63-yard interception return, which set up a Penn State touchdown to complete the scoring at 34-24
  • Claims the first conference honor of his career
  • Last Penn State Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Mauti (Nov. 8, 2010)

Kawann Short, Purdue: Jr., DT, East Chicago, Ind./East Chicago Central

  • Recorded career-bests with 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in Purdue?s 21-14 victory over Illinois on Saturday
  • Finished with six total tackles as the Purdue defense held Illinois to nearly 17 points and 90 rushing yards below its season average
  • Earns his first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor, having previously earned Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 11, 2010
  • Last Purdue Defensive Player of the Week: Ryan Kerrigan (Nov. 15, 2010)

Special Teams Player of the Week: Kyler Elsworth, Michigan State, So., LB, Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich

  • Blocked a punt in the final minute of the first half, which Michigan State recovered in the end zone to give the Spartans a 23-14 halftime edge
  • Marked Michigan State?s first blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown since 2006
  • Claims his first career Big Ten weekly honor
  • Last Michigan State Special Teams Player of the Week: Denicos Allen (Nov. 22, 2010)

Freshman of the Week: Tre Roberson, Indiana, QB, Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central

  • Became the first true freshman in Hoosier history to start at quarterback
  • Accounted for nearly 300 yards of total offense, completing 16 of 24 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 84 yards on 16 carries
  • Claims his first career weekly honor
  • Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Shane Wynn (Oct. 10, 2011)