Official Players of the Week are out
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten went a little different direction with its choices for Co-Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, going with two players from teams that didn't win Saturday. I can see the argument for both guys, especially Illinois' Juice Williams, but it will take an extremely exceptional performance for me to select players from losing teams. And with all due respect to Northwestern punter Stefan Demos, if you're going to pick a kicker/punter, it's hard to overlook Ryan Pretorius from Ohio State (4-for-4 on field goals, including a 50-yarder).
Excerpts from the conference's release:
Illinois quarterback Juice Williams
Williams exploded for career-highs of 451 passing yards and five touchdowns to nearly rally Illinois from a second-half deficit against nationally-ranked Missouri. The junior quarterback also established career highs with a 61.9 completion percentage, 26 completions and 42 attempts. His five scoring strikes rank second in school history and are the third-highest total in Big Ten annals. Williams' 451-yard effort rates third in the Illini records book and topped his previous career-best by more than 200 yards.Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis
Lewis dominated on the ground and through the air in a win over Western Kentucky, averaging an astounding 20.6 yards per carry while adding two scoring tosses to set the school record for career passing touchdowns. The junior quarterback broke loose for 185 yards on only nine carries, including touchdown runs of 75 and 62 yards. Lewis also completed 17 of 27 passes for 144 yards and two more touchdowns, boosting his career numbers to 44 scoring strikes.
DEFENSEMichigan linebacker Obi Ezeh
Ezeh racked up a career-best 15 tackles against Utah, helping hold the visitors to only two first downs and 28 yards of offense in the second half as Michigan nearly rallied for the win. The sophomore linebacker added 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a crucial interception at the goal line to keep the score close in the second half. ... Ezeh's 15 tackles were the most stops by a Wolverine in a season opener since the mid 1970s. He picks up his first career weekly honor.
SPECIAL TEAMSNorthwestern punter Stefan Demos
Demos showed pinpoint accuracy to place all six of his punts inside the 20-yard line, constantly putting visiting Syracuse in poor field position during a 30-10 triumph. The sophomore punter averaged only 32 yards per punt, totaling 192 yards on his six boots, but three of his six punts were downed at the three-, four- and eight-yard lines.