Sunday, September 13, 2009
ESPN.com's Big Ten Players of the Week
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten is announcing its players of the week on Sunday nights this season, so my plan to one-up the conference office also moves up a day. Check out my picks, and then check back Monday morning to see how many matches I had with the league.
OFFENSE -- Michigan QB Tate Forcier
The true freshman helped Michigan make a national statement against No. 18 Notre Dame, making plays with both his arm and his feet. After briefly showing his age early in the fourth quarter, Forcier was masterful on Michigan's game-winning drive. He completed 6 of 7 passes, including a 5-yard score to Greg Mathews, and his only incomplete pass should have been caught. Forcier finished with 240 pass yards, 70 rush yards and three touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush).
DEFENSE -- Iowa S Tyler Sash
An obvious choice here as Sash tied a school record with three interceptions against Iowa State. The Big Ten's co-interceptions leader in 2008 is just 11 picks shy of Nile Kinnick's Iowa record. Sash also had a forced fumble, two tackles for loss and a team-high 10 total tackles.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS -- Wisconsin K Phillip Welch and Northwestern K Stefan Demos
I usually don't like giving shared awards, but when you make game-winning kicks, you deserve to be recognized. Welch drilled a 57-yard field goal after missing his first three attempts of the season and hit a chip shot in double overtime to lift Wisconsin past Fresno State. Demos saved Northwestern from a potentially devastating loss by drilling a 49-yard field goal in the final seconds. The junior only started handling field goals this season but came up big.