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Monday, September 21, 2009
Big Ten Players of the Week for Week 3



Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


Looks like I swung and missed with my choices. I definitely should have had Chris Borland for special teams, but I can make a strong case for the rest of my decisions.

Here are the official picks.

CO-OFFENSE

Michigan RB Carlos Brown -- Brown averaged 14.4 yards per carry against Eastern Michigan, racking up a career-high 187 rushing yards on only 13 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns. The senior running back scored from 9 yards out near the end of the first quarter before exploding on a 90-yard touchdown sprint in the second quarter. His 90-yard score is the third-longest run in school history. Michigan posted 380 rushing yards in the game, the school’s best single-game performance since the 2003 campaign.

Northwestern QB Mike Kafka -- Kafka opened the game by connecting on a school-record 16 straight pass attempts and set a single-game record by completing 83.3 percent of his passes while accounting for five touchdowns to keep Northwestern close in a high-scoring shootout at Syracuse. The senior quarterback completed 35 of 42 passes for a career-best 390 yards with three touchdown passes. He also added a touchdown run and reception, becoming the first Big Ten player with at least one passing, rushing and receiving score in the same game since Penn State’s Zack Mills accomplished the feat against Akron in 2004. Kafka’s completion percentage broke the previous school record of 80.6 percent set by Brett Basanez against Illinois in 2005.

DEFENSE

Penn State LB Sean Lee -- After missing last season with an injury, Lee recorded double-digits in tackles for the second time in three games this year with 12 defensive stops to help Penn State hold Temple to only a pair of field goals. The senior linebacker added 2.5 tackles for loss in the contest, including a 3-yard sack, while hitting double-figures in tackles for the 14th time in his career. The Nittany Lions held the visitors to only 46 rushing yards in the game as PSU has held three consecutive foes to seven points or less for the first time since 1996.

CO-SPECIAL TEAMS

Iowa P Ryan Donahue -- Donahue averaged 51 yards on five punts against Arizona, including placing two boots inside the 20-yard line with a long of 62 yards. The junior punter totaled 255 punting yards in the game and four of his five kicks were of 50 yards or longer, including punts of 50, 51, 58 and 62 yards. The visiting Wildcats were held to only one punt return for 4 yards in the game.

Wisconsin LB Chris Borland -- Borland made his presence felt on special teams against Wofford, blocking a punt and forcing a fumble on another punt while adding four tackles on defense. The freshman linebacker registered his first career forced fumble in the first quarter, stripping the ball from the returner deep in Badgers territory to set up a field goal. In the second quarter, he broke through to block a punt which was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.