Illinois, Northwestern and Penn State Claim Weekly Football Honors

Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase threw for a career-best 416 yards to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Sep 2, 2013

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)

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)



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)