Five Big Ten Schools Earn First Weekly Football Honors of 2011 Season

Michigan linebacker Brandon Herron became first Wolverine in the modern era to return two defensive turnovers for touchdown.

Sept. 5, 2011

Offensive Player of the Week
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Sr., QB, Richmond, Va./Collegiate
• Led Wisconsin to a 51-17 win over UNLV in the Badgers’ season opener on Thursday night
• Accounted for 317 total yards, including 255 through the air on 10-of-13 passing with two touchdown throws
• Ran for 62 yards on a pair of carries, highlighted by a 46-yard touchdown run in the second quarter
• His completion percentage (76.9) and pass efficiency (292.5) were the highest by a Wisconsin QB making his debut since 1951
•  Last Wisconsin Player of the Week: Scott Tolzien (Nov. 27, 2010)

Defensive Player of the Week
Brandon Herron, Michigan
Sr., LB, Stafford, Texas/Dulles
• Claims his first weekly conference honor after helping Michigan to a 34-10 win over Western Michigan
• Became first Wolverine in the modern era to return two defensive turnovers for touchdown
• Returned an interception 94 yards in the second quarter for a score, giving Michigan a 14-7 lead
• Recovered a Western Michigan fumble and returned it 29 yards for his second TD of the day, boosting Michigan’s lead to 27-10
• Last Michigan Defensive Player of the Week: Brandon Graham (Sept. 29, 2008)

Special Teams Co-Players of the Week
Brett Maher, Nebraska
Jr., K, Kearney, Neb./Kearney
• Wins his first career Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honor and becomes the first Nebraska player to ever win a Big Ten football weekly conference honor
• Was a perfect 4-of-4 on his field goal attempts and 4-of-4 on extra point tries
• Converted on field-goal attempts from 21, 34, 48 and 50 yards
• Last Nebraska Special Teams Player of the Week: N/A



Chaz Powell, Penn State
Sr., KR, New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock
• Returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Penn State’s 41-7 win over Indiana State
• Took the opening kickoff 95 yards as the Nittany Lions jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead
• Second kick return touchdown of his career, having returned the opening kickoff of the 2010 season against Youngstown State for a score
• Last Penn State Special Teams Player of the Week: Andrew Dailey (Nov. 22, 2010)

Freshman of the Week
Houston Bates, Illinois
LB, Covington, La./St. Paul’s
• Tied for the team high with two tackles for loss in Illinois’ 33-15 win over Arkansas State
• Finished with five total tackles, including a sack for six yards
• Recorded one of Illinois’ three turnovers, recovering a fumble in the third quarter
• Last Illinois Freshman of the Week: Nathan Scheelhaase (Dec. 6, 2010)