Illinois' Reda, Purdue's Spencer and Wisconsin's Stocco Named Big Ten Football Players of the Week

Illinois' Jason Reda connected on a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to give the Illini a 23-20 victory at Michigan State.

Illinois' Jason Reda connected on a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to give the Illini a 23-20 victory at Michigan State.

Oct. 2, 2006

OFFENSE:
John Stocco, Wisconsin 
SR, QB, Richfield, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels

In less than three quarters of play, Stocco boosted Wisconsin to a 42-0 lead at Indiana, completing 88 percent of his passes (15-for-17) for 304 yards and three touchdowns on the way to a 52-17 victory. The senior quarterback set the school record with a passing efficiency rating of 296.68, breaking the previous program-best of 268.4 set by Jim Sorgi against Michigan State in 2003. Stocco's completion percentage of 88.2 percent ranked fifth in school annals and was the best since Brooks Bollinger completed 90 percent of his passes against the Hoosiers in 1999. Stocco recorded his fourth career game with more than 300 passing yards and connected on scoring tosses of 35, 15 and three yards during the first and second quarters to give the Badgers a 28-0 lead. The Richfield, Minnesota, native picks up Offensive Player of the Week laurels for the third straight season as he was previously honored on Nov. 28, 2005, and Nov. 6, 2004.

DEFENSE:
Anthony Spencer, Purdue 
SR, DE, Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers

For the second straight game, Spencer set career highs in tackles and tackles for loss to become the first Purdue defender to repeat as the Big Ten Player of the Week since 2003. The senior defensive end recorded a game-high 15 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss (-20 yards) at Notre Dame. His tackle total included seven solo stops and 1.5 sacks (-12 yards) and he also added a pass breakup. Spencer leads the country with 2.7 tackles for loss per game (13.5 total) while topping the Big Ten and ranking fifth nationally with 1.3 sacks per outing (6.5 total). He picks up the second weekly conference honor of his career, becoming the first Big Ten player to repeat as the Defensive Player of the Week since Penn State's Paul Posluszny garnered three straight awards (Sept. 26 to Oct. 10) last season. The last Purdue defensive standout to win back-to-back weekly accolades was Shaun Phillips on Nov. 3 and 10, 2003.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Jason Reda, Illinois 
JR, PK, Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island

Reda snapped the Illini's 10-game Big Ten losing streak and handed head coach Ron Zook his first conference victory by connecting on a 39-yard field goal with just 10 seconds on the clock for a 23-20 road victory at Michigan State. The junior kicker was perfect on three field goal attempts in East Lansing. He gave the visitors a 10-3 lead with a 27-yarder  heading into the half and boosted Illinois' lead to 20-10 with a 34-yard boot at the end of the third quarter before sealing the win in the final stanza. The final kick was the first game-winning field goal of Reda's career as he climbed to eighth on Illinois' career list with 23 field goals. This marks the first weekly laurel of his career and the first for a Fighting Illini player since punter Steve Weatherford was honored on Oct. 23, 2004.


 

 

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