Oct. 4, 2009
John Clay, Wisconsin
SO, RB, Racine, Wis./Washington Park
Clay set career highs with 184 rushing yards and three touchdowns while matching a career best with 32 carries to lead Wisconsin to a road triumph at Minnesota. The sophomore running back surpassed his previous career high of 143 yards set earlier this year against Fresno State and recorded his third career game of 100 yards or more. He opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown in the first quarter. After the Gophers took a 13-10 lead at halftime, Clay took over in the second half, gaining 159 of his 184 yards with a pair of one-yard scoring runs. His second touchdown of the game put the Badgers up 17-13 in the third quarter and his third score gave the visitors a 31-21 advantage with only three minutes left. The Wisconsin native leads the Big Ten with 116.4 rushing yards per game and earns player of the week accolades for the first time in his career.
LAST WIS OFFENSIVE POW: QB Scott Tolzien on Sept. 27, 2009
O’Brien Schofield, Wisconsin
SR, DE, Great Lakes, Ill./North Chicago Community
Schofield filled the stat sheet with six tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a career-best two sacks and a pass breakup while also forcing a fumble to end Minnesota’s last-chance drive and secure a three-point road victory. The senior defensive end pushed the Gophers’ offense back 26 yards on his 3.5 tackles for loss, including 19 yards of loss on his two sacks. With the Badgers clinging to a 31-28 lead, Minnesota forced a punt and took over at the five-yard line with 1:43 remaining. The hosts moved the ball to the 34-yard line before Schofield broke through the line to hit the Gophers’ quarterback and force a fumble with 30 seconds left in the game. The Illinois native leads the Big Ten with 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss and nabs his first career weekly honor.
LAST WIS DEFENSIVE POW: DT Mike Newkirk on Nov. 17, 2008
Stefan Demos, Northwestern
JR, P/PK, Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon
Handling both punting and kicking duties, Demos connected on all four of his field goal attempts and added an extra point for a career-best 13 points to help Northwestern rally from a 21-3 deficit and earn a road triumph at Purdue. The junior kicker also recorded four punts for 125 yards for an average of 31.3 yards per boot, including placing one inside the 20-yard line. After connecting on an 18-yarder in the first quarter, Demos added field goals of 35 and 25 yards in the last minute of the first half to pull the Wildcats within 21-16 at the break. He added a fourth field goal, a new single-game best, from 39 yards in the third quarter to narrow the deficit to 21-19. The Arizona native is now a perfect 8-of-8 on field goals this year and collects his second career weekly laurel after being honored as a punter on Sept. 1, 2008.LAST NU SPECIAL TEAMS POW: K Amado Villarreal on Sept. 22, 2008
Jeremy Boone, Penn State
SR, P, Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg Area
Boone averaged nearly 50 yards per punt and pinned Illinois inside the five-yard line on two kicks to help Penn State win the field position battle and pick up a road victory. The senior punter recorded four punts for 198 yards, an average of 49.5 yards per attempt, including a long of 66 yards. The 66-yard boot was the third-longest kick of Boone’s career and was downed at the Illinois three-yard line to help change the field position in the first quarter. He later downed a kick at the one-yard line in the second quarter, while his lone punt in the second half traveled 60 yards. The Pennsylvania native earns his first career weekly accolade.
LAST PSU SPECIAL TEAMS POW: K Kevin Kelly on Oct. 20, 2008