NU's Bacher, OSU's Chekwa and IU's Starr Tabbed Big Ten Football Players of the Week

Oct. 8, 2007

C.J. Bacher, Northwestern 
JR, QB, Sacramento, Calif./Jesuit
Bacher shattered a school record with 520 passing yards, the fifth-highest total in Big Ten history, while equaling a program best with five touchdown passes to carry Northwestern to a thrilling 48-41 overtime victory on the road against Michigan State. The junior quarterback completed an astounding 79.2 percent of his passes, connecting on 38 of 48 attempts with no interceptions. Two of Bacher's five touchdown tosses marked the longest completions of his career, scoring strikes of 78 and 70 yards in the second half. He also connected on two other touchdown passes in regulation of a back-and-forth game in which neither team led by more than seven points. With the score knotted at 41, Bacher completed one final scoring throw in overtime, a 12-yard strike to running back Omar Conteh to give the Wildcats the victory. The 520-yard performance broke the previous program best of 513 passing yards by Brett Basanez against TCU in 2004. Only four other Big Ten signal callers have passed for more yards in a game -- Illinois' Dave Wilson (621 yards in 1980), Iowa's Chuck Hartlieb (558 yards in 1988) and Purdue's Drew Brees (522 yards in 1998) and Kyle Orton (522 yards in 2004). Bacher's five touchdown passes equaled the school record set by Mitch Anderson in 1973. The California native picks up the first weekly offensive accolade of his career.

Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State 
FR, CB, Clermont, Fla./East Ridge
After recording 11 tackles in his first five games with Ohio State, Chekwa set a career high with 10 tackles, all solo stops, and added a pass breakup to lead a dominating defensive effort by the Buckeyes in a 23-7 road triumph against Purdue. OSU entered the game leading the Big Ten and ranked among the top five in the country in scoring, rushing and total defense. The Boilermakers boasted the conference's top offensive attack with 45.4 points (8th nationally) and 495.8 yards (T10th nationally) per outing, but were limited to only 272 total yards, four rushing yards and a single touchdown. Chekwa collects the first weekly laurel of his career and the first for a freshman Buckeye defensive player since linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer was honored on Oct. 22, 1996.
LAST OHIO STATE DEFENSIVE POW: LB James Laurinaitis on Sept. 17, 2007



Austin Starr, Indiana 
JR, K, Logansport, Ind./Logansport
Starr equaled a school record with four field goals to help Indiana improve to 5-1 with a victory over Minnesota. The junior kicker was a perfect four-of-four on the day, including kicks of 47, 43, 33 and 25 yards. The 47-yarder was the second longest of his career and put the Hoosiers ahead for good. The Indiana native has now connected on nine straight field goal attempts, the second-longest streak in school history just one shy of the program record. He also handled kickoff duties and blasted three touchbacks to boost his season total to 10 touchbacks on the year. Starr earns his first career weekly award.
LAST INDIANA SPECIAL TEAMS POW: KR Marcus Thigpen on Oct. 9, 2006