Big Ten Football Players of the Week
Oct. 23, 2017

Following Big Ten football games on Oct. 21, the offensive, co-defensive and special teams players of the week and freshman of the week in the Big Ten were announced this morning. Below are this week's honorees:

Offensive Player of the Week
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Jr., RB, Coplay, Pa./Whitehall

  • Recorded 176 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in Penn State’s victory over Michigan and has now scored a touchdown in 14 straight games, the longest active streak among FBS programs
  • Rushed 15 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while catching three passes for 53 yards and a score
  • Became the first Nittany Lion and fourth Big Ten player with 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his career, but the first Big Ten player to amass these totals in just his third season
  • Receives his fifth career Offensive Player of the Week award and third this season
  • Last Penn State Offensive Player of the Week: DaeSean Hamilton (Oct. 2, 2017)

Co-Defensive Players of the Week
Joe Bachie, Michigan State
So., LB, Brook Park, Ohio/Berea-Midpark

  • Registered a career-high 13 tackles and also recorded a forced fumble in Michigan State’s win over Indiana
  • Tallied a forced fumble, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in the contest
  • Led a defense that held its opponent to less than 100 rushing yards for the fourth time this season
  • Collects his second career Defensive Player of the Week honor
  • Last Michigan State Defensive Player of the Week: Joe Bachie (Oct. 9, 2017)



Jason Cabinda, Penn State
Sr., LB, Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central

  • Recorded 13 tackles and one sack in Penn State’s victory over Michigan
  • Forced his second career fumble in the third quarter of the contest
  • His sack was one of seven by the Nittany Lions in the contest, the most against a Big Ten opponent since having seven sacks at Northwestern in 2011
  • Collects his first career Defensive Player of the Week honor
  • Last Penn State Defensive Player of the Week: Brandon Bell (Oct. 24, 2016)

Special Teams Player of the Week
Hunter Niswander, Northwestern
Sr., P, Peninsula, Ohio/Woodridge

  • Averaged 50.8 yards per punt on five attempts and had three downed inside the 20-yard line in Northwestern’s overtime victory over Iowa
  • His 80-yard punt early in the third quarter was a career long and tied for the fourth­longest punt in program history
  • Average of 50.8 yards per punt is the highest single-game mark by a Northwestern punter since at least 2000 and the most by any Big Ten punter this season (min. 5 punts)
  • Earns his first career Special Teams Player of the Week honor
  • Last Northwestern Special Teams Player of the Week: Charlie Kuhbander (Oct. 16, 2017)

Freshman of the Week
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Fr., RB, Salem, N.J./Salem

  • Carried the ball 22 times for 126 yards and a touchdown in Wisconsin’s win over Maryland, topping the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth time in seven career games
  • Reached 1,000 career rushing yards in his seventh game, matching the FBS freshman record for fewest games need to record 1,000 yards and joining a group that includes Florida’s Emmitt Smith (1987), San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk (1991), Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson (2004), North Texas’ Jamario Thomas (2004) and Wisconsin’s P.J. Hill (2006)
  • Joins Smith, Faulk, Peterson and Thomas in achieving the feat as a true freshman
  • Claims his third consecutive and fourth career Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Wisconsin Freshman of the Week: Jonathan Taylor (Oct. 16, 2017)