Nov. 8, 2009
Joey Elliott, Purdue
SR, QB, Evansville, Ind./Harrison
Elliott completed 72 percent of his passes for a career-high 367 yards to help rally Purdue from a 14-point halftime deficit and lead the Boilermakers to their first win at Michigan since 1966. The fifth-year senior completed 28 of 39 passes and accounted for three touchdowns, including two scoring strikes and a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown that proved to be the winning margin in a two-point triumph. Elliott guided the offense to a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, a 35-yard scoring toss, and a field goal on the second possession as the two teams were knotted at 10-10 less than nine minutes into the contest. The Wolverines tacked on a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to enter halftime with a 24-10 advantage. Elliott responded by opening the second half with three straight touchdown drives to reclaim the lead. A pair of Ralph Bolden scoring sprints pulled the visitors within 30-24 with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Purdue then successfully executed an onside kick and on the very next play, Elliott threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to give his team a 31-30 advantage. In the final stanza, the Indiana native tacked on an eight-yard touchdown run for a 38-30 lead with 10:28 to play. Those seven points turned out to be the difference after the hosts scored late but couAld not convert the two-point conversion, securing a 38-36 victory. Elliott became the first Purdue quarterback since Bob Griese to win in Michigan Stadium and his 367 yards passing were the most ever by a Boilermakers signal caller against the Wolverines. Elliot collects his first career weekly laurel.
LAST PUR OFFENSIVE POW: RB Ralph Bolden on Sept. 6, 2009
Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
JR, DE, Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge
Heyward produced a team-high and career-best 11 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a career-high two sacks, to help hold Penn State to a single touchdown in a 24-7 road victory. The junior defensive end pushed the Nittany Lions’ offense back 17 yards with his three tackles for loss, including 13 yards on two sacks. His 11 defensive stops surpassed his previous career best of seven tackles. The Georgia native spearheaded a Buckeyes defense that limited one of the conference’s top offenses to seven points, 76 rushing yards and 201 total offensive yards. PSU entered the game leading the Big Ten in conference games only with 423.4 total offensive yards per contest, while rating second in the conference with 26.8 points and 190.6 rushing yards per outing. Heyward earns his first career weekly accolade and becomes the third Ohio State defender to be honored in the last five weeks along with defensive end Thaddeus Gibson (Oct. 25) and linebacker Ross Homan (Oct. 11).
LAST OSU DEFENSIVE POW: DE Thaddeus Gibson on Oct. 25, 2009
Ray Small, Ohio State
SR, PR, Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville
Small helped Ohio State win the battle for field position with seven punt returns for 130 yards, including a pair of returns over 40 yards to set up Buckeyes touchdowns in the victory at Penn State. The senior wide receiver averaged 18.6 yards per punt return and also added a seven-yard reception and a 13-yard reverse. After the Ohio State defense forced a three-and-out on PSU’s first offensive possession, Small returned the ensuing punt 41 yards to the Nittany Lion’s nine-yard line. Two plays later, the visitors took a 7-0 lead. With a 17-7 advantage, Small set up another scoring drive with a 45-yard return to the hosts’ 47-yard line on the final play of the third quarter. The Ohio State offense drove the remaining 47 yards to take a 24-7 lead on the way to the victory. Small ranks second in Big Ten games only with 10.2 yards per punt return. The Ohio native nabs the first weekly honor of his career.LAST OSU SPECIAL TEAMS POW: DB Malcolm Jenkins on Nov. 17, 2008