Oct. 31, 2005
Antonio Pittman, Ohio State, SO, TB, Akron, Ohio/Buchtel
Pittman averaged an impressive 8.1 yards per carry on his way to a career-best 186 yards on 23 carries and added a pair of touchdowns to lead Ohio State to a road victory at Minnesota. After the Gophers rallied to knot the score at 17-17 entering the half, the sophomore tailback broke loose for a career-long and OSU season-best 67-yard scoring romp to break the tie early in the third quarter. The Buckeyes would outscore the hosts 28-14 in the second half to pull away, including a second touchdown for Pittman from four yards out in the final stanza. The Ohio native topped 100 yards on the ground for the third straight game, the fifth time this season and the sixth time in his career, surpassing his previous career-best of 171 yards set earlier this season against Iowa. Pittman, who ranks fourth among Big Ten players in all games with 110.2 rushing yards per game, picks up the first weekly accolade of his career.
Brian Calhoun, Wisconsin, JR, RB, Oak Creek, Wis./Oak Creek
Calhoun equaled the school record with five rushing touchdowns for the second time this season and added 197 yards on 35 carries in a road triumph at Illinois. The junior running back posted a two-yard touchdown, three scoring runs of six yards and wrapped up the game with a 46-yard burst to provide the final margin. His five touchdowns equals his performance in the season opener against Bowling Green, a total that ranks fourth in Big Ten history and matches the program best set by Billy Marek in 1974 and equaled by Anthony Davis in 2002. Calhoun has surpassed the 100-yard mark in seven of nine games this season and currently ranks fifth nationally and second in the Big Ten with 135.3 rushing yards per outing. He also tops the country with 21 total touchdowns and 19 rushing scores on the year. Calhoun earns the second weekly award on the season (also honored on Sept. 5) and in his career. DEFENSE:
Leon Hall, Michigan, JR, CB, Vista, Calif./Vista
Hall helped hold Northwestern below 20 points for the first time this season and set a school record with an 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a road victory in Evanston. The junior cornerback collected six tackles in the game, including four solo stops and a tackle for loss for minus-two yards, but his biggest play of the game came on the host’s opening drive. After Michigan opened the game with a 74-yard scoring march, the Wildcats’ offense (which entered the game ranked fourth nationally in total offense) drove 52 yards in only four plays to the Wolverines’ 13-yard line. On second-and-three, Hall forced a fumble, picked it up and sprinted 83 yards for the score and a 14-0 advantage. Michigan would eventually build a 27-17 halftime lead before holding NU scoreless in the second half for the victory. Northwestern, which entered the game averaging 37.1 points and 213.9 rushing yards per outing, was held to a season-low 17 points and 89 yards on the ground. Hall picks up the first weekly laurel of his career.
Demond Williams, Michigan State, JR, KR, Jackson, Ala./Jackson
Williams opened the game with a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown and later blocked an extra point attempt that was returned for two points in a victory over Indiana. The junior became the first Spartan since at least 1947 to return the opening kickoff for a score and his 98-yard effort equaled the second-longest return in school history. Later in the second quarter, his blocked extra point was returned 75 yards by Ashton Watson for a 25-8 halftime advantage. It marked the first defensive extra point scored by MSU since Nov. 14, 1992, when Rob Frederickson returned a blocked PAT 82 yards against Purdue. This is Williams’ first weekly honor.