Sept. 13, 2004
The following student-athletes have been honored as Big Ten Football Players of the Week today:
Kyle Orton, Purdue
SR, QB, Altoona, Iowa/Southeast Polk
In just over one half of play, Orton continued Purdue’s offensive onslaught this season by connecting on a school-record 88.5 percent of his passes for a career-high five touchdown passes while adding a rushing touchdown in the victory over Ball State. The senior signal caller connected on his first 15 passes of the day and left the game after leading a scoring drive to open the second half to finish with 23 completions in 26 attempts for 329 yards. He topped the previous school record completion percentage of 86.4 percent set by Bob Griese against Notre Dame in 1965. The Big Ten Preseason Offensive Player of the Year was also named the National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Herana-Daze Jones, Indiana
SR, S, Louisville, Ky./Iroquois
Jones spearheaded an Indiana defense that forced seven turnovers to knock off nationally-ranked Oregon on the road, as the senior safety racked up nine solo tackles, a tackle for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery. With the Hoosiers leading 30-24 in the fourth quarter, the hosts drove to the Indiana 16-yard line before Jones picked off a pass with only 3:24 left in the game to maintain the lead. This is his first Big Ten weekly award and the first for a Hoosier defender since Kris Dielman was honored on September 2, 2002.
Mike Nugent, Ohio State
SR, K, Centerville, Ohio/Centerville
Nugent connected on a career-long 55-yard field goal with no time on the clock to propel OSU to a 24-21 win. The 55-yarder equaled the longest boot in Ohio Stadium history, as Dan Stultz connected from that distance in 1997 against Indiana. This is Nugent’s second Big Ten weekly accolade, as he was also honored on September 16, 2002.
Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin
SR, PR, Tony, Wis./Flambeau
Leonhard ran back a blocked field goal 86 yards for a touchdown and returned three punts for 58 yards against UNLV to become Wisconsin’s all-time leader in punt return yardage. The two-time First Team All-Big Ten defensive back now has 1,030 career punt return yards to pass Nick Davis (1,007 from 1998-2001) for sixth in Big Ten history, just 142 yards from breaking the Conference record. Leonhard has now been honored twice as the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (10/6/2003) and twice as the Defensive Player of the Week (8/26/2002, 10/27/2003).