The Big Ten announced the following student-athletes as the football offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for games on Saturday, Nov. 8.
Chris “Beanie” Wells, OhioState, JR, RB, Akron, Ohio/Garfield
Wells broke loose for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead OhioState to a road triumph over Northwestern. The junior running back averaged 5.0 yards on 28 attempts and recorded 140 or more yards on the ground for the third time this season. Wells opened the scoring with a two-yard run to give the visitors a 7-0 lead. After the Wildcats tied the score, he put the visitors ahead for good by breaking multiple tackles on his way to a 55-yard scoring sprint. The Ohio native ranks third in Big Ten play with 117.2 yards per outing and needs one more yard to break the 3,000-yard mark for his career. Wells picks up his third career weekly laurel after being honored on Oct. 22 and Nov. 19 of 2007.
David Gilreath, Wisconsin, SO, WR, New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong
Gilreath averaged an impressive 21 yards per carry to produce a career-best 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns to lead Wisconsin to a victory at Indiana. The sophomore wide receiver amassed 235 all-purpose yards on the day, including a 19-yard reception and 48 yards on kickoff and punt returns. He tallied his first career rushing touchdown with an eight-yard dash to give the Badgers a 21-13 lead in the second quarter. With the visitors clinging to a narrow 24-20 halftime advantage, Gilreath sparked a second-half offensive explosion by breaking loose for a 90-yard scoring sprint less than two minutes into the third quarter. Wisconsin would tack on 24 more points to run away with a 55-20 triumph. The Minnesota native’s 90-yard score was the longest running play for the Badgers since 1963, when Tom Brigham went 91 yards against Western Michigan. Gilreath earns his second weekly accolade and first on the offensive side of the ball after being honored on special teams on Sept. 17, 2007.
Tyler Sash, Iowa, FR, S, Oskaloosa, Iowa/Oskaloosa
Sash registered eight tackles and a crucial interception to set up Iowa’s final drive for a game-winning field goal to hand nationally ranked PennState its first loss. The freshman safety, who had four solo stops, was part of a Hawkeyes defense that held the Nittany Lions attack to only 23 points and 289 total yards. PSU entered the game leading the Big Ten in both categories, ranking eighth in the country with 41.8 points per contest and 11th nationally with 459.8 yards per outing. PennState drove inside Iowa’s 20-yard line on five occasions but was limited to field goals on three of those trips. After the hosts pulled within 23-21 in the fourth quarter, PSU drove to the Hawkeyes’ 37-yard line before Sash picked off a pass at the 15-yard line and returned it 14 yards. Iowa then drove down the field to set up the game-winning field goal with only one second on the clock. Sash collects the first weekly award of his career.
K.C. Lopata, Michigan, SR, K, Farmington, Mich./Farmington
Lopata set a career high and equaled a school record with five field goals to lead Michigan to a road victory against Minnesota. The senior kicker scored a career-best 17 points, connecting on all five of his field goal attempts from 44, 34, 26, 48 and 23 yards while adding two extra points in the 29-6 win. His five field goals are the most by a conference kicker this season and matched the program record set by Mike Gillette against Minnesota in 1988 and equaled by J.D. Carlson versus Illinois in 1990. Lopata earns his first career weekly accolade and the first for a Michigan special teams player since the 2006 campaign.