Michigan State, Penn State Dominate Week 7's Big Ten Players of the Week
The Big Ten Conference favorites, the Ohio State Buckeyes, weren't in action in Week 7, opening the door for some other teams to take the spotlight. Michigan State and Penn State responded accordingly by together sweeping the conference's weekly Players of the Week awards.
The Big Ten released the Week 7 awards on its official website.
Perhaps the biggest shock of the release was an Offensive Player of the Week honor given to a player from Michigan State, one of the most one-sided teams in the nation through the beginning of the season.
The previously inept MSU offense picked up in Week 7 against a shoddy Indiana defense. Running back Jeremy Langford was the biggest benefactor of the Spartans' 42-28 win. He was named Offensive Player of the Week after racking up a career-high 109 rushing yards and three touchdowns while also taking an 11-yard screen pass in for a score. The 120 all-purpose yards came as his career best as well.
As the release noted, the junior was the first Spartan to be named Offensive POTW since Le'Veon Bell last season.
MSU punter Mike Sadler brought the second Week 7 honor back to East Lansing. The Ray Guy Award candidate averaged a booming 59.3 yards per punt. He totaled 237 yards on four attempts, including a career-long 69-yard bomb in the fourth quarter.
Sadler was the last Spartan to earn the honor in 2012 and has been named Special Teams Player of the Week three times.
Meanwhile, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg earned his third Player of the Week honor, completing the conference Freshman of the Week trifecta. The former 247Sports 5-star recruit threw for 305 yards and three scores against Michigan and led a cold-blooded 80-yard touchdown drive in the final minute to send the game into overtime.
His insane Hail Mary connection with Allen Robinson without a doubt sealed the deal for his Freshman POTW honor.
He accounted for all 80 yards on the drive and capped it off personally by punching in the tying score from one yard out on a quarterback sneak. The true freshman is already nearing 1,700 passing yards on the year after going over 250 yards in five of his six games.
Nittany Lion defensive end C.J. Olaniyan completed the PSU-MSU sweep by taking Defensive Player of the Week. The senior logged eight tackles, a career-high 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. This was his first honor and the first for PSU since Jordan Hill was named Defensive POTW in 2012.
Penn State will have its next chance to add to those honors in two weeks when it heads to Columbus to take on Ohio State. Michigan State will be back in action at home against Purdue this week, hoping to keep up its offensive momentum.
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