When a team scores 63 points on a conference opponent, there's a good chance that its players will be rewarded. As Ohio State clobbered Penn State 63-14, quarterback Braxton Miller emerged as the big benefactor and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
The Big Ten released its Week 9 awards Monday morning, and Miller earning his third career Offensive POTW award was the highlight.
The junior finished 18-of-24 passing against PSU, accumulating a career-high 252 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 68 yards and his first two rushing scores of the season, showing that he is back to full form after missing time early in the year with a knee injury.
Ohio State's offensive explosion also earned the Buckeyes the Freshman of the Week distinction. Running back Dontre Wilson amassed 96 all-purpose yards to help sink the Nittany Lions.
The DeSoto, Texas native notched a 49-yard kickoff return and took a swing pass from Miller 26 yards for a touchdown. The former 247Sports composite 4-star also had a 9-yard reception and one carry for 12 yards.
The final two Big Ten Week 9 award winners were seniors.
Iowa linebacker James Morris was named Defensive Player of the Week after the Hawkeyes' 17-10 overtime win over Northwestern.
Morris tallied eight tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, two sacks and a pivotal fumble recovery in the closely contested game in Iowa City. The Wildcat offense accumulated just 329 yards, which came as only their third game under 350 total yards this season.
According to the Big Ten release, Morris is the first player in the FBS to record three interceptions, three sacks and 50 tackles this season. The Solon, Iowa native now has two Defensive POTW distinctions, the first of which he earned on Sept. 30 of this year.
Minnesota kicker Chris Hawthorne closed out the POTW awards, as he was named Special Teams POTW in the Gophers' 34-23 upset of Nebraska. The senior was 4-of-4 on extra points and 2-of-2 on field goals, connecting from 26 and 45 yards to keep the Cornhuskers at arm's length.
Congratulations to Chris Hawthorne who was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after 2 FGs and 4 PATs. #Gophers— Gopher Football (@GopherFootball) October 28, 2013
All four of the award winners will be back in action this Saturday. Hawthorne and Minnesota will head on the road to take on Indiana at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Morris and Iowa will host No. 24 Wisconsin at 12 p.m. EDT. Finally, Miller, Wilson and OSU will also be on the road against Purdue at 12 p.m. EDT.