Your post-Halloween edition of players of the week, announced by the league office earlier today.
OFFENSE AND FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase
Scheelhaase set career highs in total yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, passing efficiency and rushing yards to lead Illinois to a 44-10 triumph over Purdue. The freshman quarterback completed 16 of 20 passes (80.0 percent) for 195 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and added 118 rushing yards on 21 carries (5.6 avg.) to amass 313 total yards in the game. His pass efficiency rating of 227.9 marked the sixth-best single-game rating in Illinois history, while his 118 yards on the ground ranked as the sixth-most rushing yards by a quarterback in school annals.
DEFENSE: Iowa CB Shaun Prater
Prater collected a career-high 10 tackles and recorded his third interception of the season to help hold fifth-ranked Michigan State to only six points and hand the Spartans their first loss this season. Seven of Prater’s 10 stops were solo tackles and he added 0.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup in the game. With Iowa holding a 17-0 lead, Michigan State drove to the Hawkeyes’ 27-yard line before the junior cornerback picked off a pass and returned it 42 yards into Spartans territory. Three plays later, Iowa scored a touchdown to build a 23-0 advantage on the way to the 37-6 victory.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Penn State K Collin Wagner
Wagner connected on both field goal attempts and five extra points and helped seal the victory with a fourth-down conversion on a fake field goal in a victory over Michigan. The senior kicker connected on a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter to put the Nittany Lions ahead 31-10. After the Wolverines cut the deficit to seven points with less than 10 minutes left in the game, Wagner capped the ensuing possession with a 42-yard field goal with less than six minutes remaining to push the lead back to 10 points. Michigan was unable to convert a fourth down on the next possession, but Penn State's ensuing drive stalled and the Wolverines used their final timeout with 3:44 on the clock. Instead of kicking a field goal on fourth-and-4, Penn State ran a fake and Wagner scrambled seven yards on his first collegiate carry for the first down. The Nittany Lions then ran out the clock for the win.