Player of the week: Big Ten

Last week, Cody Latimer told our Brian Bennett that he believes his season could be better. He then went out and had his best day yet in Indiana's 52-35 win over Illinois to stem a three-game losing streak.

Latimer had career-highs with 11 catches and 189 yards while tying his career-best mark of three touchdowns.

Two of his scores came in the second quarter, as he caught passes of 41 and 50 yards, respectively, from Nate Sudfeld to tie the game and then take the lead.

Latimer is now tied with Michigan's Jeremy Gallon for second in the Big Ten in receptions per game, at 6.1, and he is up to third in the conference in receiving yards per game, at 98.2, after his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season. He has eight scores on the season and 16 for his career, now fifth all-time among Hoosiers.

His six 100-yard games for his career are tied for fifth in team history, too.

He surpassed his previous single-gamee career-highs of nine catches and 139 yards.

All three of Sudfeld's touchdown passes were to Latimer, who was responsible for the bulk of Sudfeld's 267 passing yards.

“We kept building him up on the sideline, telling him not to get down and keep throwing it to us, throw us the ball,” Latimer told reporters, according to the Indianapolis Star. “And that’s what we did.”

Indiana improved to 4-5 but still faces an uphill climb toward a potential bowl berth, as it finishes its season at Wisconsin and at Ohio State before hosting rival Purdue. Still, Latimer's career day helped extend the Fighting Illini's Big Ten losing streak to 19 games, and it gave the Hoosiers some much-needed momentum as they head into a tough stretch to close out the month.