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Big Ten Players of the Week

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Defense ruled the day and night throughout most of the Big Ten in Week 9. A lot of good team wins, but here are the individuals who stood out.

OFFENSE

Michigan State QB Brian Hoyer

Running back Javon Ringer received the helmet sticker, so it's only fair that Hoyer gets some love for leading Michigan State to its first win at Michigan Stadium since 1990. Criticized for his completion percentage all season, Hoyer completed 17 of 29 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Wideout Blair White helped out with four catches for 143 yards as Michigan State snapped its six-game slide against Michigan.

DEFENSE

Penn State S Mark Rubin

Rubin made the signature defensive play of the day, forcing a Terrelle Pryor fumble in the fourth quarter that led to Penn State's go-ahead touchdown in a 13-6 win. The fifth-year senior racked up a career-high 11 tackles in the victory. Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman, who recovered the fumble and had 10 tackles, also deserves a mention along with Indiana safety Austin Thomas (two interceptions, 10 tackles).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Wisconsin P Brad Nortman

The true freshman averaged 51.7 yards on six punts against Illinois, placing three inside the 20-yard line with one touchback and a long of 63 yards. Other standout specialists include Penn State punter Jeremy Boone (43.5 yards per punt, three inside the 20), Wisconsin kicker Philip Welch (2-for-2 on field goals, 3-for-3 on PATs) and Indiana kickoff return man Marcus Thigpen (134 yards on four runbacks).