ESPN.com's Big Ten Players of the Week
September, 20, 2009
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Let's see how many picks the Big Ten and I can agree upon.
OFFENSE -- Minnesota WR Eric Decker
Decker is the entire Golden Gophers offense right now, and he showed why Saturday against Cal. He made an incredible catch in the end zone and held on for the score despite a vicious shot from Bears safety Sean Cattouse. Though he needed stitches in his chin, Decker didn't miss a single play and broke Ron Johnson's team record for career receptions with his second touchdown grab. He accounted for all three Minnesota touchdowns (2 receiving, 1 passing) against Cal and finished with eight receptions for 119 yards.
DEFENSE -- Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn
This award really should go to the entire Iowa defense, which shut down Arizona in Saturday's 27-17 win. But Clayborn gets the nod with an explosive performance up front, forcing a fumble and recording a career-high three quarterback hurries. Clayborn finished with six tackles and a sack in Iowa's win. Honorable mentions go to Wisconsin linebacker Culmer St. Jean (15 tackles, 2 TFLS, fumble recovery) and Indiana safety Austin Thomas (two interceptions).
SPECIAL TEAMS -- Indiana CB Ray Fisher
Fisher set the tone for Indiana's win against Akron by returning the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. His runback marked the first time in team history the Hoosiers have opened a game with a scoring return. Fisher, a converted wide receiver, returned punts last season but moved into the kickoff return role after the graduation of standout Marcus Thigpen.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
7:57 4th Qtr Minnesota 24 Illinois 21 13:42 4th Qtr Maryland 0 Wisconsin 45 8:07 4th Qtr Rutgers 17 16 Nebraska 41 3:30 PM ET Michigan 8 Michigan State 8:00 PM ET 13 Ohio State Penn State