Earning Big Ten player of the week honors this week were Iowa's Mike Humpal on defense, Michigan State's Javon Ringer and Northwestern's C.J. Bacher on offense, and Ohio State's Brian Hartline on special teams.
Mike Humpal, Iowa
SR, LB, New Hampton, Iowa/New Hampton
Humpal racked up a career-best 18 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, including his first career sack, and recovered a fumble to spearhead an Iowa defensive effort that limited Illinois to a pair of field goals in a 10-6 triumph. The senior linebacker, who has recorded double-digit tackles in his last three outings, bested his previous career-high in tackles by five stops. With Iowa clinging to a four-point lead, the Illini drove into Hawkeyes territory at the start of the fourth quarter before defensive end Bryan Mattison forced a fumble which was recovered by Humpal. Iowa forced one more turnover in the final stanza, picking off a pass at the goal line with less than two minutes left in the game to secure the victory. Illinois, which entered the game averaging 30.2 points and 261.2 rushing yards per contest, was held to just two field goals and 137 yards on the ground. Humpal earns player of the week laurels for the first time in his career.
LAST IOWA DEFENSIVE POW: DT Mitch King on Nov. 14, 2005
Javon Ringer, Michigan State
JR, RB, Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne
Ringer exploded for a career-high 203 rushing yards on 29 attempts while averaging seven yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns to lead Michigan State past Indiana. The junior running back scored on runs of three and 64 yards in the first half on his way to 160 rushing yards before the break to stake the hosts to a 24-13 advantage. The Ohio native has rushed for more than 100 yards in four straight games, the longest streak by a Spartan since Blake Ezor posted five consecutive 100-yard outings in 1989. Ringer is averaging an impressive 10.5 yards per carry in Big Ten play to lead all rushers with 177.7 yards per contest. Ringer collects the first player of the week laurel of his career.
LAST MICHIGAN STATE OFFENSIVE POW: RB Jehuu Caulcrick on Sept. 3, 2007
C.J. Bacher, Northwestern
JR, QB, Sacramento, Calif./Jesuit
After notching the best passing day in school history, Bacher followed up his record-setting performance with another incredible outing to earn his second straight weekly award and lead Northwestern to a double-overtime victory over Minnesota.The junior quarterback completed 41 of 58 passes (70.7 pct.) for 470 yards and four touchdowns while adding a rushing score to rally the Wildcats from a 21-point deficit. Trailing 35-14 in the third quarter, Bacher recorded a scoring pass and run to pull the hosts within a touchdown. After the Gophers missed a field goal, he drove his offense 73 yards, connecting on a four-yard scoring strike on fourth-and-goal with eight seconds left to force overtime. He led NU on two scoring drives in the extra sessions, including another touchdown pass, to secure the win. The California native has now posted two of the top three passing days in school annals, including a record 520 yards on Oct. 6 to break the previous program-best of 513 passing yards by Brett Basanez against TCU in 2004. Bacher picks up the second weekly accolade of his career.
LAST NORTHWESTERN OFFENSIVE POW: Bacher on Oct. 8, 2007
Brian Hartline, Ohio State
SO, KR, North Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak
Hartline shattered a 57-year old Ohio State record with a 90-yard punt return touchdown to help the Buckeyes stay undefeated against Kent State. The sophomore wideout opened the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown reception before posting his record-long return at the start of the second quarter to give the hosts a 14-0 advantage. The Ohio native breaks the previous program-best set by Robert Demmel in 1950, who went 87 yards for a punt return score against Iowa. Hartline picks up the first weekly accolade of his career.
LAST OHIO STATE SPECIAL TEAMS POW: PR Ted Ginn Jr. on Oct. 16, 2006