IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa junior PK Mike Meyer and junior LB Anthony Hitchens have earned national recognition for their play in Iowa's 19-16 double-overtime win at Michigan State. Meyer has been named special teams Player of the Week in the Big Ten Conference for the second time this season. Meyer has also been named the national Placekicker of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA), and he is one of three kickers recognized as "Stars of the Week" by the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place Kicker Award.
Hitchens (6-foot-1, 224 pounds), a native of Lorain, Ohio (Clearview HS), has been recognized by College Sports Madness (collegesportsmadness.com) as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. He helped lead the Hawkeye defense in holding the Spartans to 16 points in Iowa's road victory. Hitchens recorded six solo tackles and nine assists, including one tackle for loss. He has posted double-digit tackles in five straight games. Hitchens leads the nation in tackles per game (13.0).
Meyer (6-foot 2, 185 pounds), is a native of Dubuque and attend Wahlert HS. He connected on four field goals in the win over the Spartans, including 3-pointers from 28 and 42 yards in the two overtime periods. The 28-yard kick forced the second overtime session, while the 42-yard field goal provided the winning margin after the Iowa defense collected a turnover on MSU's final possession.
Meyer scored Iowa's first points of the game with a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter. He added a 27-yard kick early in the fourth period. Meyer's only PAT of the game tied the score in the final minute, forcing overtime. He ranks second in the nation in field goals made per game and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in scoring.
Meyer, who is on the preseason Watch List for the Lou Groza Award, has 213 career points to rank ninth on Iowa's career list. He has made 42-52 (.808) career field goal attempts, including 14-15 in 2012. Meyer has made 13 consecutive field goals since his only miss in the opening game of the season. His only PAT against MSU extended his school-record consecutive streak to 68.
The Big Ten honor is the third for Meyer, as he shared the honor earlier this season following Iowa's 18-17 win over Northern Illinois. He earned the distinction for the first time in his career following Iowa's 18-13 win at Indiana in 2010. Meyer also had four field goals in that contest.
Iowa (4-2 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) hosts Penn State (4-2 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) Saturday in its only prime time game of the season. The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions will meet at 7:01 p.m. (BTN) in Kinnick Stadium.
Here is the complete list of honorees this week in the Big Ten Conference.
Offensive Player of the Week
Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Sr., RB, Wentzville, Mo./Timberland
-Became the Big Ten's all-time leader in touchdowns and points after finding the end zone three times against Purdue on Saturday
-Has 72 touchdowns and 434 points in his career, passing the previous marks of 71 and 426 set by Wisconsin's Ron Dayne
-Rushed for a career-high 247 yards, the third 200-yard effort of his career, on 29 carries, including a career-best 67-yard touchdown run in the third quarter
-Wins the fifth Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor of his career and first this season
-Last Wisconsin Offensive Player of the Week: Montee Ball (Nov. 28, 2011)
Defensive Player of the Week
Jake Ryan, Michigan
So., LB, Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius
-Matched a career high with a game-best 11 tackles in helping Michigan shut out Illinois on Saturday
-Also posted 3.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks, and forced a fumble on his solo sack in the third quarter to set up a Michigan score
-Part of a Michigan defense that allowed just 134 yards, including 29 through the air, and seven first downs
-Wins the first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award of his career
-Last Michigan Defensive Player of the Week: Ryan Van Bergen (Nov. 14, 2011)
Special Teams Player of the Week
Mike Meyer, Iowa
Jr., PK, Dubuque, Iowa/Wahlert
-Was a perfect four-for-four in field goal attempts against Michigan State, helping the Hawkeyes to a double-overtime victory on Saturday
-Converted on attempts from 23, 27, 28 and 42 yards, the latter coming in the second overtime to give Iowa the win
-Has made 13 straight field goal attempts and ranks second in the nation in field goals made per game (2.33)
-Wins his third Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week award and second this season
-Last Iowa Special Teams Player of the Week: Mike Meyer (Sept. 3, 2012)
Freshman of the Week
Nick VanHoose, Northwestern
CB, Urbana, Ohio/Graham
-Broke up three passes in the game, all of which came in the end zone, including one on third-and-goal in the fourth quarter against Minnesota
-Also added three tackles to help Northwestern become bowl eligible with a win over the Gophers
-Was part of the Wildcat defense that held Minnesota to just 169 yards passing on Saturday
-Wins his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade
-Last Northwestern Freshman of the Week: Venric Mark (Nov. 29, 2010)