IOWA CITY, IOWA - University of Iowa junior defensive back Shaun Prater has been named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa's 37-6 win over fifth-ranked Michigan State in Kinnick Stadium last Saturday. The announcement was made by the Big Ten office today.
Prater is a 5-11, 180-pound junior from Omaha, NE. He collected a game- and career-high 10 tackles and recorded his third interception of the season to help hold Michigan State to only six points and hand the Spartans their first loss of the season. Seven of Prater's 10 defensive stops were solo tackles and he added 0.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup. It marks the first time he has earned the weekly Big Ten honor.
With Iowa holding a 17-0 lead, MSU drove to the Hawkeyes' 27-yard line before the junior cornerback picked off a pass and returned it 42 yards into Spartan territory. Three plays later, Iowa scored a touchdown to build its lead to 23-0. The Hawkeyes collected three interceptions in the game and held the Spartans to only 31 rushing yards, more than 160 yards below their season average entering the contest.
Prater is the fifth Iowa player to earn the weekly league honor this year. Earlier this season running back Paki O'Meara won the special team award for his play against Eastern Illinois, defensive tackle Mike Daniels won the defensive honor against Ball State, defensive end Adrian Clayborn was named defensive Player of the Week for his play against Penn State and quarterback Ricky Stanzi for his play against Michigan.
Iowa had eight players named Big Ten Players of the Week last year (four on defense, one offense and three special teams).
Here is the full list of honorees from the Big Ten Conference:
OFFENSE AND FRESHMAN:
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
FR, QB, Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst
Scheelhaase set career highs in total yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, passing efficiency and rushing yards to lead Illinois to a 44-10 triumph over Purdue. The freshman quarterback completed 16 of 20 passes (80.0 percent) for 195 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and added 118 rushing yards on 21 carries (5.6 avg.) to amass 313 total yards in the game. His pass efficiency rating of 227.9 marked the sixth-best single-game rating in Illinois history, while his 118 yards on the ground ranked as the sixth-most rushing yards by a quarterback in school annals. Scheelhaase opened the scoring against the Boilermakers with a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The Missouri native added scoring tosses of 20, 15 and 10 yards in the second half. Scheelhaase earns his first offensive player of the week award and his fourth freshman of the week honor this season.
LAST ILL OFFENSIVE POW: RB Mikel Leshoure on Dec. 6, 2009.
LAST ILL FRESHMAN OF WEEK: QB Nathan Scheelhaase on Oct. 25, 2010.
Shaun Prater, Iowa
JR, CB, Omaha, Neb./Central
Prater collected a game- and career-high 10 tackles and recorded his third interception of the season to help hold fifth-ranked Michigan State to only six points and hand the Spartans their first loss this season. Seven of Prater's 10 defensive stops were solo tackles and he added 0.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup in the game. With Iowa holding a 17-0 lead, MSU drove to the Hawkeyes' 27-yard line before the junior cornerback picked off a pass and returned it 42 yards into Spartans' territory. Three plays later, Iowa scored a touchdown to build a 23-0 advantage on the way to the 37-6 victory. The Hawkeyes collected three interceptions in the game and held the Spartans to only 31 rushing yards, more than 160 yards below their season average entering the contest. Prater collects the first weekly laurel of his career.
LAST IOWA DEFENSIVE POW: DE Adrian Clayborn on Oct. 4, 2010.
Collin Wagner, Penn State
SR, K, State College, Pa./State College Area
Wagner connected on both field goal attempts and five extra points and helped seal the victory with a fourth-down conversion on a fake field goal in a victory over Michigan. The senior kicker connected on a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter to put the Nittany Lions ahead 31-10. After the Wolverines cut the deficit to seven points with less than 10 minutes left in the game, Wagner capped the ensuing possession with a 42-yard field goal with just under six minutes remaining to push the lead back to 10 points. Michigan was unable to convert a fourth down on the next possession, but Penn State's ensuing drive stalled and the Wolverines used their final timeout with 3:44 on the clock. Instead of kicking a field goal on fourth-and-four, PSU ran a fake and Wagner scrambled seven yards on his first collegiate carry for the first down. The Nittany Lions then ran out the clock for the win. Wagner nabs weekly accolades for the second time in his career and for the season after being honored on Sept. 27, 2010.
LAST PSU SPECIAL TEAMS POW: K Collin Wagner on Sept. 27, 2010.