IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa junior quarterback James Vandenberg has been named the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Week for his play in Iowa's 31-27 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday. The honor from the league is Vandenberg's first and also Iowa's first Player of the week honor this season.
Vandenberg, a 6-3, 212-pounder from Keokuk, Iowa, is first native Iowan to start at quarterback for the Hawkeyes since 2001. He led Iowa's second half rally against Pittsburgh, rushing for one touchdown and throwing three scoring passes in the final 17 minutes. His final pass was a 22-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley with 2:51 remaining, giving Iowa its final 31-27 advantage. He had touchdown passes of 14 and 25 yards earlier in the fourth period. At one point in the rally, Vandenberg completed 10 straight passes.
His totals against Pitt included 31-48 passing for 399 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. He completed 17 of his last 20 attempts while posting career bests in completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdowns.
Vandenberg's 399 passing yards ties as the seventh best single-game total in school history, while the 31 completions rank fourth best and the 48 attempts tie as the school's seventh highest total.
Vandenberg is the first Iowa player to win the offensive award since Ricky Stanzi won it for his performance against Michigan (Oct. 16th) last year. Iowa had six Big Ten Player of the Week honors last year.
Here is the full list of honorees from the Big Ten Conference.
Offensive Player of the Week
James Vandenberg, Iowa
Jr., QB, Keokuk, Iowa/Keokuk
· Led Iowa on three touchdown drives in the final 10 minutes to rally for a 31-27 win over Pittsburgh
· Threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns, with each score coming in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning strike with 2:51 to play
· Scored Iowa's fist touchdown late in the third quarter on a one-yard run, cutting the score to 24-10
· Earns his first Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor
· Last Iowa Offensive Player of the Week: Ricky Stanzi (Oct. 18, 2010)
Defensive Player of the Week
Jonathan Brown, Illinois
So., LB, Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers
· Totaled seven tackles and set career-highs in tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (1.5) in Illinois' win over nationally ranked Arizona State
· Forced Arizona State's first interception of the day in the first quarter after hitting Brock Osweiler as he threw, leading to a Glen Foster pick
· Recorded his first interception of the season, halting an 11-play Sun Devil drive
· Claims his first career Big Ten weekly honor
· Last Illinois Defensive Player of the Week: Corey Liuget (Dec. 6, 2010)
Special Teams Player of the Week
Duane Bennett, Minnesota
Sr., RB, Fairview Heights, Ill./O'Fallen Township
· Claims first weekly conference honor after blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown in Minnesota's win over Miami (Ohio)
· Extended lead to 29-16 to help solidify Minnesota win
· Recorded Minnesota's first blocked punt returned for a touchdown since 2009.
· Last Minnesota Special Teams Player of the Week: Troy Stoudermire (Nov. 15, 2010)
Freshman of the Week
D'Angelo Roberts, Indiana
RB, Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington North
· Rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 12 yards and a score, combining for 114 yards ? all of which came in the second half
· Became first Indiana true freshman since BenJarvus Green-Ellis to rush for 100 or more yards in a game
· Claims first Big Ten weekly honor
· Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Mitch Ewald (Nov. 29, 2010)