Brees named Big Ten player of the week

David La

Purdue quarterback Drew Brees was recognized as the Big Ten offensive player of the week Monday, the fourth time he’s earned that distinction in his career.
Brees led the Boilermakers to a 31-23 win over Northwestern on Saturday with a 32 for 50, 405-yard performance. The junior signal caller also threw for three touchdowns, including a 99-yarder to receiver Vinny Sutherland.
“It was third and eleven so I was just thinking, ‘Get a first down,’ and the play called was a twelve yard out, just enough to get a first down.”
Brees checked off of a well-covered Chris Daniels, and then eyed Sutherland, who had attracted the coverage of the Wildcats safety. After moving out of the pocket to gain time, Brees fortuitously took another look in Sutherland’s direction.
“I got back to Vinny who had blown by the safety and gotten in behind him, I said, ‘Just chuck it, let’s take a shot at it because it’s the only thing we’ve got.’ I threw it up there and Vinny made a great catch and a great run.”
Michigan’s little rascals
No. 11 Purdue goes to Ann Arbor on Saturday to take on fourth-ranked Michigan. Both teams are 4-0, and are finding success with polar opposite approaches to the quarterback position.
The Boilermakers offense features Brees, who has thrown for 1,315 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
The Wolverines have both senior Tom Brady and sophomore Drew Henson under center during games, and even their statistics in tandem — 895 yards passing and four touchdowns — don’t come close to those of Brees.
Though neither Michigan quarterback quite measures up to Brees, Purdue coach Joe Tiller will have to watch them closely. It will be the only chance he’ll have to tell them apart.
“(Brady and Henson) almost look like clones in the sense that they’re both tall, physical guys and they both have very strong arms,” Tiller said. “We don’t see much difference in these two rascals.”
London calling
Michigan’s Dhani Jones — a graduate of Winston Churchill High School in Maryland — got the Big Ten defensive player of the week nod for what could be called his finest hour.
The senior linebacker was credited with 11 total tackles, including three tackles-for-loss and a nine-yard sack in a 21-17 Wolverines win at Wisconsin.
Jones’ key tackle came in the fourth quarter as he collared running back Ron Dayne for a two-yard loss on a fourth-and-one play on the Michigan 25 yard line.
Michigan’s defense held the Badgers offense 166.7 yards short of their rushing average in a game.

Renewing pleasantries
It’s ‘Good to see you again’ weekend in the Big Ten. Four of the five conference games Saturday will be the teams’ first meetings since 1996.
The last meetings saw Northwestern beat Minnesota; Iowa top Michigan State; Purdue best Michigan, and Ohio State win over Wisconsin.
David LaVaque covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]