Pair of Wolverines takes home Player of the Week honors

Tyler Rushmeyer

The Buckeye State watched this weekend as two of its native sons led rival Michigan to a dominating road victory over then-No. 2 Notre Dame.

Sophomore wide receiver Mario Manningham and senior linebacker Prescott Burgess, both from Warren, Ohio, took home the Offensive and Defensive Big Ten Player of the Week awards for their part in Michigan’s 47-21 win.

Burgess took home his first weekly conference award after matching his career total with two interceptions, including one on the second play of the game. He returned that interception 31 yards to give Michigan an early 6-0 advantage.

“We knew we had to keep (Notre Dame quarterback) Quinn under pressure,” said Burgess, who also collected five tackles on the day. “If you allow him to sit back there, he’ll hurt you.”

Burgess said some of his motivation for this season stems from Michigan’s disappointing 2005 campaign.

“It motivated us a lot coming off a 7-5 seasonÖthat’s not allowed at Michigan and I was part of that,” Burgess said. “We’re just trying to get our national respect back.”

Manningham also collected his first weekly award for his performance, highlighted by three touchdown receptions in the first half alone. He finished with four receptions for a career-high 137 yards.

Manningham’s efforts impressed longtime coach Lloyd Carr.

“To do what he did in that game was very special,” Carr said. “He’s got a chance to be a great football player if he maintains the attitude and work ethic he’s displayed in his short time here.”

Freshman kicker Aaron Pettrey of Ohio State took home the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for connecting on field goals of 43 and 47 yards while scoring 10 total points in his team’s 37-7 victory over Cincinnati Saturday. It is Pettrey’s first weekly conference award.

Breaston in record books

Michigan senior wide receiver Steve Breaston became the Big Ten’s career leader in punt return yardage after collecting 64 yards on four returns against Notre Dame to bring his career total to 1,352 yards.

Breaston surpassed Jim Leohard of Wisconsin (2001-2004) who previously held the record with 1,347 yards.

Coach has surgery

Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner will miss two to four weeks after undergoing surgery last Wednesday. A routine scan had revealed a spot on his brain.

This is Hoeppner’s second surgery; his last was in December to remove a tumor from his right temple.

Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Bill Lynch will run the team until Hoeppner’s return.

“He’s doing very, very well,” Lynch said. “He’s made a remarkable recovery from a surgery that would slow a lot of guys down. But he’s up and about and talking with everyone.”

Nonconference no match

After another dominating weekend in which the Big Ten won nine of their 11 contests, the conference now sits at a 27-6 (.818) mark against nonconference opponents through the first three weeks of play.

This is the second straight season the Big Ten has accumulated 27 wins in the first three weeks of contest. The conference finished last season with a record of 28-6 (.824)