Richfield native Stocco adds another honor, Buckeyes extend winning streak

Tyler Rushmeyer

Wisconsin’s senior quarterback John Stocco was near perfect Saturday in his team’s 52-17 victory over Indiana.

Completing 15 of 17 passes for 304 yards in less than three quarters of work, Stocco helped the Badgers jump out to a 42-0 lead.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said that in his first year as head coach, it is helpful to have Stocco’s presence on his team.

“He brings so many things to the table,” said Bielema of Stocco. “Not just from the X’s and O’s standpoint, but his poise, his leadership, and his game management. No matter what the situation, he’s consistent.”

His 88.2 completion percentage was the fifth-highest in school history and the best since Brooks Bollinger completed 90 percent of his passes against Indiana in 1999. It was also his fourth 300-plus yard passing performance.

Stocco credits his experience as a senior that has allowed him to perform at this level.

“I’ve probably been in just about every situation as a quarterback that you can imagine,” he said. “And that can only help.”

The Offensive Player of the Week award was the third for the Richfield, Minn., native.

Anthony Spencer of Purdue took home his second consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award after setting career highs in both tackles and tackles for loss for the second straight week.

Boilermakers head coach Joe Tiller has noticed significant improvement in the senior’s play throughout the season’s first five weeks.

“I think he’s at an awareness level that just wasn’t there in years past,” Tiller said. “It’s really a maturity issue. Having injury problems in the past hurt him, so to have him healthy so far is very important to his performance and our team.”

The senior defensive end recorded 15 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss Saturday in the Boilermakers’ 35-21 loss at Notre Dame.

Illinois kicker Jason Reda, a junior, helped the Illini pull off the biggest upset of the Big Ten season Saturday by kicking his first career game-winning field goal with 10 seconds remaining in the game to finish off Michigan State 23-20.

Reda was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goal attempts on the day, connecting on 27- and 34-yard kicks, along with the 39-yard game winner, helping snap the Illini’s 10-game Big Ten losing streak. It’s the first Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week award of his career.

Buckeyes roll on
Ohio State won its 12th consecutive game Saturday, beating Iowa 38-17. The Buckeyes’ last defeat occurred on Oct. 8 of last season, when the team lost to Penn State.

The streak is the longest for the Buckeyes since the 2002 and 2003 seasons, when they rattled off 19 straight wins, which included a 14-0 season and a national championship in 2002.

The Big Ten record was set by Michigan from 1901-1903, when it won 29 straight.

Henne in record books
With three passing touchdowns against Minnesota Saturday, Michigan junior quarterback Chad Henne moved into 10th place in the Big Ten career rankings with 58 touchdown passes, passing Bobby Hoying who had 57 with Ohio State from 1992 to 1995.

Henne is now just four touchdowns away from moving to eighth all time, currently held by Michigan State’s Jeff Smoker, who had 61 from 2000 to 2003.

Big time attendance
After five weeks of play, three of the country’s top four schools in average attendance are from the Big Ten.

Michigan is top-ranked with an average of 109,813 fans per contest; Penn State comes in second with an average of 106,765, and Ohio State ranks fourth, averaging 104,733.

Six Big Ten programs rank in the top 25 including Wisconsin at No. 14 (80,968), Michigan State at No. 20 (73,007) and Iowa at No. 22 (70,585).