Bill Belton and Christian Hackenberg Receive Player of the Week Honors
Two days after Penn State defeated Illinois 24-17, Bill Belton and Christian Hackenberg received weekly honors for their performances.
In his first game as Penn State’s starting running back, Belton shredded the Illini defense, rushing for 201 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries en route to being named co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. This was the first time in Belton’s career that he ran for more than 200 yards in a game.
Belton is the first Penn State player to receive the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor since Matt McGloin, who won it twice during his Penn State career, most recently in November of 2012. Belton is also the first Penn State running back to rush for more than 200 yards since 2002, when Larry Johnson ran for 279 yards against Michigan State.
Minnesota QB Philip Nelson split the award with Belton for his four touchdown performance in the team’s victory over Indiana. Penn State travels to Minnesota to take on Nelson and the rest of the Golden Gophers on Saturday.
Hackenberg also was honored for his performance against the Illini. After going 20-for-32 for 240 yards and two total touchdowns, Hackenberg was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week by Athlon Sports. Hackenberg has been named Athlon’s Freshman of the Week twice this season — he received the honor after Penn State’s four overtime win over Michigan in October.