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Hackenberg Wins Fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Week Award

After watching Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg lead the Nittany Lions to an impressive 31-24 victory over the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers, the Big Ten Conference honored him with his fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award. He is the first player since 2010, when Nathan Scheelhaase of Illinois won six times, to win the award five times in a season.

Hackenberg threw for 339 yards and a season-best four touchdown passes during Saturday’s game. The freshman quarterback completed 21-of-30 passes, did not throw an interception and was not sacked. He was one yard off his season high — on October 5, he threw for 340 yards in a loss at Indiana.

Entering the game ranked sixth nationally at total defense, Wisconsin allowed the three longest passing plays all season against Penn State. Hackenberg threw for completions of 68, 52, and 59 yards, two of which went for touchdowns.

“We were taking advantage of our receivers running great routes and getting open and they went up and made plays,” Hackenberg said. “And the offensive line protected enough for me to push the ball down the field. This was probably the most emotional game that I’ve played. It meant a lot to me and a lot to the team. I can’t be more proud of the guys.”

For the season, Hackenberg is 231 of 392 for 2,955 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. This ranks him second in the Big Ten in completions and puts him one away from the Big Ten lead in terms of touchdowns.

Comparing Hackenberg with other great Penn State quarterbacks, he moves to third on the single-season chart. He places behind Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin, with 3,266 yards in 2012, and Daryll Clark, with 3,003 in 2009.

What’s great to remember is that this is only the beginning for the true freshman quarterback. He will continue to progress over the next three years and has the potential to go down as one of the best Penn State quarterbacks of all time.

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About the Author

Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.

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