Oct. 25, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – For their strong performances in Wisconsin’s 31-30 win at Iowa on Saturday, junior defensive end J.J. Watt and junior punter Brad Nortman have been honored by the Big Ten, the Conference announced Monday. Watt was named co-Defensive Player of the Week, while Nortman picked up co-Special Teams Player of the Week accolades.
Watt posted one sack and two tackles for loss, part of a five-tackle day against the Hawkeyes. In addition, he blocked an extra point in the first quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game. Watt's lone sack of the game came at a crucial time as he brought down Ricky Stanzi for an 11-yard loss with just 26 seconds left in the game, forcing Iowa to take a timeout.
Going up against the No. 1 and No. 12 teams in the country in the last two weeks, Watt has put up nine tackles, 3.0 sacks, 5.0 TFLs, one quarterback hurry and one blocked kick. This is the second player of the week honor for Watt in his career.
Nortman, who was previously named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 25, 2008, had two punts for 96 yards, including a 54-yarder on Saturday. His biggest play of the game though came without a kick. Trailing 30-24 with less than eight minutes to play and facing a fourth-and-four at Wisconsin’s own 26-yard line, Nortman took the snap and ran up the middle 17 yards for a first down. Wisconsin ended up scoring the go-ahead touchdown on the drive and then held off the Hawkeyes to get the win.
It’s the first time since the Hawaii contest on Dec. 6, 2009, that the Badgers have had multiple player of the week honorees. For that game, Watt was named Defensive Player of the Week, while John Clay was chosen as co-Offensive Player and David Gilreath earned the Special Teams honor.
Watt and Nortman become the fourth and fifth UW players to be honored by the Big Ten in 2010 and their accolades make five weeks in a row that Wisconsin has earned weekly honors.
Freshman running back James White won back-to-back Freshman of the Week honors on Sept. 27 and Oct. 4, while Clay was named co-Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11. Last week, Gilreath was named Special Teams Player of the Week.