Penn State defensive end C.J. Olaniyan and quarterback Christian Hackenberg have been honored by the Big Ten Conference for standout performances in the Nittany Lions’ thrilling four-overtime, 43-40 victory Saturday against Michigan.
Olaniyan was named Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career after making a career-high eight tackles, including 2 1/2 sacks, and forced his first fumble. He now has 3 1/2 sacks on the season, good for third in the Big Ten. He’s also tied for fourth with 6 1/2 tackles for loss. The junior is fourth on the Nittany Lions with 21 1/2 tackles.
Hackenberg earned his third Freshman of the Week honor from the Big Ten. The true freshman quarterback helped lead the Nittany Lions on a wild, 80-yard scoring drive late in regulation to tie the game. Hackenberg’s one-yard touchdown run capped the drive and knotted the score 34-34. It was the first rushing touchdown given up by the Wolverines this season.
In addition, Hackenberg completed 23 of 44 passes for 305 yards and three touchdown passes. He leads the Big Ten in completions (132) and passing yardage (278.7 yards per game). For the season, Hackenberg has completed 132 of 226 attempts for 1,672 yards and 11 touchdowns, with six interceptions.
Hackenberg also was named National Freshman of the Week by Athlon Sports.