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Big Ten Players of the Week, Week 4: Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah honored on offense

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Melvin Gordon and Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah share the honors as the Big Ten's Co-Offensive Players of the Week.

Mike McGinnis

Averaging nearly two first downs per carry wasn't enough to win Melvin Gordon the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Week honor outright, though it is hard to reasonably argue with the conference's final decision. The Wisconsin running back and Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah were both named Big Ten Co-Offensive Players of the Week for Saturday's games, and both certainly turned in fantastic performances.

In Wisconsin's 68-17 win over Bowling Green, Gordon rushed for 253 yards and five touchdowns on 13 carries. That 19.5 yards-per-carry average shattered UW's previous record of 14.9, and his five touchdowns also matched the school record. Wisconsin's outstanding team rushing effort also resulted in 644 rushing yards, a modern-era Big Ten record.

More from the Weekend: Offense Review Defense Review Photos

Abdullah, meanwhile, was vital to Nebraska pulling out a 41-31 win over Miami on Saturday. The Huskers' star back rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 35 carries and also added a 3-yard receiving touchdown. In doing so, Abdullah became Nebraska's all-time leader in all-purpose yards, passing 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers.

As for the remaining awards, Maryland cornerback William Likely won Defensive Player of the Week, Northwestern punter Chris Gradone was the Special Teams Player of the Week and Indiana linebacker Tegray Scales and Minnesota quarterback Chris Streveler were named Co-Freshmen of the Week.

Here's the full release from the Big Ten:

Co-Offensive Players of the Week
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Sr., RB, Homewood, Ala./Homewood

• Recorded 313 all-purpose yards, including 229 rushing yards, in Nebraska's victory over Miami (Fla.)
• Carried the ball a career-high 35 times, reaching the end zone twice on the ground and adding a third touchdown on a three-yard reception in the second quarter
• Became Nebraska's all-time leader in all-purpose yards, passing 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers
• Records the third Offensive Player of the Week award of his career and second of the season
• Last Nebraska Offensive Player of the Week: Ameer Abdullah (Sept. 1, 2014)

Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
Jr., RB, Kenosha, Wis./Bradford

• Needed just 13 carries to register 253 yards and matched a school record with five touchdowns in Wisconsin's win against Bowling Green
• Averaged 19.5 yards per carry, shattering the previous school record of 14.9 yards per attempt
• Helped Wisconsin set a modern-era Big Ten record with 644 team rushing yards and a school record for total offense with 756 yards.
• Earns the second Offensive Player of the Week award of his career
• Last Wisconsin Offensive Player of the Week: Melvin Gordon (Sept. 23, 2013)

Defensive Player of the Week
William Likely, Maryland
So., CB, Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central

• Recorded nine tackles, including one tackle for loss, and an interception to lead Maryland to a victory at Syracuse
• Notched his second career interception late in the second quarter and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown
• The interception return for a touchdown was the longest by a Maryland player since 1989
• Claims his first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor
• First Maryland Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award

Special Teams Player of the Week
Chris Gradone, Northwestern
Jr., P, Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier

• Averaged 44.1 yards on seven punts as Northwestern defeated Western Illinois
• Six of his seven punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, including two inside the five-yard line
• Claims his first career Special Teams Player of the Week honor
• Last Northwestern Special Teams Player of the Week: Jeff Budzien (Dec. 2, 2013)

Co-Freshmen of the Week
Tegray Scales, Indiana
LB, Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain

• Recorded five tackles and one sack to help Indiana defeat No. 18/19 Missouri
• Registered his first career sack as the Hoosiers collected their first road win over a top-20 team since 1987
• Wins his first career weekly award
• Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Ralphael Green III (Nov. 25, 2013)

Chris Streveler, Minnesota
QB, Crystal Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic

• Logged 161 yards on 18 carries, including a touchdown, to lead Minnesota to a victory over San Jose State in his first career start
• Posted the third-most rushing yards ever by a Minnesota quarterback
• Wins his first career weekly award
• Last Minnesota Freshman of the Week: Mitch Leidner (Sept. 23, 2013)