After a dominating defensive performance, redshirt junior T.J. Watt was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
The Wisconsin Badgers’ outside linebacker recorded 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles against the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing on Saturday. He also tallied six tackles (tied for second on the team), two quarterback hurries and was credited with a pass break-up.
The defense as a whole stymied the Michigan State offense at Spartan Stadium, allowing only two field goals in their 30-6 win. Four turnovers were forced that led to 13 points for the Badgers, and Justin Wilcox’s squad held their opponents to 75 yards rushing on 2.8 yards per attempt. The Spartans actually outgained UW 325-217 in yardage, but 206 of them came on the final four drives when Wisconsin built its 24-point lead.
On the season, Watt leads the team in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (5.5), and is second in tackles (18). He is a top the conference standings in sacks and seventh in the nation in that category.
Wisconsin’s defense has only given up 277 yards per game this season, and currently ranks seventh in the nation in scoring defense (11.8 points per game).
On Sunday, the Pewaukee native was also named the Walter Camp Player of the Week.
Here’s Wisconsin’s official press release on the Walter Camp honor:
Watt named Walter Camp Player of the Week
Junior linebacker logged 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in win over Michigan State
Sept. 25, 2016
• Online: http://go.wisc.edu/729a60
MADISON, Wis. – For his part in a dominant defensive performance that keyed No. 11 Wisconsin’s 30-6 win over No. 8 Michigan State on Saturday, UW junior outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week.
Watt recorded 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks – both career highs – as part of a six-tackle day for the Badgers, who won their eighth-consecutive road game. He also recorded a pair of quarterback hurries and broke up a pass.
Watt leads the Big Ten and ranks in a tie for seventh nationally with 4.5 sacks on the year.
Wisconsin’s defense held Michigan State without a touchdown – just the second time the Spartans have been kept out of the end zone at home since 2000 – thanks in large part to a pass rush that recorded four sacks and seven QB hurries while contributing to three MSU interceptions.
UW’s defense has surrendered just three offensive touchdowns through four games and ranks No. 7 in the FBS in scoring defense at 11.8 points allowed per game. The Badgers are giving up an average of just 277.0 total yards.
Watt is Wisconsin’s first Walter Camp weekly award winner since Scott Starks claimed the honor on Oct. 17, 2004 following a 20-17 victory at No. 5 Purdue. That was UW’s last road win over a team ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll prior to Saturday’s triumph in East Lansing.
This season marks the 13th-consecutive year in which the Walter Camp Football Foundation is honoring one offensive and one defensive player each week during the regular season. Winners are selected by a panel of national media members.
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