October 11, 2009

Moeaki earns player of the week honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki has been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the week following his performance in Iowa's 30-28 win over Michigan. He becomes the sixth Hawkeye to be named Big Ten Player of the Week this season.

Moeaki, a 6-4, 250-pound senior, caught six passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He had scoring receptions of 34 and 42 yards. He returned to the lineup against Michigan after having been out of action for three games with an ankle injury. The Big Ten honor is his first.

The Wheaton, IL native was also named national Tight End of the Week by the College Football Performance Award committee. Moeaki was also named by ESPN.com as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

In addition, junior PK Daniel Murray was named by ESPN.com as the co-Special Teams player of the Week in the Big Ten. Murray connected on field goals of 28, 41 and 40 yards. The three made field goals are a career best.

It's the fifth week out of six in which at least one Iowa player has been named by the Big Ten as Player of the Week. Adrian Clayborn won the special team award and linebacker Pat Angerer won defensive honors following the win over Penn State. Punter Ryan Donahue shared the special team honors against Arizona, while linebacker Jeremiha Hunter won co-special team honors after the Northern Iowa game. Defensive back Tyler Sash won co-defensive honors after Iowa's win at Iowa State.

The nationally ranked Hawkeyes (11th by the AP and 12th by the USA Today Coaches Poll) are 6-0 and travel to Wisconsin (5-1) Saturday at 11 a.m. The game will be shown on ESPN.

Here is the full list of honorees from the Big Ten Conference:


Tony Moeaki, Iowa
SR, TE, Wheaton, Ill./Warrenville South

After missing the last three games due to injury, Moeaki returned to haul in six passes for 105 yards, including two key touchdowns to help Iowa hold off Michigan, 30-28, and improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1985. The senior tight end's 105 receiving yards were only seven yards shy of his career high of 112 yards, set more than two years ago against Syracuse on Sept. 8, 2007. The Hawkeyes fell into an early hole, as the Wolverines picked off Iowa's first pass attempt and returned it for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game. The hosts responded on the next possession with a game-tying 57-yard scoring drive, capped by a 34-yard scoring strike from Ricky Stanzi to Moeaki, his first touchdown since the season opener on Sept. 5. After the visitors pulled within 23-21 in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes' forced a punt on Michigan's next possession to get the ball back. Iowa struck quickly, with Stanzi finding Moeaki for a 42-yard touchdown on the first play of the series to boost the lead to 30-21 before holding on for the two-point triumph. Moeaki earns his first weekly accolade and becomes the first tight end to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week laurels since Iowa's Dallas Clark was honored on Oct. 7, 2002.

LAST IOWA OFFENSIVE POW: RB Shonn Greene on Nov. 17, 2008


Ross Homan, Ohio State
JR, LB, Coldwater, Ohio/Coldwater

Homan racked up a career-high 15 tackles while adding two sacks, a pass breakup and a forced fumble to help the Ohio State defense hold the Badgers' offense to a pair of field goals and remain atop the Big Ten standings. The junior linebacker's two sacks pushed Wisconsin back 13 yards and nine of his 15 defensive stops were solo tackles. He surpassed his previous career high of 10 tackles, set in two games last season. Homan spearheaded a defensive attack that held the Big Ten's top-ranked scoring and rushing offense to a pair of field goals and 118 yards on the ground. The Badgers entered the game averaging 35.0 points and 217.2 rushing yards per contest. Homan collects weekly laurels for the first time in his career, marking Ohio State's first defensive honoree since Vernon Gholston was named player of the week on Nov. 19, 2007.

LAST OSU DEFENSIVE POW: DE Vernon Gholston on Nov. 19, 2007


Zoltan Mesko, Michigan
SR, P, Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg

Recorded his best game as a Wolverine by averaging 53.8 yards on five punts at Iowa, including one inside the 20-yard line and a long of 61 yards. The senior standout boomed five punts for 269 yards, including kicks of 52, 53, 55 and 61 yards. His 53.8-yard average marked the second-best single-game effort in school history, trailing only the 56.3-yard average set by Don Bracken at Northwestern on Oct. 24, 1981. Mesko ranks second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally with 45.6 yards per boot. He earns his first weekly award and the second for a Michigan special teams performer this season after kick returner Darryl Stonum was honored on Sept. 13, 2009.

LAST MICH SPECIAL TEAMS POW: KR Darryl Stonum on Sept. 13, 2009

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