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September 20, 2009

Donahue earns player of the week honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa punter Ryan Donahue has been named co-Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance in Saturday's 27-17 win over Arizona. The announcement was made tonight on the Big Ten Network's weekly recap show.

It is the third straight week the Hawkeyes have had a Big Ten Player of the Week. Linebacker Jerimiha Hunter won co-Special Team honors following Iowa's season opening win over Northern Iowa and defensive back Tyler Sash won co-defensive honors after Iowa's win at Iowa State last week.

Donahue is a 6-3, 180-pound junior from Evergreen Park, IL. It's the third time Donahue has won the league honor. He initially won in 2007 following Iowa's double-overtime win over Michigan State and last year after Iowa's regular season ending 55-0 win over Minnesota. He shares this week's honor with Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland.

Donahue averaged 51 yards on five punts against Arizona. He had four kicks of fifty yards or more with a long of 62 yards. He has had at least one punt over 50 yards in 13 of Iowa's last 15 games. Two of his punts against the Wildcats were downed inside the 20 and only one punt was returned (four yards).

He is averaging 44.6 yards a punt on the season. Iowa opponents have returned four punts for a total of only five yards. The Hawkeyes are ranked fourth nationally in net punting with a 42.9 yard average.

Iowa had seven Big Ten Player of the Week honorees last season.

Here is the full list of honorees from the Big Ten.


Carlos Brown, Michigan
SR, RB, Franklin, Ga./Heard County

Brown averaged 14.4 yards per carry against Eastern Michigan, racking up a career-high 187 rushing yards on only 13 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns. The senior running back scored from nine yards out near the end of the first quarter before exploding on a 90-yard touchdown sprint in the second quarter. His 90-yard score is the third longest run in school history. Michigan posted 380 rushing yards in the game, the school's best single-game performance since the 2003 campaign. Brown picks up his first career weekly honor.

LAST MICH OFFENSIVE POW: QB Tate Forcier on Sept. 13, 2009

Mike Kafka, Northwestern
SR, QB, Chicago, Ill./St. Rita

Kafka opened the game by connecting on a school-record 16 straight pass attempts and set a single-game record by completing 83.3 percent of his passes while accounting for five touchdowns to keep Northwestern close in a high-scoring shootout at Syracuse. The senior quarterback completed 35-of-42 passes for a career-best 390 yards with three touchdown passes. He also added a touchdown run and reception, becoming the first Big Ten player with at least one passing, rushing and receiving score in the same game since Penn State's Zack Mills accomplished the feat against Akron in 2004. Kafka's completion percentage broke the previous school record of 80.6 percent set by Brett Basanez against Illinois in 2005. Kafka earns his second career weekly laurel after being honored on Nov. 3, 2008.

LAST NU OFFENSIVE POW: QB Mike Kafka on Nov. 3, 2008


Sean Lee, Penn State
SR, LB, Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair

After missing last season with an injury, Lee recorded double-digits in tackles for the second time in three games this year with 12 defensive stops to help Penn State hold Temple to only a pair of field goals. The senior linebacker added 2.5 tackles for loss in the contest, including a three-yard sack, while hitting double-figures in tackles for the 14th time in his career. The Nittany Lions held the visitors to only 46 rushing yards in the game as PSU has held three consecutive foes to seven points or less for the first time since 1996. Lee earns his third weekly accolade but his first since being honored twice during the 2007 campaign, on Sept. 3 and Nov. 5.

LAST PSU DEFENSIVE POW: S Mark Rubin on Oct. 27, 2008


Ryan Donahue, Iowa
JR, P, Evergreen Park, Ill./St. Rita

Donahue averaged 51 yards on five punts against Arizona, including placing two boots inside the 20-yard line with a long of 62 yards. The junior punter total 255 punting yards in the game and four of his five kicks were of 50 yards or longer, including punts of 50, 51, 58 and 62 yards. The visiting Wildcats were held to only one punt return for four yards in the game. Donahue picks up his third weekly laurel in as many seasons after being honored as a freshman on Oct. 29, 2007, and as a sophomore on Nov. 24, 2008.

LAST IOWA SPECIAL TEAMS POW: LB Jeremiha Hunter on Sept. 6, 2009

Chris Borland, Wisconsin
FR, LB, Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter

Borland made his presence felt on special teams against Wofford, blocking a punt and forcing a fumble on another punt while adding four tackles on defense. The freshman linebacker registered his first career forced fumble in the first quarter, stripping the ball from the returner deep in Badgers' territory to set up a field goal. In the second quarter, he broke through to block a punt which was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead. Borland earns his first player of the week award.

LAST WIS SPECIAL TEAMS POW: P Brad Nortman on Oct. 27, 2008



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