Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan and defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. have been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for their performances in Saturday’s 31-26 victory over Penn State.
(Technically, Morgan and Winfield both share their award with a pair of Illinois players, but I’m not going to indulge the Big Ten’s fixation on splitting Player of the Week honors. Just pick one.)
Morgan was 18-of-20 for 339 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Nittany Lions. That would be a single-game career-high for the redshirt sophomore quarterback if not for the 396 passing yards he racked up against Purdue in Week 5, when he was last recognized as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. This is also twice now this season that he has completed 90 percent of his passes in a game, with a minimum of 20 attempts.
This is also Winfield’s second stint as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week this season, having previously been recognized for his game-saving interception in overtime against Fresno State in Week 2. Against Penn State, the redshirt sophomore safety nabbed two interceptions — both of which set up scoring drives — and led the team with 11 tackles.
Morgan and Winfield are both repeat honorees, but are not alone among their teammates in being recognized by the Big Ten. Tyler Johnson (Week 3), Jacob Herbers (Week 5), Kamal Martin (Week 7), and Casey O’Brien (8) have also been named conference Players of the Week.