Pair of Badgers take home Big Ten honors

MADISON, WI | Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor and linebacker Leon Jacobs each took home Big Ten honors for their performances against Purdue in week seven. Taylor took home the Big Ten Freshman of the Week while Jacobs was the recipient of Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

Against Purdue Taylor ran for 219 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 30 carries this week in Wisconsin’s 17-9 win over Purdue. He also made his first career reception, a 17-yard grab on a screen pass in the first quarter.

The performance against Purdue marked the third time that Taylor has eclipsed the 200-yard mark this season. He currently sits at 986 yards rushing on the year, just 14 shy of the 1000-yard mark. He is the sixth freshman since 2000 to have three or more games of 200-plus rushing yards in a season. Taylor becomes the first to accomplish this since Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine in 2014, and the first Big Ten freshman to do so since Northwestern’s Tyrell Sutton in 2005.

In his three career Big Ten games, Taylor is averaging 183 yards per contest. For the season, he’s averaging 164.3 yards per game, and has scored 10 touchdowns.

Taylor has taken home Freshman of the Week three times, to go along with two Offensive Player of the Week awards on the season.

Jacobs lead the team defensively with a season-high nine tackles on the day. He also had an interception in the fourth quarter, which ultimately ended Purdue’s last offensive possession at Wisconsin’s 11-yard-line. That was the second career interception for the San Pedro, CA native. Following his interception the Badgers were able to control the ball for the final 8:14 of the game against Purdue.

This is the first career Defensive Player of the Week honor for Jacobs. He becomes Wisconsin’s second Defensive Player of the Week in 2017, joining safety Natrell Jamerson, who won the award following Wisconsin’s win over Northwestern earlier this season.

Fifth-ranked Wisconsin is back in action Saturday at home against Maryland.