Indiana’s McFadden, Whitehead earn Big Ten honors


Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden and punter Haydon Whitehead earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors, the conference announced Monday morning. It is the first recognition for each. Whitehead shared the award with Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman.

This is the seventh time in seven weeks a Hoosier has been recognized by the league: junior safety Jamar Johnson (Penn State), redshirt sophomore kicker Charles Campbell (Rutgers), senior wide receiver Ty Fryfogle (Michigan State, Ohio State) and junior running back Stevie Scott III (Maryland).

McFadden, who was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday, led No. 8/9 Indiana (6-1) to a 14-6 victory over No. 16 Wisconsin on Saturday. It marked the program’s first win in Madison since 2001 and its first Big Ten road victory over a ranked team since Nov. 10, 2001 (No. 22 Michigan State).

The junior hailing from Tampa paced the Hoosiers with nine tackles and a pair of sacks, the second time in four weeks he has recorded multiple sacks. His second sack came with the Badgers facing a second-and-6 at the IU 17-yard line on their final drive. Two plays later Indiana clinched their sixth win, matching a school record for most conference wins in a season (1967, 1987).

Wisconsin’s six points marked its lowest total against the Hoosiers since 1992 (3) and it was its first game without a touchdown since 2015 (Iowa).

McFadden paces the team with 52 stops (10th in the Big Ten), 39 solos (2nd), five sacks (T-2nd) and 8.5 tackles for loss (T-3rd) to go along with two interceptions (T-7th) and three quarterback hurries.

Whitehead landed four of his five punts inside the 20-yard line, including at the 1- and 8-yard lines, and did not allow a punt to be returned. His final punt traveled a game-high 51 yards and forced UW to begin its final drive at the 8.

In 2020, the graduate student from Melbourne, Australia, is averaging 42.4 yards on 36 punts with a long of 55, six 50-yarders and nine inside the 20. Opponents have only returned two punts for 14 yards.

Whitehead owns a 41.2 career average (223 punts), third in program history, with 25 50-yarders. He has pinned 81 punts inside the 20-yard line, 37 inside the 10 and 15 inside the 5.

Up next, Indiana hosts Purdue on Saturday, Dec. 12, for the Old Oaken Bucket. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. EDT on BTN.

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