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November 19, 2012
Devin Gardner, James Ross earn Big Ten weekly awards
In just three starts, Michigan junior quarterback Devin Gardner has scorched opposing defenses on his way to two Big Ten weekly awards.
Gardner is starting in place of injured senior Denard Robinson, who, despite getting some limited playing time last week, is still nursing a nerve problem in his throwing elbow.
During last weekend's 42-17 shellacking of Iowa, Gardner completed 18-of-23 passes for 314 yards and three scores. He added three touchdowns on 37 yards rushing, accounting for all six of the Wolverines' scores.
According to a press release by the Big Ten office, Gardner is the first player since the 200 season to pass for 300 yards and three touchdowns and run for three touchdowns in the same game. Gardner won Big Ten Offensive Player Of The Week honors for his performance. He also earned the award after Michigan beat Northwestern, 38-31 in overtime, two weeks ago.
He shares this week's offensive award with Penn State senior quarterback Matt McGloin, who threw for a career-high 395 yards and four touchdowns in the Nittany Lions' 45-22 win over Indiana.
Gardner wasn't the only Michigan player to be honored by the Big Ten this week.
Outside linebacker James Ross III, playing en lieu of an injured sophomore Desmond Morgan, won Big Ten Freshman Of The Week honors.
Against the Hawkeyes, Ross tallied a game-high 12 tackles. He had never recorded more than four in a single game. He shared the Freshman Of The Week award with Northwestern superback Dan Vitale, who caught nine passes for 110 yards in the Wildcats' 23-20 win at Michigan State.