Nov. 15, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced.
An All-America candidate and semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy, Kerrigan broke the Purdue and Big Ten career fumbles forced record, tied the NCAA mark and led a Purdue defensive effort that limited the high-powered Michigan offense well below its season averages in rushing, passing, total offense and points.
The Muncie, Ind., senior, who leads the Big Ten in both sacks and tackles for loss, had a monster individual game, finishing with a career-high 10 solo tackles, including career-highs with five for losses and a Purdue-record-tying four sacks. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one. Entering the game, the Wolverines had allowed just four total sacks in their previous nine games combined this season.
His first strip of the Wolverines broke the tie he shared with James Looney for the Purdue record and he snapped a three-way tie with Illinois' Simeon Rice and Iowa's Bob Sanders for the Big Ten mark on the second strip. His 14 career fumbles forced are tied for the all-time NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record with Arizona State's Terrell Suggs, Cincinnati's Antwan Peek and Southern California's Kenechi Udeze.
Kerrigan is the first Purdue defensive player the week this season. Kerrigan himself was the last Boilermaker feted with the league's defensive weekly honor after racking up a team-best nine tackles, including four for loss and three sacks, and forcing two fumbles in an upset of seventh-ranked Ohio State last season.
Kerrigan and Boilermakers return to action Saturday when they head to East Lansing for a noon matchup with 11th-ranked Michigan State. The game will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.