WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Junior running back Markell Jones has been named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Following Anthony Mahoungou’s weekly honor last Monday, it marks the first time Purdue has had back-to-back weeks with players recognized by the conference since 2011. Jones shared the weekly honor with Iowa’s Akrum Wadley.
Jones helped the Boilermakers snap a four-game skid to rival Indiana and regain possession of the Old Oaken Bucket with a career-day Saturday, rushing for 217 yards on 31 carries (7.0 yards per carry average). He paved the way for the Boilermakers to pull away in the second half, tallying 159 yards on 22 carries in the last 30 minutes of the contest.
Jones’ final yardage total was the fifth-most for a player from either school in the annual showdown and were the most in a Bucket Game by a Boilermaker since All-American Mike Alstott rushed for 264 yards in 1995. The effort was Jones’ first 200-yard game in his career at Purdue and the first by any Boilermaker since Ralph Bolden rushed for 234 yards against Toledo in 2009. Bolden’s day against the Rockets earned him Big Ten Player of the Week recognition, the last time a Purdue running back was feted with weekly offensive honors until Jones.
Jones’ big day against IU propelled him into the team lead with 480 yards on the ground on 92 carries with one touchdown for the season.
Purdue finished the regular season 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Big Ten. The Boilermaker will learn of their bowl destination Sunday.