Gophers' Michael Carter, Philip Nelson earn Big Ten weekly honors
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The Gophers' convincing 44-28 victory against Purdue on Saturday resulted in a pair of individual Big Ten honors on Monday.
Senior cornerback Michael Carter was named co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, while quarterback Philip Nelson was recognized as the Big Ten's co-Freshman of the Week.
Carter, who shares the award with Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, turned out the best statistical game of his career in the Gophers' first conference win. Carter matched Michael Lehan's school record for pass breakups with six. One of those was intercepted by Carter in the third quarter and carried 43 yards into the endzone for the Gophers' fourth touchdown of the game.
His interception capped off a three-play series that coach Jerry Kill remarked Sunday that, "You'll never see a corner have three better plays than that." The interception came on Purdue's first drive of the third quarter when quarterback Caleb TerBush insisted on passing towards receiver Gary Bush three times. Carter knocked the first two down before picking off the third and running it back for his first career touchdown.
Carter is the second Gophers player to be named defensive player of the week, joining safety Derrick Wells.
Nelson earned freshman of the week honors, along with Nebraska linebacker David Santos, after he threw for 246 yards (15-of-22) and three touchdowns in only his second career game.
Nelson, who became the Gophers' starting quarterback seven games into the season at Wisconsin, completed 12 straight passes against Purdue in the first half. In that stretch, he passed for 233 of his total passing yards and all three touchdowns.
"In the first half he played about as well as you can have a quarterback play," Kill said.
The Gophers (5-3) host Michigan on Saturday (11 a.m.).