Saturday night's game vs. Iowa turned into one of patience, ball security, and field position. No player had a greater impact on the latter than senior punter Blake Gillikin. For his efforts, he was named the Big Ten Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week.
Gillikin was downright dominant against the Hawkeyes. He punted seven total times, averaging just over 42 yards per kick. It was the situational punting, however, that was the real story. Five of those punts were downed inside of the 20-yard line, with three of those dying inside of the 10-yard line. He also boomed a 62 yarder for good measure.
One of the biggest storylines heading into the 2019 season was the impact new Special Teams Coordinator Joe Lorig would have on the third phase of the game. The improvements, especially in the kicking game, have been obvious with Gillikin and kickoff specialist Jordan Stout leading the way. The pair have largely kept the opposition hemmed in their own end. Those efforts, combined with a dominant defense, have put the Nittany Lions on top of the field position battle for much of the season.
The other weekly honorees were Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer (offense), Minnesota linebacker Kamal Martin (defense), and Purdue wide receiver David Bell (freshman).