Oct. 18, 2007
With their backs against the wall, the Iowa Hawkeyes turned to their defense to lead them past a hot Illinois team. No. 24 Illinois entered the game with one of the top rushing attacks in the nation, but Linebacker Mike Humpal and the Hawkeye defense shut down the three-headed tandem.
Iowa executed its defensive scheme perfectly, playing outstanding assignment football against Juice Williams and the Illinois option game. Humpal and the Iowa defense held running back Rashard Mendenhall to just 71 yards and Williams gained just 44 on the ground. Humpal led the Hawkeyes with 18 tackles, including 2.5 for loss with a quarterback sack. His Hawkeye defense held Illinois out of the end zone all day long, and Iowa got a much needed 10-6 win.
For his terrific play, Mike Humpal is awarded the “MCS Nike Game Ball” for the National Defensive Player of the Week.
Each week during the 2007 college football season, the 17 Master Football Coaches will award an MCS Nike Game Ball to the respective schools of a National Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week. The Master Coaches will also present a game ball to the offensive and defensive coordinator whose game plans made the biggest impact in their respective teams’ victory.
In addition to Humpal, the Master Football Coaches will also award MCS Nike Game Balls to South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe, Kansas kick returner Marcus Herford, Kentucky Offensive Coordinator Joker Phillips and Auburn Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp.
Humpal was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Iowa returns to action Saturday when it travels to Purdue to face the Boilermakers. The game is slated to kickoff at 11:02 a.m. (CDT) at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.