Athlon Sports has selected Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg as its National Freshman of the Week after helping the Nittany Lions to a thrilling 43-40 four overtime win over No. 18 Michigan.
In addition, Athlon selected Nittany Lion defensive end C.J. Olaniyan as its Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and true freshman Hackenberg as the conference's Freshman of the Week.
coach Bill O'Brien's Penn State won its fourth consecutive contest against the Wolverines in front of an all-stadium White Out crowd of 107,884.
Hackenberg helped Penn State rally from a 10-point deficit with less than seven minutes to play, forcing overtime by directing an 80-yard touchdown drive, with no timeouts, in :23. He tied the game at 34-34 with :27 on a one-yard touchdown run, the first of his career, and the first rushing touchdown allowed by the Wolverines this season.
Hackenberg was 23 of 44 for 305 yards against Michigan, tying his career-high with three touchdowns for the second consecutive game. He threw two interceptions.
For the season, Hackenberg is 132 of 226 (58.4 percent) for 1,672 yards, with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He leads the Big Ten in completions and passing yardage (278.7 ypg), is tied for third in touchdown passes and fourth in total offense.
Olaniyan delivered his best career game against Michigan, setting career-highs with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks (minus-18), while also forcing his first career fumble, which was recovered by DaQuan Jones. He also broke up two passes.