For his part in a dominant defensive performance that keyed No. 8 Wisconsin's 30-6 win over then-No. 8 Michigan State on Saturday, UW junior outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week.
Watt recorded 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks — both career highs — as part of a six-tackle day for the Badgers, who won their eighth-consecutive road game. He also recorded a pair of quarterback hurries and broke up a pass.
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Watt leads the Big Ten and ranks in a tie for seventh nationally with 4.5 sacks on the year.
Wisconsin's defense held Michigan State without a touchdown — just the second time the Spartans have been kept out of the end zone at home since 2000 — thanks in large part to a pass rush that recorded four sacks and seven QB hurries while contributing to three MSU interceptions.
UW's defense has surrendered just three offensive touchdowns through four games and ranks No. 7 in the FBS in scoring defense at 11.8 points allowed per game. The Badgers are giving up an average of just 277.0 total yards.
Watt is Wisconsin's first Walter Camp weekly award winner since Scott Starks claimed the honor on Oct. 17, 2004 following a 20-17 victory at No. 5 Purdue. That was UW's last road win over a team ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll prior to Saturday's triumph in East Lansing.
This season marks the 13th consecutive year in which the Walter Camp Football Foundation is honoring one offensive and one defensive player each week during the regular season. Winners are selected by a panel of national media members.