Despite the Penn State defense’s anemic game against Central Florida, quarterback Christian Hackenberg won Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this season.
Hackenberg threw 21-for-28 with a touchdown in the Nittany Lions’ 34-31 loss to the Knights. For the first time this season, the true freshman did not turn the ball over.
The former high school All-American linked with wide receiver Allen Robinson for several big plays Saturday to keep Penn State in the contest. Hackenberg showed poise beyond his years as the Lions climbed the comeback trail for most of the game. However, his defense ceded points drive after drive.
Hackenberg also opened the 2013 season as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, passing for 278 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He now holds a 71.7 completion percentage for 851 yards on the season.
The one week Hackenberg didn’t win the award was against Eastern Michigan, when his 311 passing yards broke Zack Mills’ freshman record for passing yards in a game.