University of Minnesota football standouts Dragan Kesich and Tyler Nubin were honored by the Big Ten today for their play in last Thursday’s 13-10 victory against Nebraska. Kesich was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, while Nubin was recognized as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. This is the first Big Ten player of the week recognition for each player.
Kesich kicked the game-winning 47-yard field goal with zero time remaining on the clock to break a 10-10 tie and lift Minnesota to a three-point victory. It was his second field goal of the game, as he opened the scoring for the Gophers with a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Kesich’s game-winner was Minnesota’s first walk-off field goal in regulation since 2003 when Rhys Lloyd kicked a last-second field goal to beat Wisconsin.
Kesich is the first Gopher to be named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week since Matthew Trickett received the honor in November 2022 after making two field goals in a 20-13 win at Nebraska.
Nubin recorded two interceptions against Nebraska, one in each half. His second interception came with less than a minute left in the game and was returned 14 yards. A few plays later, Kesich kicked the winning field goal. Nubin also added three tackles in the win, which was Minnesota’s fifth straight against the Huskers.
Nubin is the first Gopher to be named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week since Mariano Sori-Marin was recognized in December 2020 after making 18 tackles in a 24-17 win at Nebraska. He is the first Minnesota defensive back to earn the honor since Antoine Winfield Jr., did so in November 2019 after recording two interceptions and 11 tackles in a win against Penn State.
With Kesich and Nubin being honored, this is the first time that Minnesota has had two players recognized in the same week by the Big Ten since 2019 when Winfield (defensive player of the week) and Tanner Morgan (offensive player of the week) were feted after Minnesota beat Penn State.
This is also the first time that Minnesota has had players win Special Teams Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week honors since 2018 when Winfield (defensive) and kicker Emmit Carpenter (special teams) earned the awards after a 21-14 home win against Fresno State.
Minnesota returns to action at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 when it hosts Eastern Michigan at Huntington Bank Stadium.
(info and photos courtesy of Gopher Sports)