Maroney, Lloyd honored by Big Ten

The Big Ten honored running back Laurence Maroney and kicker Rhys Lloyd for their performances Saturday in a big win over Wisconsin.

The Big Ten announced today that freshman tailback Laurence Maroney and junior placekicker/punter Rhys Lloyd have been recognized for their performances last Saturday in the Gophers' 37-34 victory over Wisconsin. Maroney was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, while Lloyd was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.

Maroney averaged an impressive nine yards per rush and racked up 231 all-purpose yards to lead the Gophers past Wisconsin. The true freshman registered 135 rushing yards with a 30-yard touchdown on only 15 carries and added 96 yards on five kickoff returns. Despite sharing time with the Big Ten's third-leading rusher in Marion Barber III, Maroney posted his third-straight 100-yard outing and fourth of his career. He also produced his ninth rushing score this season, which ranks 12th on the school's single-season list behind Barber's 17 TDs this season. Maroney has averaged 8.7 yards per carry in his last three games with 478 yards on 55 attempts and four touchdowns. He collects the first Player of the Week honor of his career.

Lloyd connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired to propel the Gophers to a victory over Wisconsin and their first nine-win season since 1905, when Minnesota produced a 10-1 mark. The junior kicker was a perfect three-for-three on the day with two 34-yarders earlier in the game and also punted three times for 120 yards. He recorded the Gophers' first game-winning field goal since Dan Nystrom kicked the game-winner against No. 2 Penn State (W, 24-23) on Nov. 6, 1999. This is Lloyd's first career weekly honor.

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