DALLAS (FWAA) – Northwestern linebacker
Blake Gallagher posted a team-high 14 tackles and
anchored a defense that shut down No. 10 Wisconsin in a 17-7 win.
Gallagher also had a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery
in a win that gave the 5-0 Wildcats command of the Big Ten's West
Division. That performance has earned him the Bronko Nagurski
National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in
the weekend of Nov. 21, as selected by the Football Writers
Association of America.
This is the sixth time for a Northwestern player to earn this
weekly honor and the first time since Gallagher's linebacking teammate
Paddy Fisher won it in 2017. Former Northwestern linebacker and
current head coach Pat Fitzgerald won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy
in 1995 and '96 and remains the only two-time winner of the annual
Gallagher, a 6-1, 228-pound senior from Raynham, Mass., has made
14 tackles in two of his last three games (also Nov. 7 vs. Nebraska)
and this was his 12th career game with 10 or more tackles to go
with his first forced fumble. Gallagher leads Northwestern in total
tackles with 48 and in tackles-for-loss with 5.5 and is part of
a strong trident of linebackers with Chris Bergin and Fisher, who
with Gallagher are 1-2-3 on the Wildcats' tackles chart, each with
43 or more in five games.
Northwestern's win streak can be credited in large part to its
defense. The Wildcats have shut out opponents in the second half
in four of their five games, including against Wisconsin when Gallagher
led the effort that didn't allow the Badgers to reach the red zone
and forced five turnovers. Northwestern's scoring defense (12.6
ppg) is fourth in the nation and it ranks in the top 15 in seven
defensive catagories. Gallagher has two (one interception, one fumble
recovery) of the Wildcats' 15 takeaways (3.0 per game) and Northwestern's
plus-eight turnover margin is tied for third in the nation.
Four of the other five weekly awards – Fisher (2017), Collin
Ellis (2013) and Tim McGarigle (2004 and '05) – were Northwestern
linebackers. Herschel Henderson (also in 2005) was a safety.
The Wildcats are 5-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since
1996 and in firm control of the Big Ten West with wins over the
three teams immediately below it. The Wildcats' No. 11 AP ranking
is also its highest since 1996. The 'Cats travel to Michigan State
for a 2:30 p.m. CT tilt Saturday, televised by ESPN2.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected
a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists
for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Dec. 9. The national defensive
player of the year will announced on Dec. 22 and chosen from those
finalists who are part of the 2020 FWAA All-America Team.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since
1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary
two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated
college football then became a star for professional football's
Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter
member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of
America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college
football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and
publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve
the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations,
major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for
the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional
football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and
services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship,
scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised more than $2 million to
benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information,
contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
About LendingTree, Inc.
LendingTree is the
nation's leading online marketplace that connects consumers with
the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions.
LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the
same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, by
comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500
partners in one simple search and choosing the option that best
fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage
refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student
refinances, credit cards, insurance and more. Through the My LendingTree
platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring
and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively
compares consumers' credit accounts against offers on their network
and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money.
LendingTree's purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for
life's meaningful moments through choice, education and support.
2020 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 5: Isaiah Kaufusi, LB, BYU
Weekend of Sept. 12: Curtis Ryans, DE, Georgia Tech
Weekend of Sept. 19: Tavante Beckett, LB, Marshall
Weekend of Sept. 26: Jahron McPherson, S, Kansas State
Weekend of Oct. 3: Bumper Pool, LB, Arkansas
Weekend of Oct. 10: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Weekend of Oct. 17: Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas
Weekend of Oct. 24: Nick Andersen, S, Wake Forest
Weekend of Oct. 31: Joseph Ossai, DE/LB, Texas
Weekend of Nov. 7: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Weekend of Nov. 14: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Weekend of Nov. 21: Blake Gallagher, LB, Northwestern
Weekend of Nov. 28: Nate Landman, LB, Colorado
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)
• Download the Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree logo: Primary (.jpg) |