UNIVERSITY PARK- For the second time in three weeks, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.) has been selected Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Hackenberg was 21 of 28 for 262 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions in the Nittany Lions' tough 34-31 loss to unbeaten UCF on Saturday. He connected with junior wideout Allen Robinson (Southfield, Mich.) on a five-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and also found Robinson on 44 and 46-yard completions during the exciting primetime clash.
The Big Ten also honored Hackenberg after the season opening win over Syracuse, when he became just the third Penn State true freshman quarterback since 1910 to start a season opener.
For the season, Hackenberg is 66 of 92 (71.7) for 851 yards, with 4 touchdowns and three interceptions for Coach Bill O'Brien's squad. Three of his four scoring strikes have been for 45 yards or longer. Hackenberg has thrown for at least 250 yards in all three games and has completed six passes of 40 yards or more, with five of the completions to Robinson.
The former Fork Union Military Academy All-American has quickly moved among the top signal callers in the Big Ten. He leads the Big Ten and is 24th in the nation in completions per game (22.0), ranks third in the conference and 24th in the NCAA in passing yards per game (283.7) and is fourth in the conference in total offense.
Hackenberg broke the Penn State single game record for passing yards by a freshman when he threw for 311 yards in the 45-7 win over Eastern Michigan. He topped Zack Mills' freshman yardage mark of 280 yards, set against Ohio State and Southern Miss in 2001. Hackenberg's 278 passing yards in the win over Syracuse rank No. 4 among Penn State freshmen all-time.
Penn State (2-1) plays its final non-conference game on Saturday, Sept. 21, hosting Kent State at 3:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium.
--Penn State Media Relations