Iowa’s Kirksey honored by Big Ten Conference

IOWA CITY – Iowa senior linebacker Christian Kirksey earned his first-ever Big Ten Conference weekly award Monday when the league named the Hawkeye as its Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

Kirksey played a key role in the Hawkeyes’ 38-17 win over Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., on Friday. He finished with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass break-up against the Cornhuskers, who Iowa had not beaten in its last five tries.

Kirksey and the Iowa defense held the Huskers’ offense to just 17 points, 89 rushing yards and 288 total yards, all of which are well below their season averages. Kirksey also surpassed 300 career tackles in the victory.

It was the third time an Iowa defensive player has been honored by the Big Ten this season. B.J. Lowery and James Morris also have been named Big Ten Defensive Players of the Week.

Iowa ended the regular season at 8-4. The Hawkeyes will learn their bowl fate Sunday.