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September 7, 2009Two Golden Gopher football players were honored by the Big Ten Conference with weekly honors Sunday night. Senior middle linebacker Lee Campbell was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Meanwhile, junior kicker Eric Ellestad was named the league's Co-Special Teams Player of the Week.
Campbell tallied a career-high 13 tackles, including 11 solo stops. Three of Campbell's tackles (all of the solo variety) came in overtime. He single-handedly stopped Syracuse RB Delone Carter on 1st-and-10 from the 11-yard line stuffed him for no gain on 2nd-and-4, setting up a Syracuse pass attempt on third down, which was intercepted in the end zone.
Campbell's 13 tackles were the most for a Gopher since Deon Hightower had 13 stops on Oct. 20, 2007 against North Dakota State. His 11 solos were tied for the most in the nation in games through Saturday.
Ellestad, playing in his first collegiate game, kicked a game-tying 26-yard field goal with less than one minute remaining in regulation to force overtime. In overtime, Ellestad knocked a 35-yarder through the posts amid the din of 48,617 screaming fans in the Carrier Dome, lifting Minnesota to victory. He added another 26-yarder in the third quarter.
His one missed attempt was tipped at the line of scrimmage after a breakdown in protection. Ellestad also handled kickoffs, averaging 62.8 yards per kick.