It was quite a starting debut for Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi.
The redshirt freshman threw for more than 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns in helping Michigan State (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) douse red-hot Purdue on Saturday and, most importantly, keep alive the possibility the Spartans can "play our way into something special," according to head coach Mark Dantonio.
On Monday, he was rewarded with his first Big Ten honor, sharing freshman of the week accolades with Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan.
Lombardi finished 26-for-46 passing for 318 yards, which ranks second among Michigan State quarterbacks making their first career start, behind only Ed Smith's 324 yards against North Carolina State in 1976.
Lombardi also ran for 22 yards, picking up several key first downs with his feet in the 23-13 victory.
He's the first Michigan State player to win freshman of the week honors since Cody White on Oct. 30, 2017.
Big Ten weekly honors
Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week
Javon Leake, Maryland, So., RB
Defensive Player of the Week
Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State, So., DE
Co-Freshmen of the Week
Rocky Lombardi, Michigan State, Fr., QB
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota, Fr., QB