No. 8 Northwestern (5-0) is undefeated for the first time since 1996 in large part because of its defense.

Northwestern defeated No. 10 Wisconsin 17-7 in a defensive battle last week. Among the standouts, Northwestern defensive back Brandon Joseph was outstanding in the victory, amassing 2 interceptions and 7 tackles.

For his efforts, Joseph was selected as the Jim Thorpe Award winner for Week 5. The weekly award is given to the top defensive back performance.

The Northwestern defense has been impressive this season, holding opponents to 20 points or less in every game. Northwestern forced five turnovers and shutout Wisconsin in the final three quarters of the game.

In addition to Joseph’s recognition, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald was selected as the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week for the victory against Wisconsin. The award is given to a coach who leads his team to “a significant victory during the previous week, while also embodying the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity,” according to Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.com.

Northwestern was also recognized as the FWAA/Reveal Suits Team of the Week. The award is voted on by the Football Writers Association of America. This is Northwestern’s fifth time earning the award since 2010, according to College Football Poll.com.

Northwestern will continue its march towards an undefeated season when the Wildcats travel to face Michigan State (1-3) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. EST/ESPN).