Game of the Week
Iowa 24 @ Ohio State 34
The final score may not reflect the closeness of the game, but at the final whistle, the game can be put down to OSU’s superior depth as the Hawkeyes wore out down the stretch. For the first three quarters the Hawkeyes were trading punches with Ohio State behind the passing of sophomore Jake Rudock, who’s looked great at times this season, as he passed for 245 yards and 3 TDs (1 Int). TE Jake Duzey was his favorite target, with 6 receptions for 138 yards and an 85-yard score that tied the game at 24 late in the 3rd quarter. However, they were outdone by the Buckeye duo of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde. Miller passed for 222 yards and 2 TDs, and also ran for 102, including a key 4th quarter run where he unleashed his inner Barry Sanders to earn a crucial first down. Carlos Hyde (24-149-2), was the fourth quarter hero again, wearing down the tough Iowa defense with some bullish running. A late pick by Tyvis Powell sealed the deal for Ohio State, and they ran out the final 4:15.
Team of the Week
The Golden Gophers have been pretty good this season, but they picked up a key win in Evanston with a 20-17 victory over Northwestern that wasn’t as close as the final score suggests. The Gophers running game, led by David Cobb (20-103-0), did just enough to keep the offense ticking over, but the defense was the real story of the day. Despite missing some key performers, the Wildcats are still dangerous, but the Gopher defense put the clamps on for most of the game, stifling the run and keeping QB Trevor Siemian from hitting many big passes. The unit also came up with 3 sacks and 3 turnovers, including a pick-six and a fumble recovery late in the third quarter. NU fought back late, but Minny recovered their onside attempt and ran out the clock.
Offensive Player of the Week
Devin Gardner, Michigan
The game itself (63-47) may have made Arena teams blush, but Gardner was on form against a spunky Indiana team that has shown they know how to get the ball in the endzone. Gardner had his customary miscue, a fumble at the Hoosier 2, but he was outstanding otherwise, gashing the Indiana defense through the air and on the ground. For the day he completed 21 of 29 passes for a ridiculous 503 yards (Big Ten record) and 2 TDs, and ran for 81 yards and 3 scores on 15 carries. Honorable mention goes to Jeremy Gallon, who caught 14 of Gardner’s passes for 369 yards and both scores, breaking the Big Ten yardage receiving record.
Defensive Player of the Week
Max Bullough, Michigan State
This game was the antithesis of the Michigan-Indiana Game, a 14-0 insomnia cure in which Spartan RB Jeremy Langford was the only offense on display. So with that in mind, it makes sense that the defensive MVP should come from the game were defenses ruled the roost. Michigan State’s defense was tough, but Bullough was the gnarliest of the lot with 10 tackles, 2 for loss, and a sack that flattened Purdue QB Danny Etling, forcing a fumble that Denicos Allen returned for what looked to be the only score of the game until midway through the 4th quarter.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Cody Webster, Purdue
When the worst offense in the Big Ten is coming up against the best defense in the conference, things can get out of hand in a hurry. But, the 28-point underdog Boilermakers held the Spartans to just 7 offensive points, thanks to their own defense, and the efforts of punter Cody Webster. Webster punted 6 times in the game, averaging 44.8 per attempt and dropping 4 inside the 20. As a result, the (also) struggling Michigan State offense had to start drives on their own 8,2,5 and 17, giving Purdue a fighting chance that the offense failed to take advantage of.
Play of the Week
Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
With all the big plays on display this weekend, my personal favorite was Carlos Hyde’s 19-yard TD run that gave the Buckeyes a 31-24 lead. Hyde was headed towards the endzone when he was blindsided by Iowa safety Tanner Miller. Hyde stumbled sideways, but instead of going to ground, he regained his balance and finished the run, scoring a crucial TD in a tight game. See it here in all its glory.
Topics: B1G, Barry Sanders, Big Ten Leaders, Big Ten Legends, Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, Cody Webster, Danny Etling, David Cobb, Denicos Allen, Devin Gardner, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Jake Duzey, Jake Rudock, Jeremy Gallon, Jeremy Langford, Max Bullough, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Purdue Boilermakers, Tanner Miller, Trevor Siemian, Tyvis Powell