Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 3? Find out in this post.
WEEK 3 GAME BALLS
1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: 16-30, 249 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; 12 car., 75 yards, 1 TD – Another Saturday, another impressive performance from Ohio State’s standout sophomore quarterback. This time, Miller accounted for five touchdowns, including the game-winning 72 yard scoring strike, the final of his four touchdown passes.
[Related: Tom Dienhart's Week 4 Power Rankings]
2. Mark Weisman, RB, Iowa: 24 car., 114 yards, 3 TD; 3 rec., 33 yards – You’re forgiven if you’re asking yourself, “Who?!” Weisman didn’t even figure to factor into Saturday’s game, entering it with two carries and one reception. But the walk-on was Iowa’s biggest star, running for three touchdowns and accounting for 147 total yards.
3. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: 5 rec., 136 yards, 3 TD – Robinson entered Saturday’s game averaging an unexpected 9.5 receptions per game. While the Penn State wide receiver barely reached half that figure, he made up for it with prolific plays, including a career-high three scoring grabs. The 136 receiving yards also were a personal-high 136.
4. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska: 30 car., 167 yards, 2 TD; 2 rec., 39 yards – The way Abdullah is running out of the backfield, why not rest Rex Burkhead until he’s absolutely 100 percent? For the second consecutive week, Abdullah surpassed the 100-yard rushing plateau and scored a pair of touchdowns. The sophomore is averaging 143 rushing yards, including Saturday’s career-high 167, in the last two games.
T-5. Max Shortell, QB, Minnesota: 10-17, 188 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT – When MarQueis Gray went down with injury in the second quarter Saturday, it looked as though Minnesota’s perfect start may come to and end. Enter Shortell. The sophomore backup quarterback threw a career-high three touchdown passes to help the Gophers rally past Western Michigan and move to 3-0.
T-5. Reilly O’Toole, QB, Illinois: 26-31, 333 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT; 9 car., 22 yards – With no Nathan Scheelhaase again, Illinois needed a big performance from its backup quarterback against overmatched Charleston Southern. And that’s just what O’Toole gave Tim Beckman and company, completing 26-of-31 passes (84 percent) for 333 yards and a ridiculous five touchdown passes.
[Related: See what Tom Dienhart learned in Week 3]
[Related: Gerry DiNardo's Week 3 Sunday Ruminations]
BEST OF THE REST
Mason Monheim, LB, Illinois: 5 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana: 4 rec., 115 yards, 2 TD
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan: 16-24, 291 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 10 car., 106 yards, 1 TD
A.J. Barker, WR, Minnesota: 5 rec., 101 yards, 3 TD
Derrick Wells, S, Minnesota: 10 tackles, 2 pass breakups
Jeff Budzien, K, Northwestern: 5-5 FG; 1-1 XP
Chi Chi Ariguzo, LB, Northwestern: 10 tackles, 1 FR, 2 pass breakups
Mike Trumpy, RB, Northwestern: 16 car., 106 yards, 1 TD; 2 rec., 8 yards
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State: 13 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State: 5 rec., 145 yards, 2 TD
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: 9 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 pass breakups
Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State: 12 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State: 13-21, 231 yards, 4 TD
Akeem Hunt, RB, Purdue: 4 car., 106 yards, 1 TD; 1 rec., 50 yards, 1 TD
Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin: 15 tackles, 1 TFL
|BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.|