U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of Week 12

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 12? Find out in this post.

WEEK 12 GAME BALLS

1. Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan: 18-23, 314 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 9 car., 37 yards, 3 TD – Gardner hasn’t faced a premier Big Ten defense, but the guy continues to tear up any defense put in front him. Gardner accounted for six touchdowns – yes, six! – and 351 yards in Michigan’s victory over Iowa. The junior set career highs in completions (18), passing yards (314), passing touchdowns (3) (Watch TD pass No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3) and rushing scores (3) (Watch TD run No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3). 

2. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State: 12 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF – Shazier already was looking like a solid option to win Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week before he forced an outstretched Montee Ball to fumble at the goal line late in the fourth quarter (Watch the play). The hit and ensuing fumble, which was recovered by teammate Christian Bryant, was the gravy on a 12-tackle, 3-tackle-for-loss effort.

3. John Simon, DE, Ohio State: 6 tackles, 4 TFL, 4 sacks – The last time this series was played at Camp Randall Stadium, former Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt terrorized the Ohio State offense en route to helping the Badgers upset then-No. 1 Ohio State. Saturday, Simon did his best Watt impersonation, registering a dominating four sacks in Ohio State’s payback overtime victory.

4. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: 10 rec., 197 yards, 3 TD – The Big Ten’s elite wide receiver, Robinson set a career-high in receiving yards (197) and tied a career-high in receptions (10) and touchdown grabs (3) in Penn State’s 45-22 dismantling of Indiana. Even more impressive: The highlight-reel quality of the three touchdowns (Watch No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3).

5. Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska: 9 rec., 136 yards, 2 TD – A consistently underrated weapon in Nebraska’s loaded offense, Bell put together the best game of his career in the Huskers’ 38-14 win over Minnesota. The sophomore wide receiver set career highs in receptions (9) and yards (136) and tied a career-high in touchdowns (2) (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2).

BEST OF THE REST

Denard Robinson, QB/WR, Michigan: 13 car., 98 yards; 2 rec., 24 yards

David Nwabusi, LB, Northwestern: 7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 TD (Watch pick-6)

Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State: 12 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT (Watch INT)

Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State: 22-32, 395 yards, 4 TD (Watch TD No. 4), 1 INT

Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue: 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 FF, 1 sack, 2 PB

Robert Marve, QB, Purdue: 18-26, 173 yards, 1 TD (Watch TD), 0 INT

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.

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