Week 13 Player Rankings: Gardner gets in

There’s plenty of movement in my latest Big Ten Player Rankings following an entertaining Week 12. For starters, white-hot Devin Gardner debuts on the list. See all the changes inside. Remember, this feature ranks the Big Ten’s top six offensive and defensive players. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa.

[RELATED: Tom Dienhart's Week 13 Power Rankings ]

OFFENSE
1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Not even Miller’s worst performance of the season can knock him from the top perch. Miller struggled against Wisconsin’s underrated defense, to the tune of 145 total yards and zero scores, his first game without a touchdown, either passing or rushing, since last October vs. Michigan State. Still, he helped keep Ohio State perfect and in the hunt for the AP title.
Week 12 stats: 10-18, 97 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; 23 car., 48 yards | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 1

2. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska – This is hard to believe: For all the flak Martinez takes as a passer, he became the program’s all-time passing leader Saturday. In typical 2012 fashion, the junior was highly efficient, completing 72 percent of his passes for 308 yards and two scores (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2).
Week 12 stats: 21-29, 308 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 8 car., 22 yards | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 2

Devin Gardner

US Presswire

3. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State – The former walk-on torched Indiana for a career-high 395 passing yards and four touchdowns (Watch No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4) Saturday on his way to setting the school single-season record for pass yards (3,071) and career TD passes (45).
Week 12 stats: 22-32, 395 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 4

4. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin – Not only did Ball compile his second consecutive 190-yard rushing day Saturday, he tied Travis Prentice’s FBS record for most career touchdowns (78). Ball will attempt to break the record next week at Penn State.
Week 12 stats: 39 car., 191 yards, 1 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 3

5. Devin Gardner, QB, MichiganIn three starts, against Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa, Gardner has completed 46-of-70 passes (66 percent) for 834 yards and seven touchdowns, to go along with 105 yards and six scores on the ground. Gardner was at his best in Saturday’s rout over Iowa, accounting for six touchdowns, three through the air (Watch TD pass No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3) and three on the ground (Watch TD run No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3).
Week 12 stats: 18-23, 314 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 9 car., 37 yards, 3 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: NR

6. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State – On a day where Ohio State’s offense couldn’t muster much of anything at Wisconsin, Hyde averaged 5.8 yards per carry and rushed for two touchdowns (Watch TD No. 1 | No. 2), including the game-winner in overtime. The two scores give the bruising back 14 touchdowns in the last six games.
Week 12 stats: 15 car., 87 yards, 2 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 6

Next in line: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Dropped out: Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern (No. 5)

[RELATED: See who won Week 12 Big Ten Game Balls]

DEFENSE
1. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio StateShazier is as hot as any Big Ten defender, and he continued his torrid play in Saturday’s overtime victory at Wisconsin, registering 12 tackles, three tackles for loss and a huge forced fumble at the goal line (Watch it).
Week 12 stats:
12 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF
Previous ranking:
No. 4

2. Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan – Michigan limited struggling Iowa to 17 points and 309 total yards, an effort aided by the breakout linebacker’s six tackles and forced fumble.
Week 12 stats: 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF
Previous ranking: No. 1

Ryan Shazier

US Presswire

3. Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State – Sadly, Mauti’s college career may have come to end when he hurt his left knee (Watch injury) early in Saturday’s victory over Indiana. It’s been an incredible final campaign for the Penn State leader.
Week 12 stats: 3 tackles
Previous ranking: No. 2

4. John Simon, DE, Ohio State – When it comes to the most dominating defensive performances of 2012, Simon’s four-sack afternoon at Wisconsin must enter every discussion.
Week 12 stats: 6 tackles, 4 TFL, 4 sacks
Previous ranking: NR

5. Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State – The Spartans are difficult to figure out, but Bullough has been a consistent and steadying force every week.
Week 12 stats: 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 0.5 sack
Previous ranking: No. 3

6. Daimion Stafford, S, Nebraska – For the second consecutive week, Stafford came up with a big play, this time picking off his third pass of the season (Watch INT) – remember he recovered Penn State’s controversial fumble in the end zone in Week 11. The safety also helped limit Minnesota to 177 total yards.
Week 12 stats: 4 tackles, 1 INT
Previous ranking: NR

Next in line: Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
Dropped out: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin (No. 5)

About Brent Yarina 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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Show Comments (2 Comments)
2 Post Your Comment
Brad Nelson on 11/19/2012 @ 1:07pm EDT Said:

Ah Brent, I wonder why the Iowa running backs 2012 stats are being placed in the spot where Taylor Martinez’s should be. Are you afraid to post them for a head to head against Braxton Miller? I would just like to compare them.

    Brent Yarina, BTN.com on 11/19/2012 @ 1:15pm EDT Said:

    Brad – Thanks for pointing that out. It’s all fixed.

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