With Week 1 behind us, it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Again, I’m doing these a little different this year. Whereas I used to rank the top 10 players – a practice that was tough due to all the talent on both sides of the ball – I’ll rank the top six offensive and defensive players each week.
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It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for my weekly Big Ten Power Rankings. Where does your Big Ten team fall on my list following Week 1 action? See in this post. Disagree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet me @BTNTomDienhart. Read all my Big Ten coverage here, and don’t forget to send me any questions you may have for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.
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Big Ten players were responsible for several terrific plays during Week 1 action. Who can forget Devin Smith’s remarkable one-handed touchdown grab or Le’Veon Bell’s ridiculous run where he hurdled a would-be Boise State tackler? Those are just two of the many highlights the Big Ten put on during its 10-2 opening week. See my top 10 plays, plus a memorable official call, in this post. Also, if you like highlights, make your own reel with our video mashup, presented by La Quinta.
Earlier Saturday, I offered my snap reactions from the Big Ten’s first four games. With the afternoon games now in the books, it’s time to share what I learned from Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin’s wins. Nebraska and Purdue cruised to victory, however Iowa and Wisconsin both received stiff tests that went down to the wire. See my snap reactions from the afternoon games in this post.
Robert Marve passed for a career-high 295 yards and matched a career best with three touchdowns to help Purdue defeat Eastern Kentucky 48-6 on Saturday in both teams’ season opener. Marve started because previously declared starter Caleb TerBush was suspended one game for violating team rules. He hadn’t thrown three touchdowns since 2008, when he was the starter at Miami. Akeem Shavers ran for 74 yards and O.J. Ross caught eight passes for 71 yards. Purdue gained 542 yards against coach Danny Hope’s alma mater, where he was the head coach from 2003 to 2007.
Purdue held Eastern Kentucky to 28 total yards during the third quarter and the Boilermakers continue to hold a commanding 41-6 lead. Purdue sniffed out the Colonels’ rushing attack in the quarter, holding Eastern Kentucky to 17 rush yards. The Boilermakers expanded their lead to 41-6 thanks to an eight-play, 88-yard drive that ended when Robert Marve and Gabe Holmes hooked up for an eight-yard touchdown.