BTN.com staff, September 17, 2011
BTN.com has a new staple every Saturday night. It's called "Marines: Leaders of the Week," and it's a feature designed to honor some of the top Big Ten performances. For Week 3, we're focusing on the running backs. On this day, the Big Ten had several impressive performances on the ground, and here are a few of the top ones:
Akeem Shavers, Purdue – The Boilermakers dominated every facet of the game in their 59-0 victory over Southeast Missouri State, and Shavers played a big part in that. The junior running back ran for 75 yards, on just 11 carries, and scored two touchdowns, one of three Boiler backs to reach the end zone twice.
D'Angelo Roberts, Indiana – If you're not familiar with this name, you're not alone. Roberts, a true freshman who entered Saturday's game with 11 carries and 48 yards on the season, erupted for 102 yards and a score in Indiana's first win of the season. He also added two receptions and 12 receiving yards.
Vincent Smith, Michigan – It wasn't just Denard Robinson racking up the rushing yards in Ann Arbor on this day. Smith, on nine carries, racked up 118 yards to help Michigan rout Eastern Michigan, 31-3, which has Michigan's all-time leading rusher Mike Hart as an assistant coach.
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska – Burkhead tallied his first 100-yard game of the season Saturday, with 120 yards on 22 carries – good enough for 5.5 yards per carry. Most impressive, however, were his two touchdowns in a span on nine seconds, giving him five scores on the year.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin – Any time you talk Big Ten running backs, Ball's name is going to be in the discussion. The slimmed-down Badger ran for 91 yards and two scores Saturday, marking his seventh straight regular-season game with at least two touchdowns. For good measure, he added two catches for 32 receiving yards.