Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, November 26, 2011
BTN.com has a new staple every Saturday night. It?s called "United States Marine Corps: Leaders of the Week," and it?s a feature designed to honor the best from every weekend of Big Ten action. Find the top performances and quotes from Week 13 in this post.
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska – The Huskers running back received a school-record 36 carries the day after Thanksgiving, and he took advantage of it, running for 160 yards and a touchdown in Nebraska's victory over Iowa on senior day in Lincoln.
Lavonte David, Nebraska – Another week, another impressive day from David, as the star linebacker put up eight tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery in his final home game.
B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State – For the third consecutive game, Cunningham caught a pair of scoring strikes, this time helping Michigan State win at Northwestern. The star wide receiver finished the day with six receptions for 120 yards.
Marcus Rush, Michigan State – As usual, the Michigan State defense was stingy, and Rush was a big reason for it, posting five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the win at Northwestern.
Denard Robinson, Michigan – A week after accounting for four touchdowns, Robinson totaled five scores as Michigan snapped a seven-game losing streak against archrival Ohio State. The junior quarterback completed 14 of 17 passes for three touchdowns and amassed 337 total yards, including a game-high 170 on the ground.
Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan – Toussaint ran 20 times for 120 yards – his fourth 100-yard game in the last five games – and in the process joined Denard Robinson in the 1K rushing club, the first time Michigan has had two guys do that since 1975.
Braxton Miller, Ohio State – Miller compiled the best performance of his freshman campaign in the season finale, throwing for career highs in completions (14) and yards (235) and matching a career-high in passing touchdowns (2) at Michigan. Miller also added 100 yards and a score on the ground, giving him a career-high 335 total yards.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin – The way things are looking, no one can stop Ball. This week, the star running back ran for 156 yards and four touchdowns in helping Wisconsin beat Penn State and advance to the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game. Ball also chipped in 15 receiving yards, for good measure.
MarQueis Gray, Minnesota – Gray's passing game still needs some refining, but he's making quite the impact in the running game. The junior ran for a 167 yards and two scores in Minnesota's win over Illinois, one week after going for 147 rushing yards and a score. Gray also added 88 yards and a touchdown through the air, all while not throwing an interception.
Kim Royston, Minnesota – Royston tallied 13 tackles, one sack and a pass breakup on his way to helping the Gophers allow just 168 total yards in a decisive 27-7 victory over Illinois.
Antavian Edison, Purdue – With the Old Oaken Bucket on the line, Edison amassed 76 total yards and two touchdowns – his first game with a touchdown on the ground and through the air, helping Purdue hold off Indiana and become bowl eligible.
Josh Johnson, Purdue – Though a controversial play, Johnson's late interception sealed Purdue's victory over rival Indiana and ensured the Boilers became bowl eligible. Johnson also tallied seven tackles, including a tackle for the loss.
"A little sore – definitely a little sore." – Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead, on how he felt after toting the ball a school-record 38 times.
"Every now and then you guys might be a little critical of us." Nebraska S Austin Cassidy, on how the media treats the nine-win Huskers.
"I'm a competitive guy, and they told me I was going against him. I was up for the challenge." – Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard, on his dominant performance against Iowa's star WR Marvin McNutt.
"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else except with these guys. I'm glad I stayed."- Michigan QB Denard Robinson, on his decision not to transfer following Rich Rodriguez's firing.
"I got the best job in the world." – Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, following Michigan's first win over the Buckeyes in the last eight tries.
"We're 60 minutes from the Rose Bowl." – Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins, on team's fate.
"I expect to win and I expect to win everything we do. To not do that six times this year is disappointing."- Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, on his team's sixth loss of the season.
"They didn't have anything to do with it. They weren't involved in any way. And I think they deserve an opportunity to play in a bowl."- Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley, on whether his team should play in a bowl game in the wake of the scandal at Penn State.