Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, September 4, 2012
Who are the top Heisman contenders from the Big Ten? Shockingly after one week, Wisconsin?s Montee Ball, Michigan?s Denard Robinson and Nebraska?s Rex Burkhead aren?t on my list for one reason or another. But, it?s very early, of course. Here are my top three Big Ten candidates after one week of play.
1. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska. Hit 26-of-34 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns in 49-20 win over Southern Miss. This week: at UCLA.
2. Le?Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State. Ran 44 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-13 win over Boise State. This week: at Central Michigan.
[Related: Relive Le'Veon Bell's career night]
3. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State. Completed 14-of-24 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 17 times for 161 yards and a score in 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio). This week: Central Florida.
NOTES: The candidate with the biggest chance to impress is Martinez, who is playing the most marquee foe. And, he?s doing it on the road. Will his rushing numbers pick up? Martinez ran only six times for 10 yards last week.
Bell may have to continue to carry a big load while the Spartan passing game rounds into form. He could have a huge day vs. the Chippewas.
Miller could be a one-man gang until running back Jordan Hall returns from injury. An athletic and well-coached UCF defense may pose some issues.
|BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.
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