Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, September 22, 2012
Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called "U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week," and it's designed to spotlight the Big Ten's top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 4? Find out in this post.
WEEK 4 GAME BALLS
1. Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska: 8 car., 119 yards, 2 TD; 1 rec., 25 yards – Looks like that injured left knee is just fine, huh? Burkhead, in his first action since the season opener, rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries (14.9 yards per carry). He was vintage Burkhead on several totes, including the 61-yard scoring scamper in the video above.
2. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State: 23-35, 312 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 6 car., 14 yards, 2 TD – Often criticized and frequently doubted, McGloin continued his strong play with a career-high 312 yards and one touchdown. The senior quarterback also rushed for a pair of scores, both of the 2-yard variety, to lift the Nittany Lions to their second consecutive win.
3. Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern: 16 car., 117 yards, 3 TD; 1 rec., 3 yards – The Big Ten's blur, Mark needed just 16 carries to tally 117 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and score a career-high three touchdowns en route to helping Northwestern move to 4-0. No doubt about it, the Wildcats have their first reliable back since Tyrell Sutton.
4. Eric Martin, DE, Nebraska: 5 TFL, 2.5 sacks – Finally healthy, Martin made a living in Idaho State's backfield, racking up a ridiculous five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
5. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State: 36 car., 253 yards, 1 TD; 1 rec., minus-8 yards – Mark Dantonio and company didn't want to give Bell 36 carries against Eastern Michigan, that's for sure. But the closer-than-expected score called for it, and the stud back accepted the heavy workload on his way to racking up a career-high 253 rushing yards.
BEST OF THE REST
Thomas Gordon, S, Michigan: 6 tackles, 1 INT
Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State: 6 rec., 112 yards, 1 TD
Denicos Allen, LB, Michigan State: 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 sack
Aaron Hill, LB, Minnesota: 10 tackles, 1 INT
Donnell Kirkwood, RB, Minnesota: 28 car., 97 yards, 2 TD
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska: 8 car., 49 yards, 1 TD; 81-yard punt return TD
Ciante Evans, CB, Nebraska – 2 tackles, 1 INT, TD
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: 12-20, 143 yards; 11 car., 64 yards, 2 TD
Etienne Sabino, LB, Ohio State: 11 tackles, 1 FF, 2 pass breakups
Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State: 9 tackles, 1 FF, 1 pass breakup
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin: 12 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 pass breakups, 2 sacks
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: 8 car., 112 yards, 1 TD
Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin: 6 rec., 147 yards, 1 TD
|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.|