Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, October 21, 2012

Every Saturday night during the college football season, 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 8? Find out in this post.


1. Montee Ball & James White, RB, Wisconsin: 39 car., 341 yards, 5 TD – Or maybe it should be the Wisconsin offensive line getting the praise here. Regardless, Ball and White took advantage of the line's strong play vs. rival Minnesota, each eclipsing the 100-yard plateau and scoring at least two touchdowns. White was the best of the two,  going for 175 yards, on just 15 carries, and three scores.

2. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska: 27-39, 342 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; 18 car., 65 yards 1 TD – Right when it looked like Nebraska would be headed to its second straight loss, Martinez took over. Down 21-10 in the third quarter, Martinez led Nebraska on three touchdown drives – having a hand in each and every one – to help Nebraska rally for a 29-28 win at Northwestern.

3. Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan: 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 sack – Is a second consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in the cards? It could be, as the standout linebacker continued his incredible play in Michigan's 12-10 victory over Michigan State, its first win in the series since 2007.

4. Bill Belton, RB Penn State: 16 car., 103 yards 3 TD – Belton entered Saturday night's game at Iowa with zero touchdown runs. The sophomore erupted for a hat trick to spearhead a Penn State attack that absolutely dominated Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

5. Kenny Guiton, QB, Ohio State: 6-11, 77 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT – With Braxton Miller injured and on his way to the hospital, Guiton didn't disappoint in the clutch. The backup quarterback led the Buckeyes to a tying touchdown and two-point conversion with three seconds left to force overtime against Purdue. And then in overtime, Guiton guided the Buckeyes on the decisive drive, capped by a Carlos Hyde one-yard scoring plunge.

[AP: Miller fine after being hurt in Buckeyes' win]


Brendan Gibbons, K, Michigan: 3-3 FG

Jordan Kovacs, S, Michigan: 5 tackles, 1 INT

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan: 14-29, 163 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 20 car., 96 yards

Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State: 8 tackles, 1 XP block

Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State: 26-38, 291 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 5 car., 24 yards

Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State: 9 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State: 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT

Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin: 12 tackles, 1 TFL web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for 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.