Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, November 9, 2014
Week 11 of the Big Ten season featured five conference games, highlighted by Ohio State's 49-37 victory over Michigan State. In addition to several outstanding games, there were also plenty of exceptional individual performers.
Here are my top Week 11 Big Ten individual performances.
1. J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State. What more can you say about the Buckeyes' talented redshirt freshman quarterback? He was phenomenal in Ohio State's impressive 49-37 win over Michigan State on Saturday night. Barrett completed 16-of-26 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. He also added 87 yards and two more scores on the ground in a game that puts Ohio State in the driver's seat to represent the Big Ten East in the conference championship game.
2. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. This guy gets my vote as not only the top running back in the Big Ten, but throughout the entire country. Gordon was unstoppable again on Saturday, rushing for a game-high 205 yards and a touchdown in the Badgers' 34-16 victory over Purdue. He also added 44 yards and a score through the air. He is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.
3. Landon Feichter, S, Purdue. The Boliermakers' senior safety was all over the field in Purdue's 34-16 loss to Wisconsin. He recorded 12 tackles, while adding an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the loss. Feichter's interception was his fifth of the season and third in the last two weeks.
4. Mitch Leidner, QB, Minnesota. Leidner was outstanding in Minnesota's commanding 51-14 victory over Iowa on Saturday. The Gophers' signal caller completed 10-of-13 passes for 138 yards and four touchdowns. Leidner was also great in the run game, rushing for a game-high 77 yards in the victory.
5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State. Barrett wasn't the only one who put on a show Saturday night in East Lansing. Elliott was a force in the Buckeyes' backfield, rushing for a game-high 154 yards and two touchdowns in Ohio State's win over Michigan State. This marks the fourth time this season Elliott has rushed for 100-plus yards. What a special talent.
6. Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State. Langford was the star of Michigan State's offense, but it wasn't enough as the Spartans fell to Ohio State in a top-15 matchup on Saturday night. Langford carried the ball 18 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. He has now rushed for 100-plus yards in 13 straight Big Ten games, which is the longest streak in the country.
7. Bill Belton, RB, Penn State. Belton became the first Penn State running back to rush for more than 100 yards in a game this season as he helped lead the Nittany Lions to a 13-7 win over Indiana. The Nittany Lions' senior tailback broke off a 92-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter, which was the longest rushing touchdown by a single player in Penn State history.
8. Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan. Ryan was impressive in Michigan's 10-9 win over Northwestern on Saturday. The Wolverines' senior linebacker recorded a game-high 11 tackles and added an interception in the win. Ryan has now recorded double-digit tackles in six of Michigan's 10 games this season.
9. Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota. This guy had a career day in Minnesota's 51-14 victory over Iowa on Saturday. The Gophers' tight end caught five passes, three of which went for touchdowns. Williams also added one of the top catches of the season in this game. This guy is a special player.
10. Frank Clark, DE, Michigan. Clark was a force on the Wolverines' defensive line on Saturday. This talented defensive end recorded eight tackles and two sacks, one of which came on the final play of the game as Clark took down Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian to seal the victory for Michigan.