OTE OFFENSIVE POTW: DAVID COBB, RB, MINNESOTA
It used to be that a Minnesota running back piling up 138 yards would have elicited a yawn. Why? Because that would be the 2nd best rushing stat line to come from a Gopher back that Saturday. Thanks to the trying times you've all seen with your very eyes, those days are quite a ways in the rear-view mirror. But there is nothing to yawn about in the performance of Minnesota's David Cobb this past Saturday. It was a workmanlike performance that served as the backbone for a Minnesota rushing attack that left Nebraska's Blackshirts dominated and defeated.
David, I want to thank you for taking away Nebraska's hope on Saturday. Yard by yard, second by second draining off the clock, you added nail after nail to the Husker (and Bo Pelini's?) coffin. Did you have the flashiest offensive stat line of the weekend? No you did not (I see you Braxton - go thank Urbz for pouring it on). But the way you dominated a team the Gophers hadn't beaten since 1960 didn't just catch my eye, it caught the eye of the OTE staff. They saw what I saw, a guy who wasn't going down on the first hit. A guy who took smaller holes and made the most of them 5 and 7 yards at a time. A guy who consistently gave his QB's 2nd and 3 instead of 2nd and 7. Thirty one carries that made my day. Yea, that sounds like an OTE POTW.
CO-DEFENSIVE POTW: JAMES MORRIS, LB, IOWA
by Mike Jones
The official Big Ten release only tells us half the story:
- Recorded eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss and two sacks, and recovered a fumble in Iowa's overtime victory over Northwestern.
- Recovered a Wildcat fumble late in the second quarter, thwarting the drive and preserving Iowa's 10-point lead.
- Became the first player in the Football Bowl Subdivision to record three interceptions, three sacks and 50 tackles this season.
More importantly, Morris played a key part in slowing down Kain Colter as Iowa ran their own version of the psycho package. Yes, you heard that correctly: Iowa ran the psycho package. Pre-snap, Iowa's two or three defensive linemen roamed the offensive line never getting in their stances. Upon the ball being snapped they'd rush the outside, forcing Colter into the middle of the field. Something I noticed about Colter is that if is first option isn't there he's off to the races. Iowa anticipated this. That's why they had Morris lurking around the middle of the field as a spy. I can't remember the last time I saw Iowa use a spy and I am confident I've never seen them run that defensive scheme.
Colter ran up the middle a few times and found Morris waiting for him every time. His presence was crucial to slowing the Northwestern offense, as it forced Colter to run to the sidelines.
CO-DEFENSIVE POTW: ANTHONY HITCHENS, LB, IOWA
Hitchens had an equally impressive day: nine tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. What the stat sheet doesn't show is bone-crushing hits and "athletic plays." He'd chase down Colter, chase down Trumpy (not a feat), wreck the ball carrier, and lay down punishment across the middle of the field. Hitchens did all of those things. He merely played his position and played it well.