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Week Six B1G Ballers – Skinned Cats Edition

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Here is my list of the best players in the Big Ten Conference last week. It was an offensive outbreak for...um, most of the teams. A running back went for over 250 yards. And a hopeful champion got shelled from the first play of the game. Come on in and get the whole scoop...

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Week two of conference play brought more surprises than last week. If last week it was about defense, this week was about the offense. B1G teams averaged a shocking 25 points each this week. That’s because teams put up some huge numbers…Ohio State dropped 49 on Maryland, Minnesota pounded Purdue for 41 points, and Michigan scored 38 on the vaunted Wildcat defense.

Speaking of the ‘Cats, Michigan returned the favor from last week. They blanked Northwestern in what was (to me) a shocker. Unlike the Maryland game, the Wolverines buried Northwestern by 21 points in the first quarter.

Many Ballers this week, so let’s get to it:

Illinois Fighting Illini: This is a scrappy team, far better than I expected. They took Iowa to the fourth quarter. Much of that was due to the quarterback to receiver tandem of Wes Lunt to Geronimo Allison. Lunt was 25 of 47 for 317 yards and a touchdown. Allison had eight catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. That included a 53-yard catch and run.

Indiana Hoosiers: Sorry gang, your ballers are all with local EMT’s. Zander Diamont got hit so hard he thinks he’s Batman…

That said, the kid balled when he could. He was Indiana’s leading rusher, even though he went out early in the game. In addition, I saw something special in Danny Cameron, who came in for Diamont after he went down. Indiana has something to look forward to, once that kid gets some seasoning.

I have to acknowledge IU punter Erich Toth. He kicked 11 punts in the game…eleven punts for 451 yards. Holy hell, man. That’s is so B1G.

Iowa Hawkeyes: This is not the same old Iowa. This could be the pod Kirk Ferentz (body snatchers reference…look it up kids). This team is hitting hard and often. C.J. Beathard was 15 of 31 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. And Jordan Canzeri had an out-of-his-effing-mind game with 43 carries for 256 yards. Including a 75-yard ramble for a touchdown. He scored twice on both a run and a pass. I’m exhausted just writing that down.

The defense balled too, with three sacks and some great stands that forced Illinois to kick field goals. That was the difference in the game, so great job Iowa defense.

Maryland Terrapins: The Terps shocked the crap out of me and Buckeye nation Saturday night. After rumors of Head Coach Randy Edsall’s highly anticipated firing, the Terps came out fired up.

Perry Hills, third string quarterback and wrestling phenom, outrushed all everything running back Ezekial Elliott of Ohio State. Hills had 25 carries for 170 yards. He wasn’t as impressive throwing, going 10 of 27 for 133 with a touchdown and two picks. He was one of the few bright spots for the Terps, who couldn’t keep up with the elite Buckeye offense in the second half.

Funny thing, I was sitting in the airport on Sunday, on my way to Las Vegas, and I heard a guy bitching about his picks. Ohio State was a huge favorite in this game and he didn’t take the points. It was a particularly sore point for him…so way to go Maryland.

Now you will have an "interim coach".  Best of Luck…

Michigan Wolverines: Well shit, look at you guys. You have your shiny new coach and some shiny shutouts this year. And you fucking shellacked Northwestern, who was the hipster pick for West Champion this year.

Let’s start with Jehu Chesson…holy hell that was some kickoff return on the first play of the game. That was 96 yards of wow. Jake Rudock put in a good game, nothing flashy, but he was 17 of 23 for 179 yards. No pics and he ran for a touchdown. Good, solid quarterback play.

Defense played well again, as you can tell by the zero on Northwestern’s score. Jourdan Lewis took a pick 37 yards for the touchdown.

Michigan State Spartans: It’s tempting to throw the Spartans under the bus for this game. They put up 31 points on Rutgers and only won by a touchdown. I know…I know…everybody is hurt. But the Spartan Defense is still head and shoulders above the Rutgers offense, or so I thought.

Cook was good, throwing 23 of 38 for 357 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick. L.J. Scott only had 42 yards, but two touchdowns Rushing. It was senior reciever Aaron Burbridge who really picked up the slack for MSU. He had nine catches for 146 yards.

Minnesota Golden Gophers: If you looked at Mitch Leidner’s stat line, you would never guess Minnesota won this game…let alone racked up 41 points. Leidner was 8 of 12 for 59 yards. He threw for two TDs and a pick. He also ran for a touchdown. But the star of the offense was Shannon Brooks. He went off for an incredible 176 yards on 17 attempts. That includes a 71 yard run.

On defense, it was Jalen Myrick with a 27-yard pick six, which padded Minnesota’s score. Myrick had two picks and De’Vondre Campbell got another one. Those three picks helped keep Purdue’s offense off the field.

Ohio State Buckeyes: I think every current and former quarterback on the team scored in this game. Cardale Jones had an outstanding passing day. He was 21 of 28 for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns. The "other" quarterback, J.T. Barrett rand for three touchdowns. He also racked up 62 yards on 12 carries. And then there’s former quarterback Braxton Miller. He had five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. And the catches were circus-worthy.

Ezekial Elliott also played a huge part in the offenseive outburst. He carried the ball 21 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught six balls for another 47 yards.

On defense, Tyvis Powell got his second pick of the year. Sam Hubbard, a redshirt freshman defensive end got his first pick ever. Good for you Sam, way to ball.

Nebraska Cornhuskers: I’m not sure if this is Pellini-Karma or what, but Nebraska’s season is a heartbreaker. The average point spread of their four losses is less than three per game. That sucks. This week was no different.

Tommy Armstrong played modestly, going 11 of 28 for 129 yards and a TD. He also ran for 50 yards and another TD. Not gaudy stats, but decent.

This was a tough one guys. We’ll check back again next week.

Northwestern Wildcats: Whelp, it was nice while it lasted. Let’s rally the troops and talk again next week, okay? Okay.

Penn State Nittany Lions: Hackenberg is a good quarterback. He’s not great. He’s not perfect. But he’s good, just ask Indiana. Hack was 21 of 39 for 262 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran…yes I said RAN…for 21 yards and 2 more touchdowns.

Purdue Boilermakers: Hmm, this is an enigmatic football team. Last week you had MSU on the ropes, this week you can only muster 13 points against Minnesota. Quarterback David Blough threw three picks…

We’ll check in with you next week.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Leonte Carroo is the man. THE MAN. And he was pissed on Saturday. He caught seven balls for 134 yards and three touchdowns. Against Michigan State’s defense. Say what you want about injuries Sparty, this kid went off. Oh yeah, so did quarterback Chris Laviano, who went 15 of 24 for 208 yards and 208 yards.

Special teams looked great too. Janarion Grant nearly broke a couple of kick returns. And the line managed to block MSU’s first field goal attempt. Great game guys. Way to ball.

Wisconsin Badgers: Quarterback Joel Stave had a good game against Nebraska. He threw 24 completions on 50 attempts for 322 yards and a touchdown. Dare Ogunbowale had a solid day rushing, racking up 117 yards on 18 carries. Alex Erickson had a great day catching the ball. Stave hit him 7 times for 113 yards. He had a pair of back to back 20 yard receptions in the first half.

Ballers of the Week:

Jordan Canzeri is the offensive baller of the week…everyone else just shut up and sit down. I don’t care what your guy did. Canzeri ran for over 250 yards. Holy hell, man…that’s awesome.

Michigan’s entire defense gets the nod for defensive ballers of the week. Shutting down Northwestern and notching another shutout is impressive as hell. Harbaugh has the boys clicking.

Rutgers practices special teams every single day…it showed up big this week. They blocked MSU’s first field goal attempt.

Now for the Beer!

I’m writing this from my room at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. I tried a Sweetwater Artisanal beer called Hors d’Age. It’s brewed in  France especially for the Bardot Brasserie. It’s a nice, slightly bitter, aromatic beer that goes down easy. Really easy.

So if I made some mistakes or missed something important…tough. I’m drinking French beer in Las Vegas, y’all.

Your Friend,                                                                                                                                                   

Townie