The ranks of the happy Big Ten fans dwindled, as Indiana and Michigan State took their first losses of the year and Penn State was horribly overmatched. The joyful from this week's action are the fans of Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota and...Purdue?!
Offensive Player of the Week: Tommy Armstrong Jr., Nebraska Cornhuskers
Touchdown Tommy was responsible for 378 yards of Nebraska's 556-yard outburst at Ryan "Field" as the Sea of Red washed away the Northwestern WIldcats. He had 246 yards through the air on 18 for 29 passing, tossing a touchdown and no picks while adding 132 on the ground on 13 carries. Armstrong commanded the offense to a dominant 35+ minute possession time, which gave Clayton Thorson and the Wildcat offense less time with which to do absolutely nothing.
Honorable Mentions: Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow threw for 496 yards and 3 touchdowns, providing the firing mechanism for an explosive Indiana offense. WR Ricky Jones caught 208 yards worth of that on 8 catches. The entire Michigan rushing attack gets a shoutout as five different players scored on the ground. Finally, Purdue quarterback David Blough gets his second honorable mention of the season, putting up 300 yards on 21 for 30 passing with two touchdowns including the dagger in the fourth quarter. His aerial output helped Purdue overcome a 4-0 turnover deficit to defeat Nevada with 21 unanswered points.
Defensive Player of the Week: T.J. Watt and Leo Musso, Wisconsin Badgers
I was pretty damn surprised by the entire Wisconsin defense just ruining Michigan State. I thought State would fall off with the loss of Cook, but I thought Wisconsin would definitely be much worse than last year. This crow is pretty decent pan-seared and doused in Cholula. Anyway, linebacker T.J. Watt and safety Leo Musso split the honors, with Watt having 2.5 sacks among 6 tackles, including the demoralizing incident above in the fourth quarter. Musso had five tackles and the touchdown that blew the game wide open early in the second half. More on that later.
Honorable Mentions: The entire Wisconsin defense was sublime. Iowa DB Brandon Snyder had 13 tackles and a forced fumble in a seven-point win. The whole Michigan defense was putting in serious work, with linebacker Ben Gedeon racking up eleven tackles.
Foltz/Sadler Special Teams Player of the Week: Ron Coluzzi, Iowa Hawkeyes
Oh yes, I'm running the punt porn again. Ron Coluzzi was arguably the key in the absolutely unwatchable 14-7 Iowa win over Rutgers, punting seven times for a 42 yard average with four inside the 20 and no returns.
Honorable Mention: Jabrill Peppers nearly scored again on a 53-yard punt return. He'll get more hype later in the season, I guarantee it.
Play of the Week: Leo Musso Could Go All The Way
Down 13-6 in the beginning of the second half, Michigan State came out with some Tresselball, pounding the rock inside. Then L.J. Scott coughed it up. Leo Musso made a heads-up play to field it on the hop and take it to the house. Note in particular his devastating spin move on Tyler O'Connor.
Honorable Mention: Rubenesque Penn State kicker Joey Julius made the only positive play of the day for the Nittany Lions when he absolutely rocked the world of Michigan return man Jourdan Lewis.
Fail of the Week: Northwestern Wildcats Fake Field Goal
The kicker spin move is my favorite spin move https://t.co/ZAX5XUbsLR— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) September 25, 2016
Northwestern dug deep to claim their third victory in this category. Perhaps this award should just be called Northwestern Moment Of The Week. But, on to the play. Down 10 to 7 with the clock running down under a minute in the first half, the Wildcats had just completed a 15-yard pass on 3rd and 22 that didn't get them the first down, but did push them back in to field goal range. Facing 4th and 7 at the Nebraska 23, they ran the clock down...and something in their formation aroused the suspicion of Nebraska's coaching staff, who called a timeout to ensure that their team was ready for the fake they now suspected was coming.
Northwestern tried it anyway. Props to Jack Mitchell for actually connecting on the pass, unlike his prior 27-yard field goal attempt and his second extra point attempt. Too bad it was for a 2-yard gain, as Nebraska was all over it.
Mitchell is just amazing here. A ridiculous-looking and ponderous spin move, followed by a rollout to his right, followed by a pump fake, followed by an incredibly wobbly throw that somehow finds its target, who comes up five yards short.
This play rules. It's easily the best failed fake field goal since Connecticut's debacle against Missouri last year involving a playaction fake to the kicker.
Honorable Mentions: Richard Lagow for failing to contain the explosiveness of the Indiana offense and tossing five picks, including one for a touchdown. Wake Forest didn't turn the ball over once. Lagow giveth and Lagow taketh away. Also, a big shoutout to Tyler O'Connor and Michigan State in general here, with the redshirt senior throwing three picks and the whole team being dominated in every phase of the game at home.