Every week in the Big Ten, there are outstanding young men playing football for our entertainment, and so we at OTE feel that it is only right to recognize the best and the brightest of these. Here now, the week 12 winners:
Offensive Players of the Week: Anthony Mahoungou, Purdue WR and Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB
Barkley (finally) had a decent rushing game (17 for 158 and 3 scores) en route to the Penn State school record for career rushing touchdowns. Mahoungou tied or set a handful of career highs with a 7-135-2 TD performance in the Boilermakers’ upset of Iowa.
Honorable mentions this week: Garrett Dickerson (2 catches, 2 scores) and Justin Jackson The Ballcarrier (166 rushing yards, giving him 4 1,000 yard rushing seasons in his career) of Northwestern, Morgan Ellison (15 for 149 and 2 scores) of Indiana, Mike Weber (11 for 108 and 2 scores) of Ohio State, Cam Miller (their only offensive touchdown) of Illinois, and Stanley Morgan (7-185-1) of Nebraska.
Defensive Player of the Week: Nate Hall, Northwestern Linebacker
Honestly, the tweet covers almost all of the highlights for Hall (the only missing ones being his team leading 7 tackles, and the fact that the Wildcats recorded a shutout.)
Honorable mention goes out to the entire Indiana defense, for picking up 2 fumbles, recording 4 sacks and 7 tackles for loss, and also shutting out their opponent (IU’s first shutout of a Big Ten team since 1993, when they did it twice).
Special Teams Player of the Week: Nick Nelson, Wisconsin
(Normally, there would be a tweet here from the Big Ten Conference, but they appear to have forgotten to tweet a graphic about STPOTW this week. Please send all hate mail to @B1GFootball.)
Nelson opened the scoring for Wisconsin by taking a punt 50 yards to the endzone, the first punt return touchdown for the Badgers since 2012.
Honorable mentions go to Rutgers punter Ryan Anderson (9 punts for 456 yards, long of 70) and Indiana kicker Griffin Oakes (2/2 field goals with his only “miss” on the year being a blocked kick, 5/5 extra points).
“Nebraska Nice” of the Week: Penn State coach James Franklin
Suggested by one of our Nebraska writers, for Franklin’s generosity in “taking his foot off the gas so that Nebraska could score 44 points.”