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 13 winners:
Offensive Players of the Week: Markell Jones, Purdue RB and Noah Fant, Iowa TE
Markell Jones is the reason I am here. This man sapped all enthusiasm for this exercise from Candystripes for Breakfast. The Purdue RB had 159 yards on 22 carries in the second half of the Purdue Boilermakers’ 31-24 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers for the Old Oaken Bucket. For the game, he had 217 yards on 31 carries. Congrats to Jones and the Boilermakers for becoming bowl eligible.
Noah Fant had a 3-116-2 line in the Iowa Hawkeyes’ 56-14 mauling of my beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers. Noah is from Omaha and the Big Red recruited him as a defensive end. What does Iowa know about tight ends, anyway? Something tells me this victory was plenty sweet for Mr. Fant. Well done, from a certain point of view.
Akrum Wadley (19-159-3) also shredded the Huskers, but running on Nebraska is like taking candy from a baby.
Defensive Player of the Week: Sam Hubbard, Ohio State DE
Sam Hubbard had five tackles and a forced fumble in Ohio State’s win at Michigan. Included in this number are a career high 2.5 sacks for minus-27 yards. The Buckeyes held Michigan to 100 rushing yards.
One particular unit merits commendation. The Michigan State Spartans limited the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to 112 total yards and 12:10 time of possession. You read that correctly. Rutgers was 0-7 on third down conversions. Spartans will...shut you down.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Nathan Bazata, Iowa
This pretty much captures the state of affairs between Iowa and Nebraska. Bazata, a Nebraska native, blows up an ill-advised fake field goal attempt. What makes it a true tour de force, though, is his “throwing of the bones” at the end. Well done and damn you, Mr. Bazata.
Freshman of the Week: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State QB
Haskins came on in relief of JT Barrett in the third quarter. He led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a 31-20 come from behind victory over the Michigan Wolverines. He conducted himself with poise and completed 6/7 passes for 94 yards with no interceptions. He also rushed three times for 24 yards. The spotlight is rarely brighter. Stakes are rarely higher.
Also, Jonathan Taylor of the Wisconsin Badgers had a 20-149-1 line against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. No surprise there. Taylor was rightly named Offensive Freshman of the Year for the conference.
Fail of the Week: This Glorious Thing
Please comment below about all of the people I have omitted or overrated. Make sure to mention Josey Jewell. Laud my judgment at your leisure.