I just lost my mind for five solid minutes trying to figure out how this could POSSIBLY be the Week 13 version of this column, given that we’ve only had twelve weeks of football. How could Wisconsin have just ended the season at 7-5 (twelve total games), yet this week’s iteration is Week 13?!? I even went back and looked to make sure (a) I started with “Week 1” and (b) I didn’t skip a number at some point. After planning out an apology in this opening for getting the numbers wrong all season, I remembered that bye weeks are a thing.
The season is over! Well, the regular season, anyway. And as the fan of a hot and ready 7-5 team, the postseason is going to feel...lame. At least Wisconsin kept its bowl streak going!
The end of the regular season means the end of this column, but it also means we have thirteen weeks of “stats” I can write about instead of having to come up with an actual opening, so here we go!
With his win this week (read on...) Dwayne Haskins ends the year as the only three-time winner of an OTE award. Combine that with three OTE honorable mentions, and the OTE “stats” tell you he’s had a great year before you even look at any of those “real” stats.
Thanks largely to Haskins, Ohio State won the “most awards on a team” award for...most awards for a single team. OSU won one of the four different awards eight times. On the other side, Michigan only won an award once. Looking at just the OTE “stats,” you’d have easily predicted that OSU would kick UM’s ass this past Saturday, before you actually saw the ass kicking with your own eyes.
Surprisingly, Michigan State finished second with seven awards won, followed by Minnesota and Purdue with six each. The bad teams (Rutgers, Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin) each only won two awards, matching the mediocrity of their seasons. Oh and that “only one an award once” from above? It means Michigan won fewer awards than Rutgers. Michigan finished last. We all should have seen their demise coming.
Other things I thought were fun:
- Yetur Gross-Matos and Blake Cashman were the only guys to win an award in back-to-back weeks, but neither won a third award at any point
- Rocky Lombardi was the only guy to win two different awards. In whichever week he first started, he won OPOTW and FOTW and, unofficially, name and hair combo of the week.
- Stevie Scott only won one award, but he was nominated for an award five times, most in the league
- With six overall appearances in an OTE article, Scott joins Haskins, Adrian Martinez, and Rondale Moore in the Sixers Club, or the Sweet Six, or something uhhhh....the club of guys who got in an article six times
- Always the Bridesmaid(s): Carter Coughlin, Devine Ozigbo, and Blake Hayes were each honorably mentioned three times but never won an award. Keep trying for that bouquet, gents
- Purdue and Nebraska each received fifteen honorable mentions, but neither team had the most different players win awards or receiving mentions
- Penn State and Ohio State, despite its Haskins domination, each had eleven different players win awards or receive mentions this season, most in the B1G!
- Finally, and most importantly, after this week’s win, MSU enters a tie with Rutgers, OSU, Iowa, and award-namesake Purdue at two boners a piece on the season. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Maryland spent the entire season boner free. Congrats(?)
It’s been fun-ish!
If your team’s favorite player isn’t chosen as a Player of the Week, one of three things happened: (1) It involved a player not involved in Wisconsin’s most recent game; (2) your favorite team’s writer didn’t submit the player for POTW honors; or (3) you favorite team’s player really wasn’t as awesome as you thought.
Sometimes a player will get picked because of the awesome raw stats; sometimes he’ll get picked because of good stats plus situational significance; sometimes he’ll get picked because he did pretty well and plays for Wisconsin; and most of the time he just won’t get picked. Leave your complaints in the comments.
Defensive Player of the Week
Josiah Scott - CB - Michigan State - Big Ten co-DPOTW
3 tackles, 2 interceptions
Josiah Scott secured two important interceptions in a tight game against Rutgers Saturday. The second interception even sealed the win in the fourth quarter over Rutgers. His play led a defensive secondary that did a great job keeping Rutgers in check, enabling Michigan State to win a very close game against Rutgers, in which the final score only had Michigan State beating Rutgers by four points.
Two interceptions in a game is HUGE, even more impactful than two sacks or two forced fumbles. When your final interception of the day stops a game-winning drive by Rutgers at your own twenty-one yard line with just over one minute left, there’s no question you earned this award.
Honorable Mention Defensive Players of Week 13
Anthony Nelson - DE - Iowa - 8 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 pass breakup - Big Ten co-DPOTW
Navon Mosley - S - Purdue - 10 tackles, 1 Int
TJ Edwards - LB - Wisconsin - 18 tackles
Special Teams Player of the Week
Demetrius Douglas - PR - Minnesota - Big Ten STPOTW
Returned punt 69 yards for a touchdown
Demetrius Douglas returned a punt for a touchdown, which, by OTE “rules,” means he automatically wins this award. The fact he returned it for 69 yards makes it especially justified. I thought about giving it to Olave, but he didn’t have to weave his way through the wide-open screen door that is Wisconsin’s punt coverage unit. Plus Douglas did it in the course of a win that he’s barely old enough to know had ever happened previously. Here’s hoping he and his kids never see another win over Wisconsin.
Honorary “Rutgers sure punts a lot” Workhorse Punter of Week 13
Adam Korsak - P - Rutgers - 8 punts, 43.6 avg, 6 inside 20
In hindsight, this really should have been the Adam Korsak is a stud who can footthrow that ball all day long Workhorse Punter of the Week. Dude punts A LOT.
Honorable Mention Special Teams Players of Week 13
Chris Olave - Uhhh punt return blocking guy? - Ohio State - caught a punt someone on his team blocked like it was an easy pop fly and then ran in back for a TD, so technically, 1 punt return TD
William Przystup - P - Michigan State - 8 punts, 33.6 avg, 5 inside 20; has awesome name
Offensive Player of the Week
Dwayne Haskins - QB - Ohio State - Big Ten OPOTW
20/31, 396 yards passing, 6 TDs, no INTs; 7 carries, 34 yards, no fumbles
Dwayne Haskins played his best game in his biggest game against the best defense he saw all year. And he absolutely tore it up. Over ten yards per attempt, nearly a 67% completion rate, zero turnovers, and all of it against “the nation’s No. 1 defensive unit.” He also set the single-season B1G/Big Ten passing yards (4,081) and TD passes (42) records, breaking Curtis Painter’s (3,985) and Drew Brees’s (39) long-standing records.
Most importantly, he became the only three-time winner of the 2018 OTE OPOTW award, perhaps more prestigious than either of the records he broke this season. It turns out the pre-season (and pre-pre-season, for that matter) hype was real and I think he has at least one more season in the B1G.
Honorable Mention Offensive Players of Week 13
Rondale Moore - WR - Purdue - 12 receptions, 141 yards, 2 TDs
Mekhi Sargent - RB - Iowa - 26 carries, 173 yards, 1 TD
Parris Campbell - WR - OSU - 6 receptions, 192 yards, 2 TDs
Freshman of the Week
Rondale Moore - WR - Purdue - Big Ten FOTW
12 receptions, 141 yards, 2 TDs
We all know the deal with Rondale Moore. He may be the best offensive player in the conference (stay tuned for tomorrow!), and he’s only a true freshman. RIP B1G secondaries for at least the next two years. We’re all mostly out of things to say about Moore, but his tackle-breaking TD run against Ohio State will live forever.
Still can’t figure out what Ohio State was thinking with the coverage on that play.
Before we list the honorable mention freshman, let me give a specific shoutout to Stevie Scott, Isaiah Bowser, and Adrian Martinez. All three had great seasons, and each of them probably would have won far more of these awards had it not been for Moore. Indiana, Northwestern, and Nebraska all have good things to look forward to. Well not Northwestern, because they clearly used up all their magic on this season. And not Indiana because, well, nice things.
Honorable mention Freshman of Week 13
Stevie Scott - RB - Indiana - 20 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD
Chris Olave - WR - Ohio State - 2 receptions, 48 yards, 2 TDs; 1 fumble return TD
Isaiah Bowser - RB - Northwestern - 18 carries, 166 yards
Award Formerly Known As “Honorary Purdue Boner of the Week” Boner of the Week
Actually Really Good Play of Week 13
Which part of Wisconsin’s season made you saddest?
This poll is closed
Wisconsin thiccker having an off year, missing too many FGs
The best RB in the country toiling on a mediocre team
The backflipping nose tackle getting injured, along with the other 10 defensive players
The team missing the conference championship game, letting NERDS have something good from sports