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Big Ten Players of the Week: Week 7

This week’s OTE POTW is looking deep, deep into your soul

Legitimately cannot think of anything remotely worthwhile or interesting to write for an intro this week. “Not remotely interesting or worthwhile? How is that different than what you write every week?!?” probably all of you are saying, and I say stop hurting my feelings.

Last week I promised you fireworks in the Wednesday night Fun Belt matchup between App State and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. You...did not get fireworks. You did get some beautiful punting, including the best punting performance of the season, outside of Adam Korsak at Iowa. I got a polite e-mail from the Communications and Marketing folks at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette explaining the correct way to refer to their school and their football team.

If you did watch until the end, you were also treated to the B1Gest final, game-salting drive in history. The Ragin’ Cajuns punter, Rhys Burns, dropped a 50 yarder at the App State 3-yard line with 12:06 left in the 4th quarter. Pretty great position for Louisiana to be in, down just three with App State pinned deep. What happened? Well, this:

1st & 10 at APP 3

  • (11:50 - 4th) Zac Thomas pass complete to Thomas Hennigan for 11 yds to the AppSt 14 for a 1ST down

1st & 10 at APP 14

  • (11:25 - 4th) Marcus Williams Jr. run for 4 yds to the AppSt 18

2nd & 6 at APP 18

  • (10:53 - 4th) Zac Thomas run for 2 yds to the AppSt 20

3rd & 4 at APP 20

  • (10:18 - 4th) Zac Thomas run for 8 yds to the AppSt 28 for a 1ST down

1st & 10 at APP 28

  • (9:42 - 4th) Marcus Williams Jr. run for 7 yds to the AppSt 35

2nd & 3 at APP 35

  • (9:05 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 4 yds to the AppSt 39 for a 1ST down

1st & 10 at APP 39

  • (8:28 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 11 yds to the 50 yard line for a 1ST down

1st & 10 at 50

  • (7:56 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 3 yds to the LaLaf 47

2nd & 7 at UL 47

  • (7:15 - 4th) Marcus Williams Jr. run for a loss of 3 yards to the 50 yard line

3rd & 10 at 50

  • (6:45 - 4th) Zac Thomas pass complete to Malik Williams for 10 yds to the LaLaf 40 for a 1ST down

1st & 10 at UL 40

  • (6:05 - 4th) Marcus Williams Jr. run for 2 yds to the LaLaf 38

2nd & 8 at UL 38

  • (5:28 - 4th) Zac Thomas pass complete to Thomas Hennigan for 3 yds to the LaLaf 35

3rd & 5 at UL 35

  • (4:39 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 1 yd to the LaLaf 34

4th & 4 at UL 34

  • (3:56 - 4th) Zac Thomas pass complete to Thomas Hennigan for 4 yds to the LaLaf 30 for a 1ST down

1st & 10 at UL 30

  • (3:31 - 4th) Zac Thomas run for 1 yd to the LaLaf 29

2nd & 9 at UL 29

  • (2:59 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 1 yd to the LaLaf 28
  • (2:59 - 4th) Timeout LOUISIANA, clock 02:59

3rd & 8 at UL 28

  • (2:52 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 3 yds to the LaLaf 25
  • (2:51 - 4th) Timeout LOUISIANA, clock 02:51

4th & 5 at UL 25

  • (2:43 - 4th) Thomas, Zac pass incomplete to Sutton, Corey, PENALTY ULLAFAYTTE pass interference 15 yards to the ULLAFAYTTE10, NO PLAY, 1ST DOWN APPALCHAN.

1st & Goal at UL 10

  • (2:30 - 4th) Darrynton Evans run for 3 yds to the LaLaf 7

2nd & Goal at UL 7

  • (1:55 - 4th) Zac Thomas run for 7 yds for a TD, (Chandler Staton KICK)

What you just skimmed over is a 19-play, 97-yard, 10 minute and 11 second touchdown drive. App State averaged 5.1 yards per play, converted twice on 4th down, and spent so much time on the field even Paul Chryst swore joyfully. It was, quite possibly, the most boring way possible to grind away nearly an entire quarter, and it was a fitting end to a game where two good-to-great offenses combined for just 24 points.

The over/under on the game was 70, by the way. The teams combined to miss the over/under by 46, which is more than the over/under in more than a few Big Ten games this season.

Offensive Player of the Week: Jack Plummer

Quarterback - Purdue Boilermakers hosting Maryland Terrapins

33/41, 420 yards, 3 TDs

It does not matter who starts for Purdue at QB or how injured all of their starters are—Purdue is going to sling the ball all over the field. Jack “The Snack” Plummer (h/t to whichever Purdue fan posted that in the SMCD comments first), a freshman, had a day that should leave Purdue fans at ease when contemplating the team’s offensive future. Sure, it turns out Maryland had to start three rolls of party streamers at defensive back, but Plummer’s accuracy was amazing and his YPA was perfectly cromulent.

The way Purdue just casually throws out 400+ yard passing games has to make most of the rest of the conference swoon, and one of these days Purdue will have an actual defense to go with its endless supply of productive quarterbacks. Here’s to hoping Plummer stays healthy unlike seemingly every other teammate, and everyone on Maryland’s team.

Honorable Mention - Offensive Player of the Week: Week 7

Whop Philyor - WR - Indiana Hoosiers
10 receptions and 182 yards against what is technically a conference opponent and college football team. OTE POTW has long loved Philyor, first for his name and now for his play. At least Rutgers is helping other teams earn POTW honors.

Mohamed Ibrahim - RB - Minnesota Golden Gophers
15 carries, 84 yards, 3 TDs. Pretty solid day for Ibrahim: almost six yards per carry, a touchdown every five touches. Everyone for Minnesota ran all over Nebraska all day, just like Illinois the week before, but Ibrahim got the glory on the field and he gets the glory here.

David Bell - WR - Purdue Boilermakers
Somebody had to catch all those passes from Plummer, and Bell had a crazy good day. 9 receptions, 138 yards, and 2 TDs for the replacement Rondale Moore and oh great Purdue now has multiple receivers who can tear apart your team’s secondary.

Defensive Player of the Week: Robert Windsor

Defensive Tackle - Penn State Nittany Lions at Iowa Hawkeyes
6 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries

I spent most of the Penn State-Iowa game watching Schitt’s Creek, so I’ll let the soon-to-be-former “writers,” who broke the writer code by actually watching the game, do the talking:

87townie: Robert Windsor, PSU. He dominated the Iowa interior O-Line. He was super disruptive. I can’t find his stat line though.
pkloa: 3 tackles, 3 assists, 1.5 sacks. That really does not seem to capture his impact
aaron.yorke: Yeah the stat line doesn’t do him justice

It wasn’t just Penn State fans who thought Windsor basically won the game at Iowa

Creighton: Gotta second Windsor. He made Paulsen look like a screen door on literally every play
stewmonkey13: Seemed like Iowa’s interior line moved incredibly quickly to get out of his way.

Honorable Mention Defensive Players of the Week: Week 7

Cory Trice - S - Purdue Boilermakers
6 tackles, 1 pass defended, 2 INTs, 1 TD. I know I know, when you score a defensive touchdown you’re supposed to win the POTW award. Then again, competition theoretically matters, and also when your fellow writers come through big time with the POTW nominations, you gotta listen.

A.J. Epenesa - DE - Iowa Hawkeyes
7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 3 QB hurries. Windsor isn’t the only guy who lived in the other team’s backfield all game. Epenesa played well and did everything he could, but unfortunately fortunately it wasn’t enough.

Zach Baun - LB - Wisconsin Badgers
3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 TD. Other guys had bigger stat days, but Baun scored yet another touchdown for a Wisconsin defense that has officially scored as many touchdowns in 2019 as they’ve allowed. OTE POTW likes scoring, especially on defense, and possibly favors Wisconsin players over all others.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Blake Gillikin

Punter - Penn State Nittany Lions at Iowa Hawkeyes
7 punts, 42.1 avg, 62 long, 5 punts inside 20 (2 inside 5)

70%+ of his punts were downed inside the 20 and he stuck two of those inside the 5-yard line. That’s a big day in a game where pinning a mostly inept offense deep in its own territory was crucial to helping his own slightly less inept offense score very few points. Also, holy crap HIS HAIR:

Punters really are the best.

Honorable Mention Special Teams Players of the Week: Week 7

Adam Korsak - P - Rutgers Scarlet Knights
10 punts, 47.3 avg, 68(!) long, 4 inside 20. Of course Korsak is here again.

Blake Hayes - P - Illinois Fighting Illini
7 punts, 46.9 avg, 70 long, 2 inside 20. Of course Hayes is here again. Also, Hayes had his first touchback of the year Saturday. I heard/made up he had 19 straight punts to start the year without a touchback, but that’s gotta be 19 in Big Ten play, right? Because NO WAY Hayes had only punted in the mid-teens over the season up until that point.

Jake Hartbarger - P - Michigan State Spartans
9 punts, 43.1 avg, 61 long, 1 inside 20. Hartbarger was the only bright spot for MSU on Saturday. He had a very busy day, as nearly every drive the entire day ended with him punting the ball back to Wisconsin.

OTE’s Offensive Play(s) of the Week: Week 7

OTE’s Defensive Play of the Week: Week 7

Rondale’s Corner Tanner Time

8/13, 128 yards, 1 TD. Ever since claiming his spot as Totally The Best QB In The B1G, Tanner Morgan really hasn’t had to throw the ball even a little bit to win. I’m sure at some point he will, and the results will be posted here (unless Rondale is back, in which case not so much).

Jammin’ with Jonathan

Michigan State did a very good job keeping Taylor bottled up. He still had more than 100 total yards, but he had a very against-Northwestern-except-for-this-year game running the ball. 26 carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs.


Who are we laughing at the most today?

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