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Big Ten Players of the Week: Week 9

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The handsomest column on OTE is here!

I say keep the beard, Blake

Ohio State beat Wisconsin at home on Saturday by approximately fifty points. In unrelated news this is an App State fan column now.

Yes it’s a cheap shot no I don’t care

The 20th-ranked Appalachian State Mountaineers, a team known for beating Michigan that time and almost beating Penn State that other time, are undefeated in 2019. Their resume is impressive, boasting wins over UNC and plenty of other teams you’ve definitely heard of. They have a fun offense to watch, including a quarterback who would AT WORST be the fifth best QB in the Big Ten, a rapidly-improving defense, and the greatest hype video of all time:

I sincerely really like App State and root for them very hard every single week. If you read anything I write or comment on anywhere else on this hellsite, you know that I am annoyingly pro-App State. I pay as much attention to Wisconsin’s upcoming game as I do the games of the G5 teams ranked ahead of App State that I’m desperately hoping will lose (#ProjectAppStateToTheG5NY6Bowl,Cowards). The only time I’ll ever root against App State is if they play Wisconsin, which isn’t happening until....2020.

App State has another important Thursday Night Funbelt game this week, hosting long-time and former-SoCon rival Georgia Southern on Halloween. No I said Georgia Southern, not Georgia State. Georgia State is indeed a Sun Belt conference foe, and the name similarities can be confusing, but we’re talking about the school that’s the site of a recent book burning by students mad at the author for saying white people sometimes have advantages.

These two schools have some excellent history. They battled for control of the Southern Conference when they both played in FCS. They both transitioned to FBS in the Sun Belt at the same time. Fellow SBN college football conference site Underdog Dynasty has an excellent article up this week detailing the history between the schools, including lots of video! I fully expect to get an e-mail about misnaming Ga. Southern in the next week.

If you watch the broadcast Thursday, you will absolutely hear some version of “throw the records out when these two teams get together” at least once. Until then, here’s the terrifying (for Halloween!) and awesome hype video that somebody who’s pro-GSU put out for the game this week:

Offensive Player of the Week: JK Dobbins

Running Back - Ohio State Buckeyes hosting Wisconsin Badgers

20 carries, 163 yards, 2 TDs; 3 receptions, 58 yards

JK Dobbins is the first running back to get 100 yards against Wisconsin’s formerly-top defense in 2019, and he went well beyond that. Of his three receptions, two were crucial conversions on third and really, really long. Dobbins had almost no trouble running the ball against Wisconsin, especially with Fields and his wheels as a decoy, and I wondered in the first half last week why Dobbins wasn’t getting a lot more carries. He could have run for 200+ easily if he’d gotten the opportunity, which, again, is insane considering the opposing defense. He’s pretty good.

Honorable Mention - Offensive Player of the Week: Week 9

Whop Philyor - WR - Indiana Hoosiers
14 receptions for 178 yards. Didn’t score any touchdowns but dominated like Plaxico Burress in the 2007-08 NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field (I was there! It was cold!) If he’d scored a TD I may have been forced to give him OPOTW.

Pat Freiermuth - TE - Penn State Nittany Lions
5 targets, 5 receptions, and 3 TDs. He didn’t get many opportunities but he was uber efficient against a good defense in a game where nobody could do much of anything.

Dre Brown - RB - Illinois Fighting Illini
18 carries, 131 yards. The guy who got that last long run in the upset over Wisconsin had another good day against Purdue. Are the Illini going bowling this year???


Defensive Player of the Week: Chase Young

Defensive End - Ohio State Buckeyes hosting Wisconsin Badgers
6 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

Nobody, short of a two-touchdown performance, had any shot at beating out Chase Young this week. He kept Wisconsin from having any hope of throwing more than 5 yards downfield all by himself on most plays, beating double teams, running backs chipping and helping, and one time winning a one-on-one against a tight end for some reason? Apparently OSU did something sneaky with Young’s pre-snap positioning and movement, and he’s going to get 8 sacks against some poor East division team later this year if they keep that up. I’m thinking Michigan.

Honorable Mention - Defensive Player of the Week: Week 9

Jamal Milan- DL - Illinois Fighting Illini
4 tackles, 4 TFLs, 1 sack. The defensive version of Pat Freirmuth, Milan didn’t hit the stat sheet a ton against Purdue, but he had a big impact every time he made a tackle.

Micah McFadden - LB - Indiana Hoosiers
11 tackles, 10 of which were solo. He’s a linebacker, so he’s going to rack up tackles, but getting 10 of them by himself is impressive, especially against a team that has a player like Wan’Dale Robinson. I didn’t watch the game, but I assume McFadden is a big part of why Robinson was relatively limited.

Tony Adams - DB - Illinois Fighting Illini
4 tackles, 1 Int, 1 TD. I had a couple choices for the final slot, as two guys had pick-6s this week. I chose Adams over Coney Durr because (1) it came in more important situation in a closer game, and (2) Adams doesn’t play for Minnesota.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Blake Hayes

Punter - Illinois Fighting Illini at Purdue Boilermakers
8 punts, 42.8 avg, 64 long, 2 inside 20

Blake Hayes had two punts downed at the one-yard line. Okay so one was downed at the one-yard line and the other hit the front of the end zone pylon, giving us all the chance to learn about What Happens When A Punt Hits The Pylon. Also Hayes punted a ball 64 yards, which is the one that hit the pylon, and which is about twenty yards further than Wisconsin’s punter is capable. Also he did these two things:

Honorable Mention - Special Teams Players of the Week: Week 9

Justin Davidovicz - K - Rutgers Scarlet Knights
3/3 FGs, 34 long, 5/5 XPs. I check the box scores every week, including looking at all the kicker performances. Unless I missed one, this is the first time in WEEKS that a Big Ten kicker has attempted at least three fields goals and made 100% of his field goal attempts. I don’t even care that his long was only 34 yards or that it was against Liberty. Kickers are back!

It was a week of bad weather in the conference, and the punting and kicking stats show it. No long kick returns or punt returns, no punters with super high averages or lots of punts inside the twenty, and basically nobody is making field goals this season. Do better special teams!

OTE’s Offensive Play of the Week: Week 9

I’m not sure I’ll ever be convinced that Coan was throwing to the guy who caught it, but assuming for purposes of being impressed that it was, WOW that’s a hell of a pass.

OTE’s Defensive Play of the Week: Week 9

Fat guy (almost) TD!

Rondale’s Corner Tanner Time

12/21, 138 yds, 2 TDs, 1 Int. Oh and 5 carries for 30 yards. Tanner Morgan continues, apparently, to excel at handing the ball off. Minnesota must be running the ball very well, because this is the third(?) week in a row, since Morgan went 19/20 that one week, where the passing stats have been somewhere between meh and p bad.

Jammin’ with Jonathan

Uhhhh he was on a bye last week.


Poll

How are you coping?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Telling myself it’s okay because Notre Dame lost
    (48 votes)
  • 52%
    Telling myself it’s okay because Michigan is still not that good
    (53 votes)
101 votes total Vote Now