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Big Ten Players of the Week: Week 6

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OTE POTW is back and about as medium as usual

I noticed on a recent dog walk, for which it turns out I was underdressed, that it is getting cold at night lately! This realization can only mean one thing: Wednesday night college football is back! And wowsers do we have a doozy to start things off. Tonight, everyone’s favorite G5 team (and second favorite team overall), Appalachian State, is traveling to Lafayette, Louisiana for a game against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Those two words don’t really rhyme, by the way.

For reals though this should be a good game. ULL started as a one-point home favorite, but late Tuesday night the line shifted to App -1. This is most likely a preview of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Championship Game and a rematch of last year’s SB CCG. Also, App State has a legitimately very, very good and fun offense. They’re top 15 in S&P+. But also they’re somewhere north of 100 on defense in S&P+ so maybe expect some fireworks?

Earlier this year I made my way to an App State game against some sort of directional Tennessee school. App won, there were free ice cream snickers and ice cream twix handed out at the gate, I got a new shirt and hat, and it was Jerry Moore appreciation day!

Yes they played the entire App State-Michigan game on the big screen during the pregame. I assume they must have taken out some boring drives and plays for time purposes, but the obviously left the most important parts in.

We didn’t really celebrate Michigan Lost to App State Day around here this season, but I promised our unbelievably resilient Indiana writer that I’d post this video someday. So Candystripes, as promised, happy Michigan Lost to App State Day! (Unrelated, but I hadn’t seen the final few minutes of this game in quite some time and holy crap, it was a miracle Michigan was even in a position to win this game and holy crap did they blow it.)

Offensive Player of the Week: JK Dobbins

Runningback - Ohio State Buckeyes hosting Michigan State Spartans

24 carries, 172 yds, 1 TD

Surprised to see JK Dobbins here, knowing how certain Wisconsin Badgers played this past week? You shouldn’t be, for a couple of reasons. First, I am nothing if not intellectually honest and strongly committed to a defensible, reasonable, and national-beat-writer worthy weekly column evaluating the best performances of the prior week. I also stated, about six weeks ago, that players who have big games during Big Games get bonus consideration over players who had big games against scrub teams. To that end, Dobbins really shredded the Spartans defense. This was a big game for both teams, and Dobbins proved up to the task, running through and over the fourth-best defense in the conference like it was nothing.

Second, Jonathan Taylor gets his own small bonus section in this column, so picking him for player of the week is unnecessary. Which reason weighed more heavily in my decision to put Dobbins here? There’s literally no way of knowing, so don’t worry about it.

Anyway, Dobbins had a lot of success running against MSU’s vaunted top 13 of the conference defense, which is encouraging for Wisconsin’s chances against MSU this coming Saturday.

Honorable Mention - Offensive Player of the Week: Week 6

Wan’dale Robinson - WR - Nebraska Cornhuskers
7 receptions, 123 yds; 7 carries, 44 yds, 1 TD. Wan’dale Robinson is a back-to-back* Hon Men Nom for OTE POTW, and it’s clear he’s going to be here a lot during his college careegr. He has fully supplanted Rondale Moore as myfavorite player whose first name ends with “dale,” both because Wan’dale has been really, really good and because Rondale has been really, really injured.

Rodney Smith - RB - Minnesota Golden Gophers
24 carries, 211 yards, 1 TD. Blah blah blah Minnesota player ran up the stats and score against a hapless opponent. What a b-hole. Can’t wait for JT(T) to get 30% more yards on 30% fewer carries when Wisconsin plays Illinois later this season.

Sean Clifford - QB - Penn State Nittany Lions
20/29 passing, 264 yards, 4 total TDs. At this point, Purdue is definitely a hapless opponent, but Clifford took advantage like a halfway decent QB should. It’ll be interesting to see how PSU looks going forward against legitimate teams who aren’t Pitt.


Defensive Player of the Week: Dele Harding

Linebacker - Illinois Fighting Illini at Minnesota Golden Gophers
15 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 interception, 1 TD

The Big Ten was awash in sacks this past weekend, so of course the guy who recorded zero sacks gets DPOTW. Why? Cuz touchdowns, baby. The name of the game isn’t College Sackball, it’s College Touchdown ball, and Dele Harding scored one of the hardest kinds of touchdowns—one where you’re not supposed to actually be touching the ball. Also he accounted for like 13 of his team’s points, so I think it’s well deserved. Also also only my opinion counts so there’s that.

Honorable Mention Defensive Players of the Week: Week 6

Zach Baun - LB - Wisconsin Badgers
3 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 pass defended. The early leader for Big Ten Defensive Player of the YEAR was at it again, spending the whole day in the opponent’s backfield and only recording a stat when it really counted. Sack Baun, indeed.

Shake Toney - LB - Penn State Nittany Lions
4 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks. Sacks sacks saaaaaaaacks! Only strike against Toney this week (other than the evergreen fact that he plays for PSU) is that he apparently got hurt partway through the game. OTEPOTW has no time for players who get hurt (RIP, Rondale’s Corner).

Joe Bachie - LB - Michigan State Spartans
11 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks. The last spot in this week’s DPOTW Hon Noms came down to Bachie and an Iowa player. Honestly a very easy decision to make.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Javon Leake

Kick Returner - Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2 returns, 61.0 avg, 100 long, 1 TD

Javon Leake returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown this past week. Might it have been the least meaningful and/or impactful touchdown in college football history? Well, it came during a blowout of technical Big Ten opponent Rutgers, but a touchdown is a touchdown. And when you score a touchdown on special teams, you’re a lock for POTW. Check the rules if you want.

Honorable Mention Special Teams Players of the Week: Week 6

Will Hart - P - Michigan Wolverines
8 punts, 46.5 avg, 59 long. Hart has been showing up in these awards a lot this season, and that’s good for Michigan because the rest of their team is varying shades of horrific. Honestly a disappointing week for punters across the conference, but at least Hart was good enough to get some notice

OTE’s Offensive Play of the Week: Week 6

OTE’s Defensive Play of the Week: Week 6

Rondale’s Corner Tanner Time

As I said before, Rondale is hurt now and I’m very sad about it. In his place, we’re going to check in with Tanner Morgan, who I’ve been told is actually really super good, like better than Nate Stanley if such a thing is possible. Here’s his line from this past week against the stalwart defense of...Illinois?

9/17, 155 yds; 3 carries, -6 yds; 1 TD (net)

Jammin’ with Jonathan

19 carries, 186 yards, 5 total TDs.
Five. Total. TDs. Inept opponent, sure, but also only played 2 1/2-ish quarters (I think. I turned the game off at halftime, because there were actual games worth watching on...in theory). He’s really good and he’s putting up the type of meaningless stats to keep him near the top of the Heisman conversation. #ThirdPlaceHeisman outlook is strong.


Poll

Jonathan Taylor should expect his Heisman campaign to end with _______________________

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    A trophy
    (29 votes)
  • 21%
    2nd place behind a QB
    (72 votes)
  • 51%
    3rd place behind two QBs
    (172 votes)
  • 18%
    Not invited to New York City
    (60 votes)
333 votes total Vote Now