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Big Ten Players of the Week: Week 12

Multiple special teams touchdowns, multiple kickers, and Shea Patterson

The Wisconsin Badgers once played in the National Championship against Duke. The year before they played the Kentucky Wildcats in the Final Four. The Wisconsin football team has made the conference championship game multiple times, including one time as a 12-0 team with a trip to the playoffs on the line. Wisconsin made the Rose Bowl three years in a row.

The Minnesota Twins played in the American League Championship Series in the mid-2000s. They’ve made the playoffs (and had to play the New York Yankees) a couple handfuls of times since 2000.

The Appalachian State University Mountaineers had a very clear path to an NY6 bowl this year until they lost to a bunch of book-burning a-holes at Georgia Southern University.

Other than the Green Bay Packers and the 1991 Minnesota Twins (and 1987, but I was 3, so I’m not counting that), my fandom has been largely devoid of the game results I want. Lots of CCG losses, close misses on the road to glory, and soul-crushing defeats.

I’m not telling the five of you who are still reading any of this to make you feel bad for me. You shouldn’t, unless you share my exact fandoms. I’m telling you all this to make the following statement seem more dramatic in light of my sports life experiences.

I have never, NEVER hoped for a sports result more than the Indiana Hoosiers beating the Michigan Wolverines by 100 this coming Saturday.

This particularly sports result will actually harm my favorite college football team as it would devalue the blowout win Wisconsin recorded over Michigan earlier in the year—a win a lot of people seem to have memory holed in their unending desire to pump up Michigan because they were good 70 years ago. Yet I still want it. Why? Because Shea fucking Patterson. Let me explain:

Shea Shea Shea, what the FUCK are you doing? You’re absolutely admitting to looking past Indiana, which is basically the ONE THING YOU NEVER ADMIT TO ACTUALLY DOING IN SPORTS. Admit to taking steroids. Admit to faking an injury. Admit to having been recruiting to play for another school, transferring to Michigan, and then pretending you actually personally care about beating Ohio State. But JFC shut your damn mouth about looking past the next team you have to play.

The second-most hilarious thing about Patterson’s statement is that Michigan is going to lose by 60 in the “one more big one to go.” Probably even more than that, honestly. Unless Ohio State wants to keep resting its starters in the second half.

We’re all Hoosiers this weekend.

Offensive Player of the Week: Evan Hull

Running Back - Northwestern Wildcats hosting UMass Somethings

24 carries, 220 yards, 4 TDs

After Saturday’s blowout win against UMass, the 2019 Northwestern Wildcats have scored 16 touchdowns on offense. Running back Evan Hull scored a full quarter of his team’s touchdowns FOR THE YEAR in a single game. The stat is both very impressive for Hull—who sources made up/told me is now going to redshirt, having played four games this season—and hilarious in its demonstration of how awful Northwestern’s offense has been in 2019.

I don’t follow Northwestern except to the extent they play Wisconsin, impact the divisional race, or increase my levels of dislike of Fitzgerald, which means I don’t know why Isaiah Bowser isn’t playing more, but it seems like Northwestern’s future at the running back position is just fine going long as they always play UMass.

Honorable Mention - Offensive Player of the Week: Week 12

Shea Patterson - QB - Michigan Wolverines
24/33, 384 yds, 4 TDs; 8 carries, -15 yards. See above. He had a good case for POTW, but (a) he plays for Michigan so lol at that, and (b) he’s the worst quote giver perhaps in the history of organized sports. Go Hoosiers!

Peyton Ramsey - QB - Indiana Hoosiers
31/41, 371 yds, 1 TD. So Indiana is actually good on offense? And they have a great set of QBs, or at least a great system to plug in QBs, penis-named and normal-named alike?

Dedrick Mills - RB - Nebraska Cornuskers
17 carries, 188 yds, 1 TD, 38 broken tackles (approximately). If Wisconsin could tackle, Mills would have had like 25 yards in the game. But they couldn’t, or to probably put it more fairly, Mills made a lot of guys miss/slide off him.

Defensive Player of the Week: AJ Epenesa

Defensive End - Iowa Hawkeyes hosting Minnesota Golden Gophers
4 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 hurry, 1 forced fumble

stewmonkey13: AJ Epenesa was a monster. About singlehandedly stopped Minnesota’s last drive. And, uh, may have ruined Minnesota’s end of the regular season in the process. Sorry about that.

AJ Epenesa absolutely tore offenses up in 2018, and he really dominated the OTE DPOTW as well. Not so much in 2019, but this game, in particular the last drive for Minnesota, show he’s still totally capable of being that guy and shutting down entire possessions all by himself. I’m glad, as with nearly every Iowa player’s performance against Minnesota, that he didn’t play like this against Wisconsin.

Honorable Mention - Defensive Player of the Week: Week 12

Zack Baun - LB - Wisconsin Badgers
4 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 sacks, 2 hurries, 1 PD. In a game where Wisconsin was routinely embarrassed (again) on defense by Nebraska’s skill players and Adrian Martinez—are QBs considered skill players? No?—Baun at least did some things that look pretty on the stat sheet. Zack Sack Baun has had a great year, I’m going to miss him, and I can’t wait to see how’s the guy next year that answers the now-silly annual “how is Wisconsin going to replace all that production at LB?!?” question.

beezer07: @channel Please do my work for me and find some defensive noms other than Epenesa and Zack Baun. Nobody stuffed the stat sheet even a little this week

MCClappyHandz: Did anyone for Rutgers make a tackle

Special Teams Player(s) of the Week: Aron Cruickshank

Kick Returner - Wisconsin Badgers at Nebraska Cornhuskers
3 returns, 44.3 avg, 87 long, 1 touchdown

Aron Cruickshank rapidly returned a kickoff for a touchdown, so he gets STPOTW. Why him and not the Northwestern FG block return TD guy? Because I’m a Wisconsin fan, not a Northwestern fan. Also Cruickshank made some terrific moves to be defenders, while the NW guy just had to run straight like he was Rickon Stark “trying” to avoid being shot by an arrow. Spoilers, sorry.

That stutter step. Made the guy who wasn’t the kicker look like a kicker.
Sources tell me this was Wisconsin’s first kickoff return for a touchdown since 2015, which is pathetic and also exciting. Going forward, as long as Cruickshank is returning kicks for Wisconsin, we’ll get to hear every broadcast refer to him as “dangerous,” a “weapon,” and a “real threat back there” even if he never advances a kick past the 30 again. What a time!

Honorable Mention - Special Teams Players of the Week: Week 12

Chris Bergin - LB - Northwestern Wildcats
85-yard field goal block return touchdown! Nothing more need be said.

Collin Larsh - K - Wisconsin Badgers
3/3 FGs, 31 long, 4/4 XPs. Back to back weeks with a kicker! B1G B1G B1G. Non-Wisconsin fans won’t fully appreciate how miraculous this statline is.

Quinn Nordin - K - Michigan State Wolverines
3/3 FGs, 49 long; 5/5 XPs. Effing Michigan State. It wasn’t enough for you to let just one Michigan player into these awards. Retire already, Dantonio.

OTE’s Offensive Play of the Week: Week 12

As the saying goes, the best offense is letting the other team’s offense get into the red zone and blocking the field goal attempt and returning it for a TD.

OTE’s Defensive Play of the Week: Week 12

Didn’t result in a turnover, and may not have been as impactful as his one-man show at the end of the 4th quarter, but this is just an absurd clip of Epenesa.

Rondale’s Corner Tanner Time

25/36 for 368 yards and a touchdown, and it turns out Tanner Morgan might actually be good! Or at least he’s a picture-perfect game manager, making all the correct decisions and letting all three of his Randy Mosses make plays. But also his team lost the game. Don’t know if you heard.

Programming Note: Rumor has it Rondale Moore might be back soon, so this will revert to a love letter to him and we can go back to ignoring Zach Annexstad’s backup.

Jammin’ with Jonathan

35 carries for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jonathan Taylor has now played Nebraska three times in his career and has rushed for 200+ yards each time. Hopefully NFL defenses will be similarly porous for him. Oh and he set the record for most career yards by a junior running back, besting Herschel Walker. You know, in case you didn’t hear them say so 1,000 times on the broadcast.


I am

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Rooting for Indiana to win by 30
    (45 votes)
  • 4%
    Rooting for Indiana to win by 60
    (17 votes)
  • 63%
    Rooting for Indiana to win by 100
    (222 votes)
  • 19%
    A bad person
    (68 votes)
352 votes total Vote Now