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Big Ten Players of the Week: Week 4

One Big Ten team cleaned up this week’s awards, and your first guess is wrong

Instead of the STPOTW, we’re going with Bachie this week, because we’ve got a middle school picture!

I’m watching The Matrix as I finish up this article, and I just got to the part where Morpheus is explaining how the Machines use humans as batteries. I never noticed before, but he says something about how much energy humans generate in a lifetime and says “that energy, combined with a form of fusion, gave the Machines all the power they needed.” I’m sorry, but “combined with a form of fusion” is the entirety of the movie’s explanation as to how humans are crops now? Lame. At least put some nonsense math formulas on a notecard or board or something, like in The Saint or I.Q..

We’ve got quite a few music lovers/music nerds in our Big Ten fandom, right? Here are a couple of my very favorite Internet music videos for your consideration.

I can’t fathom how much planning and practicing it takes to get the pitches right, but I will never not find this video funny.

The skiing physics make no sense, it’s not even close to the appropriate season for this song, but the music is terrific and the video is mesmerizing.

Like many of the players in this year’s POTW awards, this is a throwback to a superstar from 2018. It’s catchy, the video is absurdist hilarity, and the song will get stuck in your head for days. You’re welcome, MNW’s wife!

We’re finally back in basically full-on conference play, which means the performances are generally less statistically outlandish, and my casual box score surfing for winners and nominees takes half as long as usual. It looks like Ohio State and Jonathan Taylor are going to fill a lot of spots this season, but today’s awards have a surprise dominant force: The Illinois Fighting Illini. One award winner and three honorable mentions suggest they may have blown it just a little bit in their loss to Nebraska this week.

Offensive Player of the Week: Justin Fields

Quarterback - Ohio State Buckeyes hosting Miami(OH) RedHawks

14/21 passing, 223 yds, 4 TDs; 9 carries, 36 yds, 2 TDs

Pretty excited to find this ready-made Future Star card in a pack of College Football Trading Cards

That photo of Justin Fields rules. It reminds me of those Topps or Upper Deck baseball cards that would be super glossy and bright and say like “Future All Star” on the front and be a photo of some minor leaguer who probably was not, in fact, a future all star. Fields seems like he’s one of the few whose trading card lived up to its promise.

Fields accounted for six TDs against Miami(Ohio) this pass weekend, and he somehow did it without accumulating other gaudy stats. This has been a trend for him this season, where he’ll earn a bunch of TDs but be 12/16 passing with 110 yards and 25 rush yards. Does OSU really run the ball a lot this year? Are they getting turnovers in opposing territory a lot, or returning punts and kicks really well?

I assume it’s none of those things. I assume Fields tends to end most of his drives with a touchdown, OSU builds up a huge lead, and he’s taken out for the rest of the game after scoring 5 touchdowns on 7 possessions, or something along those lines.

Honorable Mention - Offensive Player of the Week: Week 4

Wan’dale Robinson - WR - Nebraska Cornhuskers
8 receptions, 79 yds, 2 TDs; 19 carries, 89 yds, 1 TDs. Rapidly turning into my second favorite player whose first name ends with “dale,” Robinson had the most Rondale Moore-esque game of any Big Ten players this year, including Moore! 3 total TDs, almost 10 yards per catch and 4-ish per carry. Should be a good player.

Reggie Corbin - RB - Illinois Fighting Illini
20 carries, 134 yards, 1 TD. An Illinois player! And he’s on the offensive side of the ball!!!! I’m sure Thump will disapprove, but there’s really not much arguing with Corbin as one of the top offensive players of Week 4.

Peyton Ramsey - QB - Indiana Hoosiers
23/27 passing, 247 yards, 3 TDs. When Penix can’t get up for the game, Peyton steps in. Ramsey picked apart UConn all day long. It’s UConn, sure, but it’s still not easy to have a 75% completion rate with nearly 10 ypa.

Defensive Player of the Week: Joe Bachie

LB - Michigan State Spartans at Northwestern Wildcats
12 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 2 passes defended, 1 QB hurry, 1 interception

Joe Bachie had your typical 12/2/1/2/1/1 line, making sure every box on the stat line had something written in it. Even more impressively, his effort helped shut down the reigning B1G West Champion’s we-told-you-it-was-actually-really-terrible-since-last-year offense. Bachie and his defense are really, really good. Probably the best in the conference. Northwestern’s offense might be the worst in the conference. Is the point I’m making.

I went looking for Bachie’s high school recruiting photos, as one does on a Monday night, and discovered that he had an impressive feature written about him in The Athletic (I guess “on” The Athletic, technically) recently and it included this awesome photo of Middle School Football Player Joe Bachie. Honestly the awesome JC Penny photo studio—remember those?—backdrop might be the best part.

Honorable Mention Defensive Players of the Week: Week 4

Cam Jones - LB - Indiana Hoosiers
4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD, 1 INT, 44 yds, 1 TD. I wanted to put Cam first because of that touchdown, but (1) It was in a blowout, (2) against UConn, and (3) Bachie did it in a conference game against a top 100 offense.

Greg Newsome II - DB - Northwestern Wildcats
2 tackles, 4 PD. Four passes defended seems like a lot! Since I’ve been casually skimming defensive box scores the past year and four weeks, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy with more than two. Decent chance I wasn’t paying attention though.

Jake Hansen / Oluwole Betiku, Jr. - LB / DE - Illinois Fighting Illini
17 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack, 2 fum rec. Negative plays and positive defense outcomes were...rare for Illinois this past Saturday, but these guys managed six between them. Plus this takes the number of Illinois awards appearances to an absurd level.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Blake Hayes

Punter - Illinois Fighting Illini hosting Nebraska Cornhuskers
8 punts, 46.0 avg, 59 long, 5 inside 20

Blake Hayes had a day almost as good as Adam Korsack’s from two weeks ago. Hayes punted a ton, had a great average, a good longest punt, and a 63% inside-the-20 rate. Through four weeks of 2019 football, Hayes is certainly the frontrunner for 1st-team All Big Ten and for Special Teams Player of the Year. Also, I award the latter, so there’s a good chance I’ll be proven right on this one.

Also, big thanks to Australian Husker for providing the following Blake Hayes-related commentary last week:

As far as the kicky statement goes
It depends on what state/territory you live in. New South Wales and Queensland the favoured kicky thing is Rugby League, everywhere else it’s Aussie (pronounced “Ozzy”) rules. I can’t speak for other high schools, but mine had a class picture done for the graduating class.

In the AFL (Australian Football League), I follow the Geelong (pronounced with a soft “G”) Cats

I would say that that is one of the many thousands of amateur local clubs around the country. If I knew which state the photo was taken in I could pinpoint the club.

There you have it! Some words about Aussie Rules Football by possibly our most helpful and nicest commentor ever. And you know it’s authentic because favoured was spelled with a u.

(Beez note: Hayes is the FOURTH Illini player to get a mention or award this week)

Honorable Mention Special Teams Players of the Week: Week 4

Will Hart - P - Michigan Wolverines
5 punts, 51.0 avg, 61 long. I don’t remember anyone in the Wisconsin game hitting a 61-yard punt, but it may have come after Wisconsin was already up 28-0 and I had sorta stopped paying attention.

Jake Hartbarger - P - Michigan State Spartans
6 punts, 47.0 avg, 55 long. Is there an aspect of MSU’s game against Northwestern that didn’t go well for MSU? No punts inside the 20, but I assume that’s because MSU’s offense was an unstoppable juggernaut once it cross the 50, or MSU’s punt coverage team was being lazy.

Adam Korsack - P - Rutgers Scarlet Knights
5 punts, 44.2 avg, 54 long, 5 inside 20. The best punter on the planet landed all five of his punts inside the 20 yard line. Lol.

OTE’s Offensive Play of the Week: Week 4

Nebraska may have another good skill player on offense.

Bonus Offensive POTW (courtesy of “loyal” “reader” luckynewman13):

I don’t see how the ball didn’t touch the ground initially, but if it’s on the internet it has to be true.

OTE’s Defensive Play of the Week: Week 4

Watch number 92 (Matt Henningsen) on this play. This very large man (who has a large man TD this year!) falls down early in the play, gets right back up, and chases down the running back who has a head start and is already moving away from Henningsen. It looks like the two Michigan blockers opted not to care at all about the two LBs closing in, so Charbonnet likely gets tackled anyway, but it’s still impressive. Plus this jif was easily find-able.

Rondale’s Corner

On a bye!

Jammin’ with Jonathan

23 carries, 203 yards, 2 TDs.
Should he have won OTE POTW? Maybe, but he gets his own spot right before the most important and most read portion of the column: the Poll.
Taylor looks really good so far this year, and everyone who wakes up by noon local time got to see at least a little bit of Taylor dominating the defense formerly known as Possibly The Best In Football. That 3rd place Heisman finish is basically a lock at this point—Only question is whether Fields will sneak into 2nd or finish 4th.

After this Saturday, there will be one fewer 0-conference-win Big Ten team, as Rutgers and Michigan meet...somewhere. Technically one has to win.



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