As the dust settles after week 11 in the Big Ten, everything happened the way it should have. Penn State got back on track after two straight losses in their rout of Rutgers. Minnesota poured it on Nebraska, rushing for 400+ yards and six scores during the win. Indiana ended a three-game losing skid by defeating Lovie Smith and Illinois. Michigan and Northwestern both moved to 5-2 in conference play in wins over Maryland and Purdue, respectively. Ohio State bounced back by blowing out Michigan State, who couldn’t manage to find the end zone in a loss to the Buckeyes. Wisconsin turned in their most impressive win of the year when they took down Iowa. With the win over the Hawkeyes, the Badgers secured their place in the Big Ten title game on December 2. It’ll be interesting to see where they stand in the college football playoff, as two of the top four teams lost over the weekend. With all that in mind let’s take a deeper look at this week’s matchups to see who performed well enough to be named Big Ten Players of the Week.
J.T. Barrett Senior QB Ohio State
Talk about bouncing back; Ohio State destroyed Michigan State to rebound from an embarrassing week 10 loss at the hands of Iowa. During that contest, the Buckeye offense was non-existent, including J.T. Barrett, who was a Heisman candidate at the time. We couldn’t say the same this week as the senior quarterback lead the Buckeyes to the 45-point blowout over the Spartans. Barrett completed 14 of 21 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 55 yards and two touchdowns. The Buckeyes pounded the ball on the ground (we’ll get to that later), both of Barrett’s rushing touchdowns coming from about five yards out. Look for Barrett to keep it up, as the Buckeyes are the favorite to represent the east for the Big Ten conference championship game.
Joshua Jackson Junior DB Iowa
Iowa CB Joshua Jackson did all he could to try and stop the Badgers attack on Saturday – including two pick-6's on just 3 targets. pic.twitter.com/4l2yJcXkUi
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 12, 2017
If you didn’t know (quarterbacks surely don’t), Joshua Jackson is intercepting anything and everything thrown his way. Jackson was honorably mentioned last week when he picked off above mentioned J.T. Barrett a whopping three times in Iowa’s win over the Buckeyes. There was no denying naming the junior cornerback player of the week after netting another two interceptions which he returned for scores. The junior cornerback accounted for all of the Hawkeye scoring for the day. Jackson rounded his day out with three tackles, a forced fumble, and another pass defense. The man has been nothing short of a human highlight reel in the past few weeks, which leads me to believe that this isn’t the last we’ll see of him this year.
Mike Weber Sophomore RB Ohio State
Scale of 1-10:
Michigan State had one of the top run defenses in all of the Big Ten, well that was before they ran into the Buckeyes. Urban Meyer dug into his bag of running back trinkets to unleash a devastating rushing attack on the Spartans. Mike Weber had half the carries of starter J.K. Dobbins but was able to do more with the opportunities given to him. Weber exploded for a career-best 162-yards and two scores on just nine carries for a whopping 18 yards-per-carry average. The sophomore running backs first score came from 47-yards out to open scoring for the game, while his second came on an 82-yard untouched scamper. Weber and Dobbins, who had 124-yards on the day himself, will continue to split carries for this potent Ohio State offense.
Demry Croft Sophomore QB Minnesota
Don't worry, guys, @_TheRealDCroft_ has this one.
When I first looked at the Minnesota-Nebraska box score I surely thought that Demry Croft was a running back. To my surprise, after looking at the highlights of the game, it turned out Croft was actually the quarterback of the Golden Gophers. Croft finished the day completed nine of 15 passes for 105 yards, but clearly did most of his damage on the ground. The sophomore quarterback rushed for 183 yards and three scores on just 10 carries. His longest run on the day came from 73 yards out on a read-option play. Croft faked a hand-off and put a move on a Nebraska defender that brought him to his knees before breaking away to the end zone. What’s even more impressive is that Croft isn’t the only Minnesota player to rush for three scores as running back Kobe McCrary also found pay dirt three times.
For all your collegiate and professional apparel needs, check out 365 Gameday.