Rutgers wins! Rutgers wins! Rutgers wins! Head coach Chris Ash picked up his first career Big Ten victory as the Scarlet Knights downed the Illinois Fighting Illini. Excuse me, a Rutgers win is one we don’t get to experience too often, on top of the fact that the Scarlet Knights truly looked good in the win. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, the scores were rather close. Wisconsin was held scoreless in the last two quarters of their duel with Purdue when a late interception cemented their undefeated status. Michigan was able to survive its bout with Indiana as the two teams went to overtime. Michigan State traveled to Minnesota to also survive a close one, while Ohio State and Northwestern picked up wins as well. During a week where the stat sheets were stuffed, it’s been tougher choosing who’s deserving of player of the week. I’d like you guys to let me know if you disagree with anyone who made this list, because there were plenty of players worthy. With that said, let’s get on to it, here’s your Big Ten Players of the Week.
Rutgers Rushing Attack
Gus Edwards forced four missed tackles for Rutgers on Saturday against Illinois.
Hear me out, there were a ton of individual performances against rather tougher competition but we have to give the Scarlet Knights some credit here. Offensive coordinator Jerry Kill often gets flack for questionable play calling, usually when he isn’t sticking to one aspect of the offense that’s working. Well, he silenced the critics this week, as the rushing attack stampeded for 274 yards and a whopping five touchdowns against the Illini. The running game accounted for all the Scarlet Knights’ scoring as four different running backs scored touchdowns. Miami graduate transfer Gus Edwards led the way, rushing for 91 yards and two scores. Raheem Blackshear, Josh Hicks, and Robert Martin accounted for the other scores.
Karan Higdon RB Junior Michigan
Talk about putting a team on your back; Karan Higdon did just that. The junior running back accounted for all of the Wolverine touchdowns in what was one of one of the more defensive games in the conference this week. The Florida native found gashes in the Indiana defense averaging a whopping 8 yards per carry. Jim Harbaugh made sure Higdon was fell fed, handing him the ball 25 times on his way to a 200-yard and three touchdown game. Higdon’s longest run of the day came on a 59-yard scamper through an airplane sized gap in the middle of the Indiana defense. In the midst of a mid-season quarterback controversy, look for the Wolverines to continue to rely on the run game when necessary.
Justin Jackson RB Senior Northwestern
Justin Jackson is now Northwestern's all-time rushing leader. Quote tweet this with why YOU are a fan of #TheBallcarrier. #B1GCats pic.twitter.com/dh4r8Rw1dt
— #B1GCats Football (@NUFBFamily) October 14, 2017
Sticking to the ground game here there were a few different routes I considered before making this selection. It was between Justin Jackson and Michigan State running back L.J. Scott, as both exceeded170 rushing yards and two scores. However, the latter lost a fumble during his outing so I figured it was enough of a deal breaker. Anyway, Jackson looked magnificent in the Wildcats win over Maryland on Saturday. The senior running back averaged a little over six yards per carry on his way to 171 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson found pay dirt from five and 21 yards out on the day. This was all also in route to breaking Northwestern’s all-time record for career rushing yards. Jackson currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rushing.
D.J. Moore WR Junior Maryland
Now usually I like to stick with players of teams who won games, but the game D.J. Moore had in wake of defeat to Northwestern is one that I cannot let go unnoticed. Let me get straight to it here, the junior receiver hauled in 12 receptions for 210 yards and two scores on the day. Moore accounted for well over half of the Terps’ total yardage as the offense was funneled through the Big Ten leader in receiving. The junior showed ample ability to make plays after the catch, as was seen when he took a screen pass 52-yards for a score. It was a rather awful day on the ground for Maryland and standout back Ty Johnson, but Northwestern had no answer for Moore.
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