Penn State and Michigan had the big stage, while Illinois and Minnesota played a game that will go a long way in determining things in the Big Ten West. There were other interesting things happening around the conference. Here are some superlatives.
Best Win of the Week: Illinois
After an inexplicable early season loss at Indiana, Illinois has worked itself to the front of the Big Ten West pack and into the Top 25. On Saturday, BERT’s Illini hit bowl eligbility with a critical 26-14 win against Minnesota. Tommy DeVito was questionable entering the game, but the quarterback played and passed for 252 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Chase Brown carried 41 times for 180 yards and the Illini defense continues to impress.
Worst Loss of the Week: Penn State
Offensive Player of the Week: Michigan Offensive Line
Speaking of the Wolverines, we absolutely are giving them their due. Their offensive line dominated the trenches, allowing life to be easy for Michigan’s running back duo of Blake Corum (166 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Donovan Edwards (173 yards, 2 touchdowns). J.J. McCarthy was sacked just once and not pressured often enough as he accounted for about 200 yards of offense himself. The Wolverines have a clear path, and one that should be easily controlled, to being unbeaten when they head to Columbus to close the regular season.
Michigan’s offensive line is rolling pic.twitter.com/lCnHcwjKNM— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) October 15, 2022
Defensive Player of the Week: Illinois Secondary
Back to the Illini, they forced Minnesota into three interceptions. Kendall Smith, Jartavius Martin, and Sydney Brown each had an interception apiece. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s quarterbacks combined to throw for just 38 yards.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Brad Robbins, Michigan
He got dressed. He stretched. He warmed up. Then, he got to hang out on the sidelines with a front row seat to the biggest game of the day.
Most Big Ten Moment of the Week: Purdue’s Band
For your halftime entertainment - look to the field and see Indiana’s agriculture college honoring farmers. Happy Harvest season everybody! Purdue won the big farm battle against Nebraska, too, keeping the Boilermakers in the hunt for a division title.
Most Iowa Moment of the Week: Curtis Jacobs interception return
With Iowa off this week, there were some Iowa vibes working for Penn State in Ann Arbor. While being completely manhandled on the field, the Lions suddenly found themselves in the lead thanks to the kind of play that usually haunts Iowa opponents.
AND JUST LIKE THAT PENN STATE TAKES THE LEAD!— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 15, 2022
Offensive Play of the Week: Jayden Reed walk-off touchdown
Sparty got its first conference win thanks to this impressive grab in overtime against Wisconsin.
Jayden Reed with an OT walk off. He’s a dude — 9-117-1, huge effort to get Michigan State a W pic.twitter.com/xxgPkqLIX2— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) October 15, 2022
Defensive Play of the Week: Kendall Smith covers ground
We mentioned the Illinois interceptions earlier, here’s one where Kendall Smith covers a ton of ground.
Great ball skills here by Kendall Smith on this interception for Illinois— Marissa Myers (@Marissa_M27) October 15, 2022
Thing We Are Looking Forward to the Most: The sun turning into a red star
Or the White Out. About even odds at this point.