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Big Ten Superlatives: Week 3

Standout running backs, records, popcorn, a pick six, and a couple strange finishes

Nevada v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Your superlatives are here from another week of Big Ten football and the focus will be big days from a few running backs. Meanwhile, well…there were some other things that happened, too.

Best Win of the Week: 41-12. You all watched it. Some of us, including this humble BSD writer did not envision Penn State exiting Jordan-Hare Stadium with a win, certainly not a win like we saw Saturday. It brought back memories of Maryland in 2019 or Pittsburgh in 2018. More than that, it was just sweet to kick back and watch our guys out physical, out run, and just completely outclass an SEC Unit.

Offensive Performance of the Week: I didn’t mention Nick Singleton last week and that’s totally because I was saving him for today, right? That’s it, sure. I took some lighthearted grief (I think) for my interview over with the Auburn site. In that, I mentioned that it was hard to envision Singleton being a breakout star in such a big game so early in his career. Again, it’s never felt so good to be so wrong. Toughness, we saw it. Vision, you can check that off. Burst and speed, the guy has it in droves. Several years ago, Matt Millen spent an entire second half raving about Saquon Barkley in a primetime win against Rutgers. Hearing an SEC crew sing the praises of our star freshman sure beat that. The final stats: 10 carries, 124 yards, two touchdowns, comparisons to Bo and Herschel.

Offensive Performance of the Week, Part 2: It was running back week in the Big Ten. While we are homers and want only to talk about Singleton. Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim had him a day, too. Ibrahim had 203 yards and three touchdowns as Minnesota stayed unbeaten with an easy 49-7 win against a putrid Colorado team. It was Ibrahim’s school-record fourth 200 yard game of his career and he is now tied for the all-time Minnesota record for rushing touchdowns.

Offensive Performance of the Week, Part 3: One more running back deserves to be mentioned for an impressive Week 3 performance. Michigan has survived a murderer’s row of home games (Colorado State, Hawaii, and UConn) to open the year thanks in large part to running back Blake Corum. Yesterday, in their 59-0 escape against the Huskies, Corum tied a Michigan football record with five touchdowns.

Worst Loss of the Week, Part 1: Sparty, you ruined all the good things we had going. The Big Ten East had seven unbeaten teams entering Saturday. Now, there are six. Former Indiana Hoosier Michael Penix, Jr. threw for nearly 400 yards and Washington crushed Michigan State in a Saturday night primetime spot.

Worst Loss of the Week, Part 2: Keeping an eye on a former opponent, Purdue had chance after chance to separate themselves in the first half at the Carrier JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday. Instead, a brutal Aiden O’Connell interception saw the Boilers down two scores late. No worries. AOC and Chuck Sizzle helped rally Purdue to a lead in the closing seconds. But the meltdown was epic. A pair of unsportsmanlike penalties and Purdue kicked off from the shadow of its own goal line and Syracuse won in the closing seconds. Seriously, the Big Ten West is something can check the scores, but we’ll refrain from mentioning them.

Defensive Play of the Week: Only two Big Ten teams came away with road wins on the week. Have we mentioned yet that Penn State gave Auburn its worst loss at Jordan-Hare since 1982? Did you guys like that? Well, Rutgers moved to 3-0 with a thrilling (?) 16-14 win at Temple. Greg Schiano’s now the program’s all-time winningest coach. His defense kept chopping wood and came up with this critical Pick 6 to turn momentum.

Most Big Ten Play of the Week: Indiana got to 3-0 by rallying for an overtime win against Western Kentucky. The play that you need to see was this thrilling Hail Mary pass at the end of the second quarter.

Most Iowa thing of the Week: I woke up on the couch somewhere in the middle of the night. Iowa, who had actually scored some points, was still on the TV. I assumed it was already a Big Ten replay. It wasn’t. It was still the game live. Kinnick is a weird place and after some long lightning delays, Iowa fans munched on garbage bags of popcorn, dogs were in the bleachers, and somehow it just all made sense.

Things We Are Looking Forward to the Most: There are a few conference games sprinkled in next week. The one that has the most intrigue as we continue to sort things out: Minnesota travels to East Lansing. We mentioned Sparty. Can they rally? Meanwhile, how good is Minnesota? They’re the lone unbeaten from the West, while Michigan State is the only team from the East who has been beaten. Let’s see what happens.