Best Win of the Week: Rutgers 35, Virginia Tech 16
Look, while in BSD meme terms this would be categorized as an “elite” win, Virginia Tech clearly isn’t your father’s vintage. However, credit Rutgers with improving to 3-0 for a third straight season. In each of the past few seasons, a multi-game losing streak has followed. That’s unlikely with Wagner coming in Week 5. But first, the unbeaten Scarlet Knights, led by running back Kyle Monangai, head to Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Worst Loss of the Week: Washington 41, Michigan State 7
This one was never a contest. Less than a week removed from head coach Mel Tucker being suspended, Hesiman trophy candidate Michael Penix Jr. had the Huskies ahead 35-0 at the half in Spartan Stadium. It’s a contentious situation in East Lansing right now with Maryland and Iowa - a combined 6-0 currently - up next on the schedule.
Offensive Player of the Week: Heinrich Haarberg, Nebraska
The home-state redshirt freshman quarterback got his first appearance for the Huskers and helped Matt Rhule earn his first win as the head coach in Lincoln. Haarberg passed for 158 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 98 yards and a score on the ground, as Nebraska topped NIU 35-11.
Could watch these quick sidearm throws from Haarberg all day. Smooth. pic.twitter.com/3RpfoW5vlK— Steve Marik (@Steve_Marik) September 17, 2023
Defensive Player of the Week: Penn State’s Defense
My weekly homer pick. I couldn’t narrow it down to one player, but we will name a few from a group that had allowed only seven points when the game was still in doubt. While most of us are wringing our hands over the offense’s fits and starts, Manny Diaz’s defense delivered on Satuday in Champaign. The group effectively stymied Illinois’s running game, forced five turnovers (including four interceptions) and played with the swagger Penn State fans have been waiting to see. Special credit to Johnny Dixon and Daequan Hardy for knowing the Illini’s route tree better than the Illinois receivers.
Penn State defense steps up again— Micheal Bolger (@MichealBolger) September 16, 2023
This time it’s Johnny Dixon pic.twitter.com/AoIOrLGMRl
Offensive Play of the Week: Michigan Flea Flicker
Penn State scored on a trick play of its own on Saturday, but it didn’t have the degree of difficulty of this one from the Big House on Saturday night. It was a rough day overall for Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, but he got a little help from receiver Cornelius Johnson on this pitch and catch.
Defensive Play of the Week: Wisconsin interceptions
While the aforementioned Nittany Lions had four interceptions on Saturday, the Badgers did them one better. Here are those picks as Wisconsin bounced back with a 35-14 win in Madison.
Most Big Ten Thing of the Week: A close call at the pylon
Don’t get me started. But of course IU was stopped on fourth and goal a player later and a neutral field rally attempt against Louisville was denied.
Indiana QB Tayven Jackson couldn't stomach watching a replay of his dive at the goal line, on the fine line between disappointment and joy https://t.co/PZDLlCGLLp— The Herald-Times (@theheraldtimes) September 17, 2023
Most Big Ten West Thing of the Week: Down to One
North Carolina handled Minnesota on Saturday, meaning that there’s just one 3-0 team in the Big Ten West compared to five teams in the East that have that record. At the moment, teams in the East have a combined record of 18-3, while it’s 11-10 in the West.
Most Iowa Thing of the Week: Band Does Cool Stuff
This is awesome. Enjoy.
Thing We Are Looking Forward to the Most: Saturday night in Happy Valley