Sunday, October 9, 2011
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 6
By Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg
Recognizing the best and the brightest from Week 6 in the Big Ten:
- Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase: It was another big week for Scheelhaase, who had four total touchdowns in a 41-20 win over Indiana. Scheelhaase passed for 210 yards and three scores (two of them on long plays to A.J. Jenkins). He also rushed for 88 yards, reaching the end zone on a naked bootleg run.
- Penn State's defense: No unit in the Big Ten has been more heroic this season than the Nittany Lions' D, which has repeatedly rescued an inefficient offense and overcome key personnel losses. Tom Bradley's group saved its best performance for Saturday against longtime nemesis Iowa, recording three second-half takeaways and holding the Hawkeyes to just three points in a game for the first time since 2005. Devon Still and Jordan Hill led the way up front, and Penn State also received big performances from linebacker Gerald Hodges and cornerback Malcolm Willis in the 13-3 victory.
- Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead: The Huskers wisely made Burkhead a bigger part of the offense against Ohio State, and it paid off during a furious second-half rally that resulted in a 34-27 win. Burkhead racked up 108 rush yards and a touchdown and 30 receiving yards and a touchdown after halftime as Nebraska mounted the biggest comeback in team history. The junior finished with 178 total yards and two scores. Quarterback Taylor Martinez and linebacker Lavonte David also merit mentions here.
- Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus: The Big Ten's sack leader caused more havoc in a 41-20 win against Indiana. He finished with three sacks and four total tackles for loss while forcing a pair of fumbles, one of which teammate Tavon Wilson returned for a touchdown.
- Michigan QB Denard Robinson: Sure, Robinson threw three interceptions in the first half. But he more than made up for it. Robinson threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 117 yards and two more scores in a 42-24 win at Northwestern.