Saturday, October 3, 2009
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 5
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
It's time to recognize the best and the brightest from Week 5 in the Big Ten:
Wisconsin RB John Clay -- Stop the running back rotation. Clay proved against Minnesota why he should be Wisconsin's featured back. The sophomore had 32 carries for 184 yards and three touchdowns as Wisconsin overpowered the Gophers to retain Paul Bunyan's Axe.
Wisconsin DE O'Brien Schofield -- The senior co-captain has played at an All-Big Ten level throughout the season, and he turned in another huge performance against Minnesota. Schofield recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble on Gophers quarterback Adam Weber that sealed the Badgers' 31-28 victory.
Penn State's offensive line -- It deserved the blame last week, and it deserves the credit this week. I could give stickers to quarterback Daryll Clark or running backs Stephfon Green and Evan Royster, but the line did the dirty work and Penn State racked up a whopping 338 rushing yards against Illinois. It seems like the new-look line is finally starting to jell.
Northwestern's special-teams units -- I've given this group a lot of heat over the years, but it really stepped up in the win at Purdue. Kicker Stefan Demos went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, and safeties Brian Peters and David Arnold both forced fumbles on kickoff returns that led to Wildcats points.
Michigan State LBs Eric Gordon and Greg Jones -- The Spartans' front seven shut down the Big Ten's top scoring offense, and Gordon and Jones led the way. They combined for 16 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Michigan State held Michigan to only 28 rushing yards in its huge home victory.