Sunday, November 4, 2012
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 10
By Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett
Recognizing the best and the brightest from around the Big Ten in Week 10:
- Michigan QB Devin Gardner: After playing wide receiver for most of the season, Gardner moved back to his original position to replace the injured Denard Robinson at Minnesota. He had a rough first quarter that included an interception, but settled down nicely after keeping a play alive and firing a 45-yard touchdown strike to Drew Dileo. Michigan had failed to score a touchdown in nine quarters, but Gardner led consecutive touchdown drives of 91 and 90 yards in the first half. He finished the game 12-for-18 passing for 234 yards and two touchdowns, adding 21 rush yards and a touchdown in the 35-13 victory. Gardner showed that Michigan can win -- and score points -- without Robinson on the field. He also got a lot of help from receivers like Dileo, Jeremy Gallon and Roy Roundtree.
- Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez: It's very rare when a quarterback with three interceptions gets any sort of recognition here, but Martinez is an unusual player who can go from goat to hero in the blink of an eye. When Nebraska needed the junior Saturday at Michigan State, he stepped up in the clutch and led the Huskers to a come-from-behind 28-24 win that might seal the Legends division. Martinez completed just 16 of 36 passes for 160 yards with two touchdowns and the three picks, but he added 205 rush yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, including a 35-yard score in the fourth quarter. He made a great throw to Jamal Turner for the game-winning touchdown with six seconds to go.
- Indiana WR Cody Latimer and Indiana QB Cameron Coffman: The Hoosiers had just enough offense against Iowa, and the Coffman-Latimer connection was the biggest reason why. Latimer had an enormous game in a 24-21 win, snagging seven catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns. His 30-yard scoring grab in the fourth quarter gave Indiana a lead it would never relinquish. Latimer is quickly establishing himself as one of the Big Ten's top wideouts. Coffman also stepped up after a rough game at Illinois, completing 21 of 33 passes for 315 yards with the three touchdowns to Latimer and no interceptions.
- Penn State LB Gerald Hodges: After flying under the radar during non-league play, Hodges has taken his game to the next level in the Big Ten season. He was brilliant in Saturday's 34-9 win against Purdue, recording team highs in both tackles (8) and tackles for loss (3) as Penn State nearly kept Purdue out of the end zone and held the Boilers to 87 rush yards. Hodges added a pass breakup. Hodges has recorded at least eight tackles in four of five Big Ten games. Lions QB Matt McGloin and WR Brandon Moseby-Felder also merit mentions here.
- Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde: Braxton Miller gets most of the hype, but Hyde has been a terrific complement in the Buckeyes backfield. Hyde abused Illinois' defense Saturday for 137 rush yards and three touchdowns on only 18 carries, an average of 7.6 yards per attempt in the 52-22 victory. He has eclipsed 135 rush yards in three of his past five games and has scored multiple touchdowns in five of 10 games this season. Hyde leads the Big Ten in both touchdowns (14) and scoring (10.5 ppg).