Sunday, November 8, 2009
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 10
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
I'm limited to only five stickers, though there were many more exceptional performances this week.
- Northwestern's defense: A unit decimated by injuries all season did what it needed to do against an Iowa offense that lost quarterback Ricky Stanzi to an ankle injury. The Wildcats held Iowa to no points and 119 total yards after Stanzi's injury, and Iowa entered NU territory just once in the final three quarters. Corey Wootton's sack of Stanzi in the end zone might be the defining play for both teams down the stretch.
- Ohio State's defense: I'll repeat what I said before Saturday's game: Ohio State's defense is the single most dominant unit in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes own three shutouts this season, but arguably their best performance came Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Ohio State held Penn State to seven points and 201 total yards and completely flustered quarterback Daryll Clark (12-for-28 passing, INT).
- Illinois DE Clay Nurse: The Fighting Illini have turned around their season with defense, and Nurse headlined the effort today. He recorded a career-high four sacks, which ranks second on the team's all-time single-game list behind All-American Simeon Rice, who had five against Northwestern in 1994.
- Purdue QB Joey Elliott: Elliott rallied Purdue from a 24-10 halftime deficit and threw for a career high 367 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Boilers to their first win at Michigan since 1966. He completed 28 of 39 passes and added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
- Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins and RB Ashton Leggett: The backfield mates share a sticker after dominating Western Michigan in Saturday's win. Cousins was nearly perfect, completing 22 of 25 pass attempts for 353 yards and two touchdowns. Leggett raced 71 yards to the end zone on his first carry and added three more touchdowns for the Spartans.