Sunday, September 26, 2010
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 4
By Adam Rittenberg
It's time to recognize the best and the brightest around the Big Ten on Saturday. Again, I get only five of these and there were a ton of huge performances Saturday, so here are some tough choices.
Don't worry, guys like Ben Chappell, Nick Sukay, Kirk Cousins and Dan Persa will be recognized in Monday's review/preview.
QB Terrelle Pryor: Pryor did what great players are supposed to do against weak competition and kept himself very much in the Heisman Trophy race. The junior went 20-for-24 passing for 244 yards and four touchdowns against Eastern Michigan. He added 104 rush yards and a touchdown on seven carries and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass. Pryor can share part of the sticker with receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, who caught all four of those touchdown strikes and had 108 receiving yards.
Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi: Stanzi was once again The Manzi against Ball State, completing 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. His numbers would have been even better if not for several dropped passes. Stanzi has elevated his efficiency and decision-making this season, and he made a beautiful throw to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos on a 45-yard touchdown.
Michigan State LB Greg Jones: One of the Big Ten's best players can finally breathe a little easier after recording the first two interceptions of his career. Jones had done it all but pick off a pass, and he made pass coverage a priority in returning to East Lansing for his senior season. He recorded both interceptions in the first half against Northern Colorado, leading to Spartans scores, and added four tackles, a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries.
Penn State RB Evan Royster and Michigan QB Tate Forcier: The two men were slumping for different reasons, but both turned in breakout performances Saturday. Royster rushed for 187 yards on 26 carries, including a 50-yard burst on Penn State's first play from scrimmage against Temple. Forcier, who had to reprove himself to coach Rich Rodriguez, saw his first action of the season against Bowling Green and completed all 12 of his pass attempts for 110 yards and a touchdown. Forcier became only the third FBS player since 2004 to complete all of his passes with a minimum of 10 attempts.
Wisconsin RB James White: Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell isn't the only standout freshman running back in the Big Ten. White continued to impress Saturday with 145 rushing yards and four touchdowns on only 11 carries against Austin Peay. He added a reception and two kickoff returns to finish with 200 all-purpose yards for the Badgers. It's also worth noting that Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien completed 15 of 17 passes for 217 yards and three scores.