Sunday, September 23, 2012
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 4
By Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett
Recognizing the best and the brightest from Week 4 around the Big Ten:
- Penn State QB Matt McGloin: The Lions senior has made obvious strides under new head coach Bill O'Brien, and he turned in his most impressive performance Saturday against Temple. McGloin completed 24 of 36 passes for a career-high 318 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He also added two rushing touchdowns and really got his tight ends involved as Penn State improved to 2-2.
- Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell: No Big Ten player has shouldered a bigger load than Bell in nonleague play, and the Spartans junior turned in another yeoman's performance Saturday against Eastern Michigan. Bell rushed for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries, accounting for 59.1 percent of his team's offensive production. The Spartans have their issues, but Bell isn't one of them. He soon could rejoin the Heisman Trophy race.
- Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis: Is Abbrederis the Badgers' most valuable offensive player? You can make the case after he returned from a concussion and had six catches for 147 yards and a touchdown in Wisconsin's win against UTEP. Abbrederis, who is terrific at stretching the defense, played a big role in sparking the Badgers' second-quarter offensive surge and gives young starting quarterback Joel Stave a proven target in the passing game.
- Minnesota's defense: The defensive turnaround by the Gophers in one year is simply stunning. Minnesota turned in a dominant effort in a 17-10 victory against a Syracuse team that had been averaging 32 points and was ranked third nationally in passing offense. The front four, led by the vastly improved Ra'Shede Hageman and D.L. Wilhite, came up with three sacks. The Gophers also picked off Ryan Nassib twice. Syracuse didn't score a touchdown until the final minute as Minnesota improved to 4-0.
- Iowa RB Mark Weisman: Weisman wasn't the reason the Hawkeyes were shocked by Central Michigan. We don't normally award stickers to players on losing teams, but the walk-on was brilliant while rushing 27 times for 217 yards and three touchdowns in a losing cause. At least Iowa has found a starting running back.