5 players with most on the line this week in the B1G
1. Shea Patterson, Michigan quarterback
When you’re supposed to be the savior and you open your Michigan career with a loss — to an arch-rival like Notre Dame, no less — there will be plenty of eyes on Shea Patterson this week to see how he bounces back. His numbers weren’t bad — 20 of 30 passing for 227 yards but no touchdowns — and he played okay even though he was under extreme pressure all night. But it still wasn’t enough.
Playing Western Michigan at home is much different from playing at Notre Dame in primetime, so Patterson should have more time to throw. He should have a big day. He better.
2. David Blough, Purdue quarterback (we think)
After losing the opener at home to Northwestern last week, the quarterback spot at Purdue is up for battle again. Elijah Sindelar threw three early picks and David Blough played well off the bench. Purdue coach Joeff Brohm hasn’t committed to a starter yet for Saturday’s game with Eastern Michigan. Each will play a quarter, then the coaches will decide who gets the call again at halftime.
“Both had a good week of practice. They both understand the importance of doing the small things.” Brohm said. “Both guys deserve an opportunity to play and we’ll go that route and hopefully, both will play well. That’s the goal – for both quarterbacks to play well and to make the decision tough on me. If that happens, I’ll be happy.”
3. LJ Scott, Michigan State running back
Last week, Arizona State’s defense had 9 sacks and allowed just 2 rushing yards. That was Texas-San Antonio and not Michigan State, but it’s still impressive nonetheless.
The Spartans’ offensive line will have to be better and running back LJ Scott has to break a few runs when he gets a chance. Scott had 23 carries for 84 yards last week, and getting over 100 will help the Spartans avoid an upset in the desert.
4. Trace McSorley, Penn State quarterback
When you’re playing a rivalry game on the road, it’s critical to avoid turnovers and make big plays when they present themselves. That’s Trace McSorley’s edict for Saturday’s game at Pitt.
McSorley, the Big Ten’s most experienced quarterback, will have to handle the hostile environment well and put up plenty of points to keep the pressure off Penn State’s defense, which is still finding its way.
5. Parker Hesse, Iowa defensive end
Speaking of rivalry games, Iowa has a big one with Iowa State. Hesse, a senior, has never lost to Iowa State and his fellow seniors want to leave without a loss.
Where Iowa has its biggest edge in this game is with Hesse and the defensive line against Iowa State’s young offensive line. In a game like this, they need to show that domination to guarantee a victory. Watch for a big game out of him.