Ranking the top 10 players in the Big Ten entering Week 13: A bunch of tough guys, but here's the kicker!
While Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim and Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell staged a strongman competition in Minneapolis and Nick Herbig got a little too rough in Lincoln, Jake Moody was displaying a different kind of toughness at the Big House.
Moody showed off his mental toughness with a 4-for-4 day kicking field goals, the final one pushing Michigan past visiting Illinois 19-17 and into a top-3 showdown of unbeatens Saturday at Ohio State.
In Minnesota, Ibrahim posted a career-best rushing day, but Campbell forced a fumble and had an interception as his Hawkeyes took control of the B1G West race with a 13-10 victory.
Herbig, meanwhile, got ejected for targeting and had to watch Wisconsin’s late comeback at Nebraska. He’ll also miss the first half of Saturday’s visit from Ibrahim and the Golden Gophers, so we’re giving his spot on our top 10 list to Moody. No offense to the B1G leader in sacks and TFL, but you can’t affect the game from the sideline.
Plus, we needed the spot for Michigan’s inappropriately named kicker. He should be Jake Steady. Or Jake Clutch. Or some such.
As it stands, Moody is 1 of 5 Wolverines or Buckeyes to grace our top 10 players list, which seems right considering The Game features a pair of 11-0 teams. (Badgers fans *wink*, let’s just secretly agree that Herbig can return here after halftime. We’ll make room. The B1G hasn’t been limited to 10 since 1993, so why should we be.)
10. Jake Moody, K, Michigan
Moody made (at least) 4 field goals without a miss for the 3rd time in 5 games, including a game-winning 35-yarder in the final seconds of a 19-17 victory vs. Illinois.
Including a 5-for-5 day vs. Michigan State, Moody is now 25-of-30 (83.3%) on the season and 65-of-79 (82.3%) for a career spanning 5 seasons with the Wolverines. With his game-winner Saturday, the 6-1, 210-pound Moody passed Garrett Rivas as the program’s most prolific field goal kicker. He’s never missed an extra point in college, hitting 135 straight. He’s 24 points shy of Rivas’s record of 354.
The defending Lou Groza Award winner should have a strong shot to earn the honor again. The announcement is set for Dec. 5.
9. Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue
The transfer from Iowa added team-high totals of 6 catches and 46 yards to his B1G-leading totals (93 for 1,056 yards), including a 15-yarder for his 11th TD of the season (tied with Marvin Harrison Jr. for the B1G lead).
At least some NFL talent evaluators think he’s the real deal, not just a product of Jeff Brohm’s pass-happy system.
8. Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa
DeJean couldn’t match his previous week’s monster game — when he had a pick-6, a 41-yard punt return and 10 tackles — but he did make 7 solo stops including a TFL in a ground war against Minnesota.
The 6-1, 210-pound sophomore now has 67 tackles to go along with 4 interceptions and 2 TDs on the year.
7. Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Michigan
The grad transfer from Virginia helped Blake Corum top 100 rushing yards in the first half against a strong Illinois defense, and led a line that didn’t allow a single sack in a hard-fought 19-17 victory.
While other Wolverines linemen have been in and out of the lineout, Oluwatimi has played in all 11 games to extend his career streak to 46 starts. Michigan ranks No. 4 in the country in rushing offense and has only given up 12 sacks in 11 games.
6. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
The 6-4, 205-pound sophomore snared 5 passes for 68 yards against Maryland, a slow day by his recent standards. But there was this latest circus catch:
Here's your weekly ridiculous catch by Marvin Harrison Jr. pic.twitter.com/e4p0H41zdP
— CleBuckeye (@CleBuckeye23) November 21, 2022
He eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards on the season, joining Purdue’s Charlie Jones as the only B1G players to have hit the mark so far this season.
5. Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
In the fourth quarter against Minnesota, Campbell forced a fumble in the red zone to stop the Gophers from taking the lead, then intercepted a pass and returned it 30 yards to set up the winning field goal.
The 6-5, 246-pound middle linebacker also made a team-high 10 tackles, and now leads the B1G with 110, including 36 during Iowa’s 4-game winning streak.
4. Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
Brown showed no ill effects from an apparent leg injury the week before, rushing for 140 yards and 2 TDs in a 19-17 loss to Michigan. He added 24 receiving yards, making 3 receptions for the 2nd straight week.
The 5-11, 205-pound junior still leads the nation in rushing attempts (309) and yards (1,582), and is 115 yards from tying the school single-season yardage record heading into Saturday’s game at Northwestern.
3. Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
Ibrahim ran into the teeth of the Iowa defense 39 times and came out of it with a career-best 263 yards, his 5th career 200-yard game and 19th straight 100-yard game.
The carries were not a career-high, as PJ Fleck had him tote the rock 41 times 2 years ago against Maryland.
The 6th-year senior has sacrificed his body for Fleck and the good of the program, and now holds the school record for career rushing yards (4,527). He has nothing left to prove and deserves a rest, but odds are he’ll be back out there for the season finale Saturday at Wisconsin.
2. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
Corum posted his 8th straight game with over 100 rushing yards and added 39 yards on 2 receptions before exiting with an injury. In other words, he was on pace for 284 yards from scrimmage against Illinois’ stout defense before missing all but 2 snaps of the second half.
Let’s hope the 5-8, 210-pound junior can return to face off against Ohio State on Saturday. Michigan, and The Game, won’t be the same without him.
1. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Stroud threw his 35th TD pass of the season — tied for the national lead — against Maryland, but otherwise didn’t have a great game by his standards. He went 18-of-30 for 241 yards in a 43-30 victory. He’ll get to make another Heisman statement Saturday against Michigan.
The 3rd-year sophomore has 79 TD throws over the past 2 seasons, which is unprecedented in the Big Ten and ranks top 5 in college football history. Colt Brennan threw for 96 TDs for Hawaii spanning 2006-07. Graham Harrell of Texas Tech ranks 2nd in the category with 93 from 2007-08.