Week 10 B1G Game Balls: Standouts galore in statement wins
No, we didn’t get any monumental upsets.
Sure, Illinois beating Michigan State was an upset, but it was a pair of two-win teams. There were no stunners in the B1G on Saturday. Instead, there were some emphatic statements made.
Here were the best of the bunch worthy of Week 10 B1G Game Balls:
Jeff George, Jr., Illinois QB — Not bad, rook. With Illinois trailing in the final two minutes, George engineered the go-ahead scoring drive to lock up his first win as a starter. George Jr. delivered both of his touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lift Illinois to its second B1G win of the season. Wes Lunt could be back soon, but the freshman is getting valuable experience.
Wilton Speight, Michigan QB — Week by week, the first-year starter looks like a seasoned veteran. He delivered about as good of a first half as possible. Not only did Speight set a career-high with 362 yards, he also set a Michigan record with 292 first-half yards. Remember when teams dared this guy to throw the ball deep? That might not be a good idea.
Delano Hill, Michigan DB — Hill might not have two easier interceptions than the ones he got against Maryland. He admitted they were both gifts, but that he’d gladly take them. Hill was at the center of another dominant defensive effort. Sooner or later, a B1G team is going to trade touchdowns with the Wolverines, right?
Rodney Smith, Minnesota RB — Without his partner in crime, Shannon Brooks, Smith was just fine. The Minnesota tailback blew past Purdue’s subpar run defense all afternoon and fueled the Gophers’ fourth-straight win. That also marked Smith’s fourth-straight 100-yard game with a touchdown. Minnesota will see tougher run defenses down the stretch, but it’s hard not to like the body of work Smith put together in nine games.
Jazz Peavy, Wisconsin WR — Jabrill Peppers rightfully dominates the Mr. Versatility award, but there’s a guy in Madison who can do a bunch of things, too. On Saturday, Peavy ripped off a 46-yard touchdown run on an end around — nobody in the B1G runs those better — and added 73 receiving yards. He also returned a punt 24 yards. Peavy might not finish the season with All-B1G numbers for a receiver, but he certainly makes an All-B1G impact whenever he’s on the field.
Camion Patrick, Indiana WR — Patrick’s first career catch set the bar awfully high. How will he ever top this?
Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB — No big deal. Just another game in which Barkley finishes with 200-plus yards from scrimmage. He’s only done that three of the last four games. Oh, and he caught the longest pass for a Penn State tailback in seven years. Forget Leonard Fournette. It’s time for Barkley to get some Heisman Trophy consideration.
Jason Cabinda, Penn State LB — Was that LaVar Arrington? It wasn’t? Are you sure? Cabinda came up with the stuff of the day and stymied any notion that Iowa would go back and forth with the Lions. The linebacker has been a Godsend for PSU in his return. It’s no coincidence that the Lions are winners of five straight and playing their best ball of the James Franklin era.
Curtis Samuel, Ohio State H-back — Urban Meyer knew that Samuel hadn’t been getting enough touches. He made sure that wouldn’t be the case on Saturday night. The dynamic H-back racked up 178 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 touches in a blowout win. Simply put, Meyer won’t be skimping on Samuel’s carries anytime soon.
Damon Webb, Ohio State DB — More than anything the Buckeyes needed an early turnover. Webb, with the help of Raekwon McMillan picked off Tommy Armstrong’s first pass of the game. He set the tone for OSU’s get-right game. We didn’t know OSU would get THAT right, but Webb’s pick might’ve served as the turning point for the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff run.