Week 10 B1G Game Balls
There are ho-hum ways to earn a game ball.
A guy can make 15 tackles, get a couple sacks and have a career day leading his team to a win. That’ll earn a spot here on a weekly basis.
Then there’s what Brandon Reilly did.
He pulled off the unthinkable when the Huskers needed him to come up with a play to salvage their lost season. It doesn’t matter if that play shouldn’t have counted. It happened and Reilly earned himself a place in Nebraska lore because of it.
But he wasn’t the only B1G star to come up huge on Saturday.
Here are the Week 10 B1G Game Balls:
Jack Mitchell, Northwestern K — The first dramatic finish of the day came when Northwestern found itself in a do-or-die situation and it had to rely on a guy that missed two field goals and an extra point. So what did Mitchell do? He stepped up and drilled the game-winner to give Northwestern a quality victory over Penn State. It’s like I always say, you’re only as good as your last kick.
Illinois running backs — The Illini was desperate for a shot in the arm. That’s exactly what it got from the return of Josh Ferguson. He and Ke’Shawn Vaughn combined for a whopping 313 rushing yards and 64 receiving yards in a rout of Purdue. Considering the Illinois offense had just four touchdowns since Ferguson went down in the B1G opener, a 48-point outburst was quite the showing, even if it was Purdue.
Josey Jewell, Iowa LB — So remember how I was talking about that guy who had 15 tackles and had a career day? That was Jewell, and he was everywhere. He broke up a pair of passes against Nate Sudfeld on a day that he never looked comfortable. Jewell’s presence helped Iowa contain the most potent offense it’s faced all season.
C.J. Beathard, Iowa QB — If you’re tired of me saying that Beathard is gritty, look away. But that was exactly what he was on Saturday yet again. Despite the fact that he was hobbled with a groin injury, he gave his body up to get into the end zone. If not for George Kittle’s heave into the end zone later, Beathard would’ve had the dive of the day.
Chris Wormley, Michigan DL — The Wolverine defensive lineman stepped up and harassed Chris Laviano all afternoon. He had two sacks on a day that Michigan allowed just 97 passing yards. It wasn’t necessarily the dominant performance we saw from the Wolverine defense in September, but it was still an impressive showing from Wormley and Co.
Jake Rudock, Michigan QB — So I questioned whether or not Rudock was going to look like himself on Saturday after that nasty hit he took against Minnesota last week. Instead, he looked better. A career-high 337 yards saw Rudock deliver touchdown passes to Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson. He would’ve had a third if Jabrill Peppers was a yard ahead. Rudock also flashed some toughness with a diving touchdown to put the exclamation point on Michigan’s best offensive output of the year.
Tanner McEvoy, Wisconsin S — For the second straight week, McEvoy pulled off an impressive feat. He picked off both Maryland quarterbacks that entered Saturday’s game to preserve Wisconsin’s fifth straight B1G win. He even made a 12-yard catch. We didn’t, however, see a Tannercat touchdown, but let’s not get picky.
Vonn Bell, Ohio State S — The biggest momentum shift of the day for Ohio State came when Bell picked off Mitch Leidner and returned it for a touchdown. Joshua Perry’s hit forced Leidner into a rushed throw and Bell capitalized when the Buckeyes needed life. In addition to that, he led Ohio State with 10 tackles. Not a bad day’s work.
Brandon Reilly, Nebraska WR — Last, but certainly not least was the hero of the day. Tommy Armstrong trusted the Husker wideout to make a play and — legal or not — that’s exactly what Reilly did. In a year to forget for the program, that moment won’t be lost on anyone in Lincoln anytime soon.