Week 6 B1G Game Balls
It might come off as weak.
Giving a game ball to multiple people might come off as the easy way out. Usually, I’d tend to agree with that logic.
But how can you watch Michigan’s defense and pick out ONE person to give a game ball to? If you do, you’re playing favorites. For the rest of us that just want to recognize complete performances, we’ll keep handing out game balls to all that are deserving.
So with that said, my first game ball goes to…
Michigan defense — Pick your favorite stat. Michigan became the first team in 20 years to record three straight shutouts. They hadn’t done that in 35 years. The Wolverines have held opposing offenses scoreless on their last 41 possessions. Bar none, this is the best defense in America. Get ready to hear that all week leading up to Michigan State.
Rafael Gaglianone, Wisconsin K — If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try a game-winner again. Then drill it, pull off a fat-kicker celebration and steal a huge road win for your team.
Jalen Myrick, Minnesota CB — After going three weeks without a takeaway Minnesota — specifically Myrick — took everything away. Myrick had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown starting in place of Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Myrick provided the spark the Gophers have been missing the last three weeks.
Shannon Brooks, Minnesota RB — Remember how we were wondering where Minnesota’s points were going to come by? The true freshman answered that question in convincing fashion. All he did was rush for 176 yards, including an impressive 71-yard score in which he broke about 25 Purdue tackles. The Gophers needed offensive life, and they got it from Brooks.
Jordan Canzeri, Iowa RB — Speaking of long touchdown runs, Canzeri ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run, which was the highlight of his 256-yard day. The third-highest total in Iowa history came without the presence of LeShun Daniels. Even if Daniels is able to come back healthy, it’s clear Canzeri is the guy.
Christian Hackenberg, Penn State QB — No Saquon Barkley, no Akeel Lynch, no problem. Hackenberg delivered for the Lions with four total touchdowns to rout Indiana, two of which came on the ground. Hackenberg wasn’t rattled by pressure, which he still saw plenty of on Saturday. Instead, he stepped up and made two of his best downfield throws of the year on his touchdowns. If they get Barkley back and Hackenberg plays like that against Ohio State, look out.
Connor Cook, Michigan State QB — Michigan State is hanging on by a thread because of its countless injuries. Cook is one of the few holding that thread together. He came up with his best passing day of the season — minus an ugly interception at the end of the first half — to prevent Rutgers’ upset bid. He couldn’t have done that without some help from Aaron Burbridge, Macgarrett Kings and R.J. Shelton.
Leonte Carroo, Rutgers WR — Wow, did the Scarlet Knights miss Carroo or what? He shook off his suspension rust in a hurry and promptly hauled in two first-half touchdown passes to give the Scarlet Knights a halftime lead. Then he delivered another one in the third quarter to give him his second three-touchdown game of the season. He reminded us all why he’s the most dangerous player every time he steps on to the field.
Ohio State quarterbacks — Urban Meyer deserves some praise. He had three quarterbacks competing for one spot four months ago. On Saturday, all three shined in a convincing Buckeye win. Cardale Jones made deep throws look easy. J.T. Barrett served as Meyer’s Tim Tebow 2.0 and became the red-zone specialist. Even better Braxton Miller finally got involved in the offense again. Meyer might’ve finally found a way to maximize his talent.