Claiming the honor as the B1G’s top offensive player is going to be a well-earned award this season.

Several candidates have surfaced into the mix. Some have been expected – like Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett – others have had surprising seasons – Northwestern’s Austin Carr. While the candidacy for several different players could be debated, one analyst already has his selection.

BTN’s Howard Griffith has already pegged Penn State’s Saquon Barkley as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year.

His reasoning? Griffith doesn’t believe there’s been a more explosive player in the B1G this season.

When you talk about a guy who’s had explosive play after explosive play, it almost seems like every time he gets the ball he can go off.

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Barkley leads the B1G in rushing this season, piling up 1,205 yards and 14 TDs on 216 carries this season. The sophomore back got off to a bit of a sluggish start through the first few weeks of the season, but ever since high-stepping his way for a game-winning touchdown against Minnesota, the back has blossomed into a different player.

In early October, Barkley rushed for 202 yards against Maryland, setting a career high. Two weeks later, he broke his own personal record, galloping for 207 yards against Purdue.

The Penn State back had an explosive freshman season, rushing for over 1,000 yards in his first season in Happy Valley.

Barkley still has one more week to boost his regular season stats as Penn State takes on Michigan State on Saturday. The performance of the back is important, as a Nittany Lion win and a Michigan loss would send PSU to the B1G title game for the first time.