Only two Big 10 teams remain undefeated, and a couple of teams had huge Conference wins on Saturday. Here are the top 5 players and stats at their respective positions on the offensive side of the ball.
1. Braxton Miller, Ohio State: Miller has led the Buckeyes to a 5-0 start, and he is ranked 9th nationaly in rushing yards. Miller has completed 76 passes, for 933 yards, and 8 touchdowns this season. He has done the most of his damage on the ground. He’s rushed 90 times for 577 yards, and 7 touchdowns.
2. Kain Colter, Northwestern: Colter has completed 66.2% of his passes this season. He has thrown just 2 touchdowns this season, but he has helped lead the Wildcats to a 5-0 record. Like Miller, Colter has done a lot of damage with his legs. He has rushed the ball 59 times for, 371 yards for 6 touchdowns this season.
3. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska: Martinez has had a far better year throwing the ball than he had in his previous two years. Martinez has completed 67.8% of his passes, just short of that 70% prediction he had at the beginning of the season. Martinez has 11 touchdown passes to just 1 interception. Martinez is getting back to his freshman form where he was one of the most dangerous runners in the country. He has rushed 40 times for 298 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Nebraska is 10-0 in games where Martinez completes more than 50% of his passes over 15 yards.
4. Robert Marve, Purdue: Marve has split reps with Caleb TerBash, but has been more then impressive. He has completed 4 touchdowns, 3 last week against Marshall. He has only thrown 1 interception on 56 attempts, but is completing 73.2% of his passes. Purdue is the first team in recent history who has succeed with rotating quarterback on offense.
5. Denard Robinson, Michigan: The preseason Heisman contender’s senior campaign has not been anything like he had planned. The Wolverines are 2-2 and have the 60th ranked offense in the country. Robinson is the leading rusher on the team, with 441 yards. No other Wolverine has more than 200 yards rushing on the season. Robinson is completing 54.5% of his passes, and has 2 more interceptions, 8, than touchdowns, 6. The season doesn’t get any easier this week as Robinson and company take on Marve and Purdue.
1. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State: Bell’s Heisman hopes have been halted four weeks into the season. The Spartans are 3-2, but Bell has been the workhorse for Mark Dantonio’s offense. The junior has rushed for 655 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He has gotten the job done through the air as well. He has 20 catches for 125 yards this season.
2. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska: In senior running back Rex Burkhead’s absence the sophomore has made his presence felt. He has 486 yards on 79 carries, 6.2 yards a carry. He has 100 yards receiving, on just 9 catches. He also has a score through the air. Abdullah is a true “do it all” back. He gets scores on the ground, through the air, and returns kicks for the Huskers.
3. Mark Weisman, Iowa: In a season where Iowa has been so limited at running back, a star has emerged. If there has been any bright light for the Hawkeyes in a rough 3-2 start to a season, it has been Weisman. The former fullback is the leading rusher with 515 yards, in basically 3 games. He had a combined 2 carries through the first two games. Weisman has rushed for over 100 yards in the 3 games he has started, including 217 yards in the loss to Central Michigan.
4. Montee Ball, Wisconsin: Despite being a Heisman finalist a year ago, Ball and his offensive line have struggled. The senior has rushed for 450 yards, and 6 touchdowns on 125 carries. The Badgers averaged 1.6 yards of rushing against Nebraska last week. Despite that, Ball still scored 2 touchdowns against the Huskers. Ball has not been very involved in the passing game. He has 7 catches all season, but had 0 against Nebraska.
5 Jordan Hall, Ohio State: Hall is averaging 5.5 yards a carry. He and Miller are the reason why the Buckeyes have the 21st ranked rushing attack in the country. Between he and Carlos Hyde splitting carries with Miller, Hall’s carries have been limited. But he has made the most of all 40 carries he has been given. Hall has racked up 218 yards, and 1 score.
1. Kenny Bell, Nebraska: Bell has been Taylor Martinez go to wide receiver this season. He is averaging 22 yards a catch. He has 15 receptions for 330 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He is a redshirt sophomore with all the upside in the world. He will continue to be the No.1 target for Martinez, and has All-Big 10 written all over him.
2. Ryan Lankford, Illinois: Lankford has been the top target for Nathan Scheelhaase, and Reilly O’Toole, the two Illini quarterbacks this season. Lankford is in the top 5 in catches in the Big 10 with 23 catches. He has racked up 347 yards, and 4 touchdowns for Illinois this season.
3. Antavian Edison, Purdue: Edison is one of the major reasons the Boilermakers are off to a 3-1 start. He has hauled in 24 catches, the 2nd most in the Conference. He is averaging, 11.9 yards receiving. The senior from Fort Meyers, FL. has has reached the end zone 5 times this season. Purdue has gotten Edison involved in the rushing game this season. He has 8 rushes for 17 yards. He rushed the ball 30 times last season.
4. Devin Gardner, Michigan: Denard Robinson has not had the senior season he had hopped for, but junior Devin Gardner has been his most dangerous target. The 6-foot-4 Detroit native has 11 receptions for 195 yards, and 3 touchdowns this season.
5. O.J. Ross, Purdue: Ross leads the Big 10 with 27 catches, for 236 yards. He has not reached the end zone yet this season, but it is only a matter of time till the Boilermakers most reliable target reaches the paint. He is only 5-foot-10, so not the biggest red zone target, but may have the strongest hands in the Conference.
1. Dion Sims, Michigan State: Sims leds all FBS tight ends in first down receptions, 17, 82% of Sim’s catches have either gone for a touchdown, or a first down. The 6-foot-5 junior has 24 receptions for 313 yards.
2. Kyler Reed, Nebraska: Still one of Taylor Martinez favorite targets. The Shawnee, KS. native has only hauled in two touchdown catches this season, but he seems to make the big plays when they count the most. He caught a 10 yard strike against Wisconsin to bring the game with in 3 points on Saturday. He has 11 catches total on the season, but will more than likely have double digit touchdown catches by the end of the season.
3. John Rabe, Minnesota: The Golden Gophers got off to a 4-0 start before coming up short against Iowa. The consistent thing in the first four games was Rabe. He hauled in 8 passes for 96 yards, and 3 touchdowns. In the loss to Iowa he had 1 catch for 8 yards, and no scores. If Minnesota wants to get back to winning, they need to get Rabe more involved in the game.
4. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State: Stoneburner has been shut out 2 weeks in a row. He did not record a catch against, Michigan State, or UAB. But he has been a force in the running game. Don’t expect the 6-foot-5 senior to go back to back games with out a catch again this season. Stoneburner has 7 catches, for 92 yards, and 3 touchdowns this season.
5. Kyle Carter, Penn State: The talented freshman has 19 catches for 235 yards, and 1 touchdown. He has developed into Lion’s quarterback Matt McGloin’s favorite targets. There have been few bright spots to the Penn State football season, but Carter has been one of them.
1. Ohio State: The Buckeyes have the No. 21st ranked rushing offense in the country. Braxton Miller has been responsible for most of those yards, but the front line for the Buckeyes have been very dominant through 5 games.
2. Nebraska: The Huskers are the 5th ranked rush team, and the 10th ranked scoring offense in the country. The offensive line has been very inconsistent though. They have allowed 8 sacks this season.
3. Michigan State: Michigan State’s offensive line has been very similar to Nebraska’s, they really haven’t established themselves, but have been explosive at times. Quarterback Andrew Maxwell has been sacked 6 times, but a lot of the time, that has been due to him hanging on to the ball for to long.
4. Northwestern: The Wildcats have the 9th ranked rushing offense in the country. They have given up 10 sacks this season, but a lot of that is due to how often the Northwestern quarterbacks scramble.
5. Michigan: The Wolverines have been efficient enough through 4 games to be the No. 60th ranked scoring offense in the country, and the No.48 rushing attack. Having Denard Robinson is obviously beneficial. Robinson has only been sacked 4 times this season. Which is impressive considering the defenses they have faced. Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is averaging 4.2 yards a carry. He only has 1 touchdown this season after coming back from suspension, but Michigan’s offensive line has improved every week, and so will Toussaint.
By Jimmie Allen
Contact the writer at [email protected]
Follow us on Twitter @Husker Corner
Become our friend on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HuskerCorner