This Week in the Big Ten

Indiana's Cody Zeller was named the Preseason Player of the Year this past week.

Oct. 14, 2012

[ONE // iowa and michigan impress in legends division; badgers do the same in leaders]
Iowa and Michigan both earned wins Saturday to move to 2-0 in the Legends Division, while Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin also posted victories to keep pace in the Leaders Division.  With Ohio State (3-0) and Penn State (2-0) ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game, Wisconsin (2-1) has distanced itself from fellow division foes Purdue (0-2), Illinois (0-3) and Indiana (0-3).  The Badgers earned an impressive 38-14 win over Purdue with 467 yards on the ground and 645 markers in all.  OSU survived a scare in Bloomington as the Buckeyes held on for a 52-49 victory over the Hoosiers.  In the Legends Division, Iowa rallied to beat Michigan State 19-16 in double overtime, while Michigan blanked Illinois 45-0 and Northwestern spoiled Minnesota’s Homecoming with a 21-13 victory in Minneapolis.

[TWO // michigan man the manning man]
Michigan's Denard Robinson was named a Manning Award "Star of the Week" for his performance at Purdue two weeks ago and was then named this past Thursday as the Manning Award Player of the Week. Robinson earned the most-ever votes to claim his first win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest. The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native racked up 8,269 votes, far surpassing the previous record for highest votes which was 2,808.  Robinson's 235 yards on the ground against the Boilermakers made him the Big Ten's all-time rushing leader among quarterbacks with a total of 3,905. This number also marked the second-most rushing yards in a single game by a Big Ten quarterback, short of his own record of 258 yards at Notre Dame Sept. 11, 2010. The senior quarterback also passed for 105 yards and one score as the Wolverines rolled to a 44-13 victory over Purdue.

[THREE // buckeyes bring in national honors]
This past week, two Ohio State football standouts were honored by national award organizations as defensive end John Simon was named the Chuck Bednarik Award National Player of the Week and Lott IMPACT Player of the Week, while quarterback Braxton Miller was named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week.  In the Buckeyes’ 63-38 win over No. 21 Nebraska, Simon had seven tackles, including a school record-tying five tackles for loss, totaling 24 yards. He also recorded two quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.  Miller posted 186 rushing yards and 127 passing yards in the win against the Huskers to earn the national weekly award.

[FOUR // big ten pair earns recognition from hornung award]
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Northwestern's Venric Mark were two of four student-athletes named to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll this past week, which honors versatile, single-game performances throughout the season by players nationwide. Mark earned his third honor this season (also after the first and second weeks), while Abdullah was honored for the second time this year (also after the fifth week). The Paul Hornung Award is earned annually by the most versatile player in major college football.  Nebraska's Abdullah posted seven carries for 28 yards and two touchdowns, one catch for eight yards, two punt returns for 49 yards and eight kickoff returns for 128 yards in a loss at Ohio State. Northwestern's Mark registered 13 carries for 72 yards and one touchdown, two catches for six yards, two kickoff returns for 36 yards and a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Wildcats lost at Penn State.

[FIVE // preseason honors roll in for big ten men’s basketball]
Big Ten players dominate the preseason All-America teams, led by Indiana's Cody Zeller, who is the site's pick for Preseason Player of the Year. Zeller also landed on the preseason All-America first team this past Tuesday, while Michigan's Trey Burke is on the second team and Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe and Ohio State's Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas earn third-team accolades.  The Hoosiers' incoming Yogi Ferrell is on the site's All-Freshman second team.  In addition, 14 Big Ten players landed on the list of top 100 players in the country, including five conference picks among the top 15.

[SIX // penn state moves to 8-0 in volleyball standings]
Penn State captured two road wins, including one over No. 17 Purdue this past week, to remain perfect in Big Ten volleyball standings at 8-0.  The top-ranked Nittany Lions own a one-game lead over No. 3 Nebraska, which blanked Wisconsin on Friday and 10th-ranked Minnesota 3-1 on Sunday.  The loss dropped the Golden Gophers to third place at 6-2, while Purdue and No. 19 Ohio State sit tied for fourth at 5-3.  After falling to Penn State on Friday, the Boilermakers responded by defeating the Buckeyes 3-1 on Saturday.

[SEVEN // hoosiers and wildcats pace men’s soccer contingent]
Indiana (3-0) and Northwestern (3-0) sit atop the Big Ten men’s soccer standings after the Wildcats blanked Ohio state 1-0 on Sunday to pull into the first-place tie.  Penn State is 2-1-1 in conference play following a 2-1 victory over Michigan State on Sunday.  Elsewhere in the conference, Wisconsin defeated Michigan 2-1 Saturday to share fifth place with the Spartans at 1-2-0, just a half-game behind Michigan in fourth at 1-2-1.

[EIGHT // penn state holds slim women’s soccer lead]
Penn State women’s soccer team holds a slim lead in the Big Ten standings at 8-0-0 over a Michigan squad that is 7-0-1 in conference play this year.  Both the fourth-ranked Nittany Lions and the No. 21 Wolverines went unbeaten this past week with Penn State blanking Nebraska 4-0 on Friday and defeating Iowa 2-1 on Sunday.  Michigan shut out Purdue 2-0 in its lone conference match of the week.  Ohio State sits third overall at 5-2-1, following a 4-1 victory against Iowa and a 4-0 result versus Nebraska.

[NINE // three-way tie at the top]
With No. 7 Penn State’s 5-1 victory over 11th-ranked Iowa on Sunday, the Nittany Lions, Hawkeyes and Northwestern now sit atop the conference field hockey standings at 3-1.  Michigan and Michigan State are tied for fourth at 2-2, while Ohio State (1-3) and Indiana (0-4) round out the conference.  The 16th-ranked Wolverines earned their first two league wins this past week with a 3-2 victory over No. 19 Michigan State on Friday and a 3-1 results over 18th-ranked Ohio State on Sunday.  For a complete look at the week that was in Big Ten field hockey, click here.

[TEN // wolverine women impress at pre-nationals]
The Michigan women’s cross country team finished third in a 38-team field at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday.  All five U-M scorers finished in the top 40 in a field of 265 runners, led by senior Jillian Smith, who placed 10th. Smith clocked a career-best 6,000-meter time of 20:13.7 to pace the Wolverines to the finish line. Illinois placed 17th overall, led by Courtney Yaeger in 48th at 21:00.5.  On the men’s side, Iowa’s Nick Holmes crossed the line 81st in 24:18.6 to help the Hawkeyes to a 33rd-place finish.

[ELEVEN // big ten women’s golf battles in three major tournaments]
Ten conference women’s golf teams were in action this past week in three tournaments, including Michigan and Michigan State at the Tar Heel Invitational, Penn State and Purdue at the Mercedes Benz Championship, and Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin at the Hoosier Fall Invitational.  Penn State won its second straight tournament by pulling away on day three to win the Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate. The Nittany Lions carded a third round total of 287, lowering their team score each day to finish the tournament with a total of 3-over-par 867. Purdue senior Paula Reto won the individual medal with a five-under par 211, helping the No. 9/16 Purdue women's golf team to a third place finish. The Boilermakers posted a 288 in the final round for a three-round total of 872.  Indiana had a two-stroke lead over Wisconsin when the scorecards were turned in following the final round at the Hoosier Fall Invitational, but Marissa DeCola was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, giving the Badgers a two-stroke victory. Wisconsin tallied a 302 to finish at 894, followed by Minnesota (904), Missouri (910) and Boston College (922).  In North Carolina, Michigan State (302-298-300—900) finished 10th while Michigan (319-304-324—947) was 18th

[TWELVE // three teams compete in men’s golf action]
Finally this week, Iowa and Northwestern concluded play Sunday at the Rod Myers Invitational, with the Hawkeyes carding a fifth-place showing at 873 (288-295-290).  The Wildcats finished tied for eighth in the 11-team field at 885 (297-296-292).  Iowa had three players within the top-20 of the leaderboard, led by junior Steven Ihm’s 10th-place finish at 216 (71-74-71), the top result of any B1G golfer.  Elsewhere, Penn State finished 10th out of 13 teams at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club. The Nittany Lions shot their best round on day three, scoring a 289 to make their final tally an 879 after 54 holes of play.  Sophomore Jens Talbert shot a career-low round of 69 today, ending at 1-under-par 215 (73-73-69) to tie for 11th.