B1G Players of the Week

Offensive Co-Players of the Week

Devin Gardner, Michigan

Jr., QB, Detroit, Mich./Inkster

· Became only the sixth player in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 2000 to throw for 300 yards, pass for three touchdowns and rush for three scores in Michigan’s 42-17 victory over Iowa on Saturday

· Was 18-for-23 with 314 yards passing and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 37 yards and three more scores in the victory

· Is the first Michigan player to account for six touchdowns since Steve Smith also had three passing and three rushing scores in 1983

· Wins his second Big Ten Player of the Week honor in as many weeks

· Last Michigan Offensive Player of the Week: Devin Gardner (Nov. 12, 2012)

Matt McGloin, Penn State

Sr., QB, Scranton, Pa./West Scranton

· Finished just four yards shy of the PSU passing yards record, totaling a career-best 395 yards and tying a career high with four touchdowns in a 45-22 win over Indiana

· Completed 22 of 32 passing attempts, a 68.8 completion percentage, with all four of his touchdown tosses coming in the first half

· Became the program’s single-season leader with 251 completions and 3,071 passing yards and is now the career leader with 45 touchdown passes

· Wins his second career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award and first this season

· Last Penn State Offensive Player of the Week: Matt McGloin (Sept. 26, 2011)

Defensive Player of the Week

John Simon, Ohio State

Sr., DL, Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney

· Totaled six tackles, including a program-record four sacks, in a 21-14 overtime victory against Wisconsin on Saturday

· The four sacks is the most by a Big Ten player since Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan had four on Nov. 13, 2010 against Michigan

· Ranks as the conference leader with nine sacks and is tied with teammate Ryan Shazier with 14.5 tackles for loss this season

· Wins his second career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award and first this season

· Last Ohio State Defensive Player of the Week: Ryan Shazier (Nov. 5, 2012)

Special Teams Player of the Week

Corey Brown, Ohio State

Jr., PR, Upper Darby, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara

· Scored the first touchdown of the game against Wisconsin, returning a punt 68 yards for a touchdown to give OSU a 7-0 first-quarter lead

· Averaged 23 yards per punt return on three attempts in a 21-14 overtime win over the Badgers

· Wins his second Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week award

· Last Ohio State Special Teams Player of the Week: Corey Brown (Oct. 8, 2012)

Co-Freshman of the Week

James Ross III, Michigan

LB, Orchard Lake, Mich./Saint Mary’s Prep

· Led the Wolverine defense with a career-high 12 tackles in their 42-17 victory over Iowa on Saturday

· Was part of a Michigan defense that held Iowa to 309 yards of offense, below its season average

· Claims his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award

· Last Michigan Freshman of the Week: Devin Funchess (Sept. 10, 2012)

Dan Vitale, Northwestern

SB, Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South

· Finished with a Northwestern season-best nine receptions for a career-best 110 yards in the Wildcats’ 23-20 road win against Michigan State

· Becomes the second Wildcat receiver to go over 100 yards receiving in a game this season

· Claims his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award

· Last Northwestern Freshman of the Week: Nick VanHoose (Oct. 15, 2012)

Grading The Performance: Ohio

Quarterback

Players at Michigan are ultimately judged by how they perform against Ohio. While all position groups have to deal with an added level of expectation against the Buckeyes, no position group endures more pressure than the QBs. QBs are judged above all else by their record and performance against Ohio. For much of the last decade Michigan fans have seen their QB’s outperformed by their Buckeye counterparts. Names like Krenzel, Smith, and Pryor have made more plays in the clutch and fewer critical mistakes than Wolverine QBs. Over the last decade Ohio QBs have outperformed Michigan’s QBs, until Saturday.

Denard Robinson rose to the occasion on Saturday and simply willed the Wolverines to victory. Every time the Buckeyes made a play to take the lead or tie the game, Denard came right back to make a play of his own. Denard performed at the highest of levels on the biggest of stages; became a legend in the process. During one stretch of the game, Robinson completed 11 straight passes and was the most accurate that he’s been this season. The most impressive part of Robinson’s performance, from a passing standpoint, was that he was the most accurate while making the most difficult throws. Denard threw a perfect 15 yd corner route to Drew Dileo that would have gone for a TD had Dileo stayed on his feet. Denard also hit Junior Hemingway on a perfect strike between a safety and a corner. Denard made the difficult throws look easy, something that seems truly amazing when you think back of the season. In addition, Denard showed a tremendous amount of patience before hitting Odoms for a TD. There were no back foot, chuck the ball up for grabs plays, the kind that have gotten Denard into trouble all season. Denard was dialed in from the first snap and amazing enough continued to elevate his level of play throughout the game.

On the ground, Denard ran harder and with more decisiveness than he has since arriving at Michigan. There was only one play where Denard hesitated instead of making up his mind and taking off. Denard burned Nebraska last week with his scrambling ability and he did the same to the Buckeyes this week. Anytime Ohio vacated its LBs from the middle of the field, Denard took off which was great to see. Denard also did a great job on the zone read, an area that he has struggled with his whole career. Denard was determined not to let Michigan lose and he ran like it.

The only imperfections on the day for Denard Robinson were the two balls he put on the ground. On the first play Robinson was ruled down. On the second, Ohio got the ball in Michigan territory and scored a few plays later.

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