Finally, the nonconference games are over. Let the real season begin!
It was an interesting mix over the past three weeks for the Big Ten. Some teams were smart and opted to schedule cupcake teams to beat up. Others opted for opponents with more standing, and the results were mixed. While the main portion of the season is yet to be played, we’ve already seen the emergence of some new stars, and the reinforcement of a returning batch of Big Ten leaders.
It can be hard to whittle down the list to only five with so many fantastic performances from the past week of play. Just because your favorite player didn’t make the list, it does not mean they weren’t incredible. There were just other great candidates.
Here are five Big Ten superstars that made massive statements in their Week 3 matchups.
C.J. Stroud, Quarterback Ohio State
Sep 16, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, United States; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) passes during the Toledo game. Mandatory Credit: Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch
Another week in C.J. Stroud’s mounting Heisman case. The junior quarterback has been immaculate through three games this year, with 11 touchdowns to pair with no interceptions. He didn’t put up lofty numbers against Notre Dame in Week One, but has looked like his old self over the past week.
Unfortunately for Toledo, Stroud made a statement this past week. Five touchdowns and 367 yards on only 27 throws, that’s pretty amazing. The Ohio State quarterback was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
Ji'Ayir Brown, Safety Penn State
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
The senior safety did a little bit of everything for the Nittany Lions in their 41-12 win over Auburn. He tallied five tackles (four solo), a sack, a forced fumble and an interception in the victory. Brown was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
Mo Ibrahim, Running Back Minnesota
Sep 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) celebrates a touchdown against the Colorado Buffaloes during the second quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
If anyone doubted that Mo Ibrahim could return to form after a season ending injury, they sure look foolish through three weeks. Ibrahim is tied for second in Big Ten rushing yards with Nebraska’s Anthony Grant, who it should be noted has played an extra game over Ibrahim. He is tied for the conference lead in rushing touchdowns with seven.
It was another masterful performance for the senior back against Colorado, earning the fourth 200-yard performance of his career. He also found the end zone three times.
Charlie Jones, Wide Receiver Purdue
Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver Charlie Jones (15) catches a pass for a touchdown during the NCAA football game against the Indiana State Sycamores, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue won 56-0.
Raise your hand if you had Charlie Jones leading the Big Ten in virtually every receiving metric through three weeks?
The former Iowa receiver and kick return specialist now leads the conference in receptions (32), receiving yards (474), and receiving touchdowns (5). He has more than 100 yards more than Marvin Harrison Jr. in second place.
He had his best game yet against Syracuse, racking up 188 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches.
Abdul Carter, Linebacker Penn State
Auburn quarterback Robby Ashford (9) is sacked by Penn State linebacker Abdul Carter (11) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
How does Penn State just keep churning out these animals on defense? Freshman Abdul Carter played a pivotal role in Penn State’s blowout win over the Tigers, doing a little bit of everything. Carter led the Nittany Lions with six solo tackles. He also added a sack, a forced fumble, as well as a pass deflection.
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