Every week during the season, we'll give you our picks of players to watch in the upcoming weekend. It could be a breakout guy, someone lined up for a big performance or one in a pivotal role.
Watch for these players in Week 6:
Brian Bennett: Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Jackson has been a man on fire of late. He leads the Big Ten in rushing, and in his past two games, against Iowa and Michigan State, he has carried the ball a combined 60 times for 359 yards and three touchdowns. Indiana has actually been pretty decent against the run, or at least a lot better than recent Hoosiers defenses have fared. Still, Jackson has a hot hand and is Northwestern's workhorse. He should continue to put up big numbers.
Josh Moyer: Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis
With Penn State's offensive line a little banged up -- offensive tackle Andrew Nelson will miss the rest of the season -- the Buckeyes' defensive line could be in for a big day. Against Michigan, Penn State's offensive line surrendered six sacks and 13 tackles for loss. And Lewis has proven to be a difference-maker for these Buckeyes. He paces the team with four sacks and two forced fumbles, and he's second on the team with 5.5 stops in the backfield. The odds are good that he'll find his way in the backfield again; don't be surprised to see him force a turnover Saturday night.
Dan Murphy: Maryland CB Will Likely
The Terps' three-way threat has yet to register his first interception of the season or break loose on a punt return. He has been used sparingly on offense so far. There's a decent chance that one of those things change this weekend against Michigan State. The Spartans have struggled on special teams. Likely is crafty enough to bait a throw to one of Michigan State's young receivers if he finds himself lined up across from them. The senior is third on the team with 32 tackles, but this weekend is a good chance for him to make a splash elsewhere in the box score.
Jesse Temple: Nebraska RB Terrell Newby
Newby has been excellent the past two games, rushing for at least 100 yards in victories against Illinois and Indiana. He also has scored three of his four rushing touchdowns in that span. Purdue ranks last in the Big Ten in run defense, allowing 264.3 yards per game. Plus, the Boilermakers are in disarray after firing head coach Darrell Hazell this week. Newby is averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and if he gets at least 20 carries, as he has the last two weeks, expect a big performance.
Austin Ward: Minnesota RB Rodney Smith
Whether quarterback Mitch Leidner is able to return from a concussion this week, Smith again figures to have a heavy workload in a Minnesota offense that leads with its ground game. And with Rutgers struggling mightily to slow down opposing rushers, the talented tailback is probably in line to top the season-high mark he established just last week when he racked up 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns with Leidner unavailable for the win at Maryland. The redshirt sophomore is averaging more than 5 yards per carry this season, and he should expect to get the football plenty against the Scarlet Knights and a rush defense that has been gashed for 264 yards per game.
Last week's picks:
Bennett: Maryland RB Ty Johnson -- five carries for 23 yards vs. Minnesota
Moyer: Rutgers RB Robert Martin -- 16 carries for 97 yards vs. Illinois
Murphy: Illinois RB Reggie Corbin -- 8 carries for 90 yards vs. Rutgers
Ward: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett -- Completed 17 of 29 passes for 226 yards with one touchdown and one interception and ran 21 times for 92 yards and two scores vs. Wisconsin