Recognizing the best and the brightest from Week 8 in the Big Ten:
Wisconsin RBs James White and Montee Ball: Ball was slowed by an ankle injury early, so the Badgers' "other" star tailback took up the slack. White had a career day, rushing 15 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns and masterminding the Wildcat in Wisconsin's 38-13 win over Minnesota. Then Ball got going late, too, finishing with 24 carries for 166 yards and two scores of his own. Must be nice to have that kind of backfield depth.
Ohio State QB Kenny Guiton: When Braxton Miller went down at the end of the third quarter against Purdue, the Buckeyes were in big trouble. They looked like they were toast when they trailed 22-14 with a minute left. But Guiton led the amazing comeback, first with a 39-yard pass to Devin Smith and then with a 2-yard touchdown throw to Chris Fields. Guiton also hit Jeff Heurman for the two point conversion to tie the score with three seconds remaining. The Buckeyes went on to win 29-22 in overtime, and Guiton joined Ohio State lore in the process. He may have to play a lot more going forward, if the Miller injury is as serious as it looked.
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez: Little came easy for Martinez and the Huskers at Northwestern, but the junior stepped up in the clutch, leading two touchdown drives in the final eight minutes as Nebraska rallied for a 29-28 win. Martinez completed 27 of 39 passes for 342 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He added 65 rush yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, recording his second big game against Northwestern (this time, in a win).
Michigan kickers Brendan Gibbons and Matt Wile: Remember when Michigan's kicking game was the worst in the Big Ten? Feels like a long time ago. The Wolverines needed their kickers to be perfect in a 12-10 win against rival Michigan State. Wile hit a 48-yarder on his first collegiate attempt in the second quarter, while Gibbons went 3-for-3 on his tries, including the game-winner from 38 yards out with five seconds left. Brunette girls are smiling all over Ann Arbor again.
Penn State QB Matt McGloin: McGloin's magical senior season continued with a terrific night in Iowa City. McGloin ran Bill O'Brien's offense crisply and efficiently, finishing 26-of-38 for 289 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions, in the Nittany Lions' 38-14 win.
Penn State's defense: A rare sixth sticker goes out to the Nittany Lions' 'D,' which nearly pitched a shutout in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes didn't score an offensive point until the final five minutes and finished with just 191 yards (20 rushing). Jordan Hill, Michael Mauti and others had big games, but the entire defense played great.