Recognizing the best and brightest from a dark day for most of the Big Ten:
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: Miller pretty much is the Ohio State offense right now, and the sophomore had his second straight big game to start the year. He accounted for 296 total yards and all four Buckeyes touchdowns in a 31-16 win over UCF. Miller rushed for 141 yards and three scores on 27 carries and completed 18 of 24 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown, with one interception.
MarQueis Gray, QB, Minnesota: The senior had his first career four-touchdown day in a 44-7 win over New Hampshire. Gray ran 17 times for 109 yards and two scores, including a 75-yard touchdown. He only attempted eight passes but completed six of them, including two touchdowns, as the Gophers enjoyed a rare rout at home.
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan: The Wolverines had 422 yards against Air Force. Robinson put up 426 (a couple of kneel downs account for the discrepancy). It was the Shoelace show once again in Ann Arbor as Robinson ran for 218 yards on 20 carries, including touchdown runs of 79 and 58 yards. He also completed 14-of-25 passes for 208 yards and two scores, with an interception. Michigan needed every bit of it in a 31-25 win.
Northwestern's defense: It's not often around here we get to say that the Wildcats' defense won a game, but that's what happened in the 23-13 victory over Vanderbilt. After the Commodores scored a touchdown on their opening drive, Northwestern allowed only two field goals the rest of the way and finally held on to a lead. Venric Mark (24 rushes, 123 yards and a score) had another strong game, too. But for yielding just 318 yards, causing two turnovers and finally being a strength instead of a weakness, the 'Cats D gets a collective sticker.
Andrew Maxwell, QB, Michigan State: Bouncing back from a shaky starting debut against Boise State, the Spartans junior connected on 20-of-31 passes for 275 yards and two scores, with no interceptions, in a 41-7 blowout of Central Michigan. The development of Maxwell and the passing game remains the biggest key for Michigan State's season, so it was good for them to see Maxwell and receiver Bennie Fowler (eight catches, 99 yards, touchdown) have big days.