In a wacky, upset-filled Saturday in college football, six Big Ten players stood above all others at their respective positions last weekend, according to Pro Football Focus.
A half dozen players from the conference were named Tuesday to PFF’s Week 11 Team of the Week. The team, comprised of the top players at each position across college football based on PFF’s grading system, included Northwestern OT Eric Olson, Penn State C Brian Gaia, Indiana OG Jacob Bailey and S Tony Fields, as well as DTs Kevin Maurice (Nebraska) and Steven Richardson (Minnesota).
The Big Ten stood out most on the offensive line. That includes Penn State’s Gaia, who anchored a banged-up Nittany Lion front in their 45-31 win at Indiana. Said PFF:
“Penn State’s season seems to have turned around in lockstep with Gaia’s who put together his fourth straight strong game and he’s making his first Team of the Week appearance. He was strong at the point of attack in the run game, making a number of key blocks and losing few while surrendering only one pressure on the day.”
On the defensive side, Maurice and Richardson had dominating interior performances in the same game. Here’s how PFF broke their performances down:
“It was another disruptive performance for Maurice who picked up two QB hits and two hurries on only 27 rushes while playing outstanding run defense with the nation’s top grade of 90.9 this week. Richardson played on the other side and played similarly strong run defense at 87.0 while adding five hurries as a rusher.”