Ohio State Buckeyes: Helmet stickers 120113

Recognizing the best and the brightest around the Big Ten during rivalry weekend:
  • Iowa LBs James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens: The Hawkeyes' starting linebackers have played huge roles in the team's turnaround this season, and they showed why on Black Friday against Nebraska. They combined for seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and two sacks. Morris recorded his fourth interception of the season, Kirksey led the team with 11 tackles (3 for loss), and Hitchens had his first career pick. The three seniors have combined for 10 takeaways this season.
  • Michigan State LB Denicos Allen: He led the Spartans' defensive effort with 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries. He tracked down David Cobb from behind near the goal line to keep Minnesota out of the end zone early. Hat tips also go to Trae Waynes, who had his first two career interceptions, and Tyler Hoover, who forced a key fumble deep in the Spartans' red zone in the fourth quarter.
  • Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg: This was the best game of the season for the true freshman, as Wisconsin dared the Nittany Lions to pass. Hackenberg responded in a big way and finished 21-of-30 for 339 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He played a nearly flawless first half and helped engineer a huge upset over No. 15 Wisconsin. There's no need to wait until Monday; it's pretty clear he's the Big Ten freshman of the week.
  • Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde: In a tight game where Braxton Miller attempted just 15 passes, Urban Meyer leaned heavily on Hyde -- and Hyde didn't disappoint. He carried 27 times for 226 yards (8.4 ypc) and a touchdown. Although his fumble led to a Michigan score, the Buckeyes never would've found themselves in the red zone so often without him. Twenty of his carries went for at least 5 yards, and 10 went for at least 10 yards. He ran consistently hard.
  • Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian and WR Christian Jones: It's difficult to pick one over the other since they formed such a dangerous combination on Saturday. Siemian threw for 414 yards -- surpassing his previous season high by 138 yards -- and added four touchdowns. Jones was the main beneficiary as he caught a career-high 13 catches for 182 yards. That nearly doubled his previous career high of 94 yards. It was definitely a game to remember for those two, as the Wildcats finally came away with a Big Ten win.
  • Indiana QB Tre Roberson: It was a good day for Big Ten quarterbacks, and Roberson continued the trend. He didn't exactly play a tough opponent (Purdue), but his performance on the stat sheet was the most impressive. He tossed six touchdowns to two interceptions. And he added 273 passing yards to a game-high 154 rushing yards. The Hoosiers' uptempo offense went through Roberson, and he made the most of it.

Week 14 helmet stickers

December, 1, 2013
12/01/13
9:00
AM ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A closer look at the standouts in No. 3 Ohio State's thrilling, 42-41 victory over Michigan on Saturday afternoon at the Big House to wrap up a perfect regular season.

RB Carlos Hyde: The senior has been on an absolute tear throughout the Big Ten season, but he might have saved his most impressive outing for the rival Wolverines. Hyde relentlessly banged away between the tackles from start to finish as he averaged more than 8 yards an attempt on the way to 226 yards, continuing to build his case as one of the nation's top rushers. Even after one misstep with a crucial late fumble, Hyde bounced back for the go-ahead score with just more than two minutes left to cap another wildly productive performance.

[+] EnlargeJeremy Gallon
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesOhio State redshirt freshman Tyvis Powell makes one of his six tackles Saturday, bringing down Michigan's Jeremy Gallon.
DB Tyvis Powell: No matter what else the redshirt freshman does in his career, the play he made with The Game, a perfect record and BCS championship hopes hanging in the balance could be the lasting memory of his time with the Buckeyes when it's all over. Powell was one of the few players in Urban Meyer's first recruiting class who didn't play in 2012, but he clearly learned in practice and was a valuable part of the defense even before he stepped in front of a pass on a two-point conversion attempt in the final seconds. That interception, a previous fumble recovery and six tackles won't soon be forgotten by Ohio State fans.

QB Braxton Miller: His accuracy as a passer was again a bit scattered, but with Miller so staggeringly efficient as a rusher along with Hyde, that hardly made any difference to an offense that seemingly could only stop itself with penalties or a turnover. The junior quarterback might have been written off as a Heisman Trophy candidate too early, with his 153 rushing yards, 133 passing yards and five total touchdowns giving him yet another impressive entry on his resume and keeping the Buckeyes unbeaten. Miller might need to throw more against a stouter defense next week, but Michigan State will have to find an answer for his shifty moves and blinding acceleration as a rusher first.

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Stopping Braxton Miller
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg spoke to several defensive players at Big Ten media days to get a sense of what makes Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller such a challenge to stop on the field, and what - if anything - they can do to slow him down.
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