Illini, Wolverines take Home Big 10 POW Awards. No Surprise!

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On Saturday, the Illini and Wolverines played a college football game that was to offense what Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is to hair-sprayed “poofs.” The two squads also played defense in the same manner that the “Jersey Shore” promotes literacy.

Anyways, the game was an instant triple overtime classic in which the two football teams combined to score more points than in eight of their last nine college basketball meetings. For one Saturday, the Big Ten became the WAC.

Not surprisingly, one player from each team, Illini Mikel LeShoure and Michigan’s Roy Roundtree

By Paul M. Banks

Leshoure produced five touchdowns and 172 all-purpose yards to help Illinois rack up 65 points in a triple-overtime loss at Michigan. The junior running back recorded 120 yards on 24 carries with three scores and hauled in two passes for 52 yards and two more touchdowns. His five touchdowns are the second-most in school history, matching Hall of Famer Red Grange’s five scores against the Wolverines in 1924, and are tied for the fourth-most in Big Ten annals.

All five of Leshoure’s touchdowns were scored after the third quarter, including scores to cap each of the Illini’s three overtime drives. He earns his second career weekly accolade after being honored on Dec. 6, 2009. Two of the TDs came on the exact same wheel route that the Illini burned Purdue with last week. Considering that the Illini beat the Wolverines with it not once but twice, and that UM Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson had a whole week of film study to prepare for it, Robinson likely lost his job on those plays. The case to fire him was strong enough already, but that only further cemented it.

Roundtree set a school record with 246 receiving yards on nine catches with a pair of touchdowns to help Michigan defeat Illinois. It’s quite impressive when you consider all the talented pass-catchers (Anthony Carter, Desmond Howard, Amani Toomer, Mercury Hayes, Braylon Edwards are just a few) to pass through Ann Arbor in recent years.

The sophomore wideout’s 246 yards broke the previous school record of 197 receiving yards set by Jack Clancy against Oregon State on Sept. 17, 1966. On the first offensive play of the game, Roundtree hauled in a pass and sprinted 75 yards for the score before adding a 33-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter on his second reception of the game. He added a 75-yard catch to set up Michigan’s third touchdown. Roundtree picks up his first career weekly laurel.

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And Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who had the Big Ten Freshman of the year award sewn up, further cemented that honor as he tallied four touchdowns and 312 yards of total offense while guiding the Illini to 65 points in a triple-overtime loss at Michigan. The first-year quarterback completed 14 of 25 passes for 211 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and added 21 carries for 101 yards and another score. Scheelhaase earns his fifth Freshman of the Week award this season, including honors following each of the last three weekends.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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  1. Nice job, Paul. I didn’t know alot of this info.

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