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Big Ten Football: Players to Watch in Week 7

Ten players to keep an eye on during Big Ten football games this weekend.

Ohio State and other league powers (Michigan, Penn State) aren't playing this weekend, but there are still five other games involving Big Ten schools taking place.

For fans of the league, or those watching for any other reason, here are ten players to keep a close eye on:

1. Kenneth Walker (RB, Michigan State)
The junior transfer is a Heisman candidate that already has 912 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He ran for 233 at Rutgers last weekend, and could need another huge game if the Spartans want to emerge as narrow road favorites in Bloomington.

Kenneth Walker

2. Michael Penix Jr. (QB, Indiana)
Staying in the same game... IU's left-handed gunslinger is expected to return from injury as the Hoosiers are desperately seeking a win. Their losses are to a trio of Top-10 teams in Iowa, Cincinnati and Penn State. He will need to be sharp early if they want to hand Michigan State its first loss.

3. Tory Taylor (P, Iowa)
A punter on the list... let alone this high?? You bet. The Australian averaged over 44 yards per punt against Penn State with six inside the 20-yard line. He helps the Hawkeyes win field position seemingly every week, and could deliver more of the same against Purdue with a low betting total of 43.


4. David Bell (WR, Purdue)
Speaking of the Boilermakers... If they are to make this interesting as a double-digit underdog, their star wideout will surely be at the center of it. He has diced up Iowa in the last two meetings with a combined 26 catches for 323 yards and four TD's.


5. Graham Mertz (QB, Wisconsin)
The Badgers have endured a disappointing start to the season with losses to Penn State, Notre Dame and Michigan. Mertz has also had a rough-go, surpassing 200 yards only once and failing to reach 150 in three outings. We'll see what he does against an Army team that can be rather tricky.

6. Terry Roberts (DB, Iowa)
The Hawkeyes were dealt a huge blow last Saturday as star cornerback Riley Moss, the national leader in interceptions, suffered a knee injury that will keep him out vs. Purdue. Insert "Scary Terry," a fan-favorite on special teams that is now listed as the starting right corner in Moss' place. Will the Boilermakers (and David Bell) look to pick on him?

7. Micah McFadden (LB, Indiana)
The All-American linebacker will need to spearhead a big defensive effort against unbeaten Michigan State. Can he and the Indiana front-seven contain Kenneth Walker and pull off a mild upset?


8. Adrian Martinez (QB, Nebraska)
The junior signal caller, who seems like he's been around forever, has had the Huskers right there in four one-possession losses. He's one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country but didn't have the best game last year against Minnesota, which stunned Nebraska while missing over 30 players that day due to COVID. Time for Martinez and his group to exact revenge?

9. Christian Anderson (QB, Army)
Ok... so he's not a Big Ten player, but could be facing off against Wisconsin. The senior had 236 yards rushing before sustaining a shoulder injury against Miami (OH), and then missed last week's game vs. Ball State. If he plays, the Cadets (13-3 in their last 16 contests) could be a sneaky dog in Madison.


10. Mar'Keise Irving (RB, Minnesota)
The Gophers are running thing in the backfield, losing star Mohamed Ibrahim in the opener to Ohio State and then Trey Potts last week due to an undisclosed medical condition... forcing him to spend six days in the hospital. The next man up appears to be freshman Mar'Keise Irving, who will try and help Minnesota improve to 4-2.

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