Penn State needed overtime Saturday to beat Illinois, which has not won a Big Ten game since the 2011 season, but Nittany Lions WR Allen Robinson put forth yet another impressive performance. The junior receiver reached 100 yards receiving for the sixth time this season and became the seventh player in Penn State history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards. He's now the only player in school history with two seasons of 60-plus receptions.
Robinson can do it all. He'll go up and sky for the ball, and he can run. His routes are well run and he's an incredible security blanket for a team with a true freshman quarterback in Christian Hackenberg. He's a No. 1 receiver and everyone knows it, so defenses roll coverage toward him. Yet, he still has a big impact. Robinson is legit.
He wasn't the only Nittany Lion to catch my eye Saturday, though.
Running back Bill Belton, a former wide receiver, rushed for a career-high 201 yards on 36 carries and scored a touchdown. He's the first Penn State 200-yard rusher since ex-Chiefs RB Larry Johnson. Belton can run inside, can get to the edges and runs with some power on contact.
Penn State guard John Urschel stood out clearing holes for Belton up front. Urschel is a really thick, blocky-build kind of guy, but he moves a little bit better than you might think. He's really good at the point of attack, and I saw him working to climb to second level. He plays with good power.
Wisconsin WR more than a scrapper
Wisconsin's Jard Abbrederis is your classic college football story as a scrappy walk-on who battled his way into the lineup, but don't overlook him as a prospect. He can play. A lot of people want to compare him to Dane Sanzenbacher. I'd say underestimate Abbrederis at your own risk. He runs excellent routes and has better long speed than people think. He's as tough as nails, as he showed again Saturday, hanging on to make a touchdown catch after taking a hard hit and suffering a chest injury on the play. Don't forget -- Abbrederis raised questions about highly touted Ohio State CB Bradley Roby when the two matched up earlier this season. People are still talking about what Abbrederis showed in that one.
Hokies QB Thomas fails to silence critics
One guy who will be subject to heavy debate this draft season is Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas. The Hokies were upset Saturday by Boston College, and there was cause for concern in Thomas' play once again. He has all the measurable and certainly looks the part. I thought his footwork and presence has been better since an abysmal showing vs. Alabama in the season opener. On Saturday, though, his accuracy was an issue.
Iowa, Wisconsin TEs intrigue
Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz is a classic, old-school tight end, but he moves better than a lot of the old-school tight ends. He's not strictly a blocker, but he will take on defensive ends, lock onto them and drive them. The Hawkeyes came up short against Wisconsin, but Fiedorowicz was taking guys wherever he wanted to take them. He dictated. I was very impressed watching him block and muscle people around.
Wisconsin TE Jacob Pederson flashed, too. He's a good blocker, but what surprised me a little was his ability to flex out and make plays as a receiver, including a 44-yard TD catch in the second quarter at Iowa.
Wisconsin and Iowa both have a good tradition of tight ends that have gone on to make an impact in the NFL. Pederson and Fiedorowicz have the potential to be next in line.