There were some outstanding running back performances in Week 12: both Isaiah Pead and Alvester Alexander found the endzone on five separate occasions. And Montee Ball did what is now expected against the Michigan defense: he shredded with the fervor of a prep cook at Chipotle. However it was Mikel LeShoure, who hit a 990-foot (330 yards for the mathematically challenged) tape measure shot at Wrigley Field, that takes the Week 12 cake.
Following a great conclusion to his sophomore campaign, we had high hopes for LeShoure. And he's blown everyone away. He's gained over 1550 yards from scrimmage and has 16 scores on the season. He's scored 12 times in the last four weeks. He's getting it done in fantasy playoff time.
And, of course, just when we need him to continue this crazy tear...he's taking Week 13 off. The Illini travel to Fresno on December 3rd. And as a LeShoure owner, I blame the Zooker.
One of two things is going to happen in 2011: LeShoure will team with Nathan Scheelhaase to provide Illinois with a very nice backfield duo. Or this junior back will strike while the iron is hot and toss his name into the NFL Draft. Regardless of what he decides, LeShoure has shown that when the weather gets colder and the games take on greater importance, there aren't too many better backs in the country.
Ten Other Random Observations from an Awesome Week 12:
-I imagine that Nebraska AD Tom Osborne would hold his coach to a little higher standard than most. With that said, I just don't foresee the Pelini era in Lincoln ending well. And keep the coach away from any woodchippers:
-Lost during this running back lovefest is the performance turned in by Rutgers wide receiver Mark Harrison. He had 11 balls thrown his way and he caught ten of them for 240 yards and four scores.
-How in the world did Garrett Gilbert post 34 fantasy points?
-The nation's four leaders in total offense (Oklahoma State, Oregon, Nevada, and Boise) are a combined 40-2 on the season.
-Justin Blackmon missed one game due to suspension. In his other ten he's caught 94 balls for 1560 yards and 17 scores. I'll say it again: if he played in Norman instead of Stillwater we'd have a legitimate Heisman candidate. Instead most are ignoring this record-setting campaign.
-Austin Davis' 59-point week gives him about 98 fantasy points over the last two weeks. That's called getting it done at crunch time.
-Great to see Colorado's Rodney Stewart finish up on such a high note. He's been the Buff offense this season, and now his great stretch run gives his squad bowl hopes heading into the finale against the Huskers.
-I think USC is ready for Jacquizz Rodgers to move on to the NFL. As a freshman he ran for 186 yards and two scores against the Trojans. Last year it was 113 yards and two more touchdowns. Then he gains 128 and a score on Saturday night. Oh, and the Beavers have won two of those three contests.
-Three years ago it was LeGarrette Blount. Last year it was Daniel Thomas. This year it's Vick Ballard. It seems there's always one big JUCO home run at running back.
-Wanna see what the best looking pro quarterback prospect does when the pocket breaks down? Take a look at Andrew Luck.