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OSU's Braxton Miller carries against Wisconsin
We hope to make this a weekly recap on what happened in Big Ten football. Plus, we’ll share the first word on what’s next for each Big Ten school.
The biggest development over the weekend came in Madison, where No. 6 Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 21-14 in overtime to improve to 11-0 and clinch the Leaders Division championship outright. Because of NCAA sanctions, Ohio State and Penn State are barred from postseason play. That means OSU’s season will end with next Saturday’s showdown with Michigan at Ohio Stadium.
Because of those sanctions, Wisconsin will represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 1.
UW’s opponent will not be decided until this weekend’s games. Legends Division co-leaders Nebraska and Michigan are tied at 6-1 in league play. They breezed through games on Saturday as UM crushed Iowa 42-17 and Nebraska rolled past Minnesota 38-14. The Huskers have a tiebreaker edge on Michigan with a head-to-head win, meaning NU can advance to the title game with a win at Iowa on Friday or with a Michigan loss to Ohio State. Michigan needs a win and an Iowa upset of Nebraska to advance.
Another tight game was played at East Lansing, where Northwestern pulled out a 23-20 win over Michigan State. MSU, now 5-6 overall, must have a win this Saturday at Minnesota to qualify for postseason play.
Purdue improved to 5-6 with a win over Illinois (20-17). The Boilers can also reach postseason play with a home win over Indiana on Saturday.
Penn State moved to 7-4 overall with a 45-22 win over visiting Indiana. That result gave the Hoosiers their seventh loss, meaning IU will not play in a bowl for the fifth straight year. Penn State hosts Wisconsin next Saturday.
In one other Big Ten development, it was widely reported over the weekend that the Big Ten is courting Maryland of the ACC and Rutgers of the Big East for its next round of expansion.
To get you caught up on these developments, here were some articles and columns from today:
OK, back to football. Here we go with this week’s report:
Ohio State (6) 21, Wisconsin 14 (OT)
* What Happened – Ohio State (11-0, 7-0) needed to go overtime to stay unbeaten and clinch the outright Leaders Division title. The Buckeyes had led 14-0 but watched the Badgers (7-4, 4-3) rally to tie it with eight seconds left. OSU’s Carlos Hyde put the Buckeyes ahead with a 2-yard touchdown run in the OT. The OSU defense then kept UW from getting a first down. Safety Christian Bryant batted away a fourth-down pass to end it.
Hyde had 87 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries as the OSU offense sputtered. QB Braxton Miller was 10 of 18 for 97 yards and carried 23 times for just 48 yards. The Buckeyes got a 68-yard punt return from Philly Brown.
"We have a saying, 'A team that refuses to be beat, won't be beat,' " Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "Somehow, someway."
The loss spoiled senior day for Wisconsin RB Montee Ball, who carried 39 times for 191 yards and a touchdown. That score allowed Ball to tie former Miami (Ohio) standout Travis Prentice for the NCAA Division I-A career touchdown record with 78. But Ball was denied a record-breaking touchdown when he fumbled near the goal line in the fourth quarter.
* What We Learned – The Buckeyes can become just the sixth OSU team in 123 years to end a year unbeaten and untied with a win over Michigan … Sitting on a 14-7 lead most of the second half, the Buckeyes were stymied by poor field position and penalties. They netted just 61 yards and four first downs in the second half, opening the door for Wisconsin’s comeback bid. UW outgained OSU 360-236 … Wisconsin QB Curt Phillips hit all five of his pass attempts as UW drove for the game-tying touchdown. He found TE Jacob Pedersen on a 5-yard toss to tie it at 14-14 … Two OSU defenders stood tall. LB Ryan Shazier had 12 tackles, 3 TFLs and forced Ball’s fumble as they both leaped at the goal line. And DE John Simon equaled the school’s single-game sack record with four.
* What’s Next – Ohio State hosts Michigan next Saturday, while Wisconsin visits Penn State.
Michigan (23) 42, Iowa 17
* What Happened – Michigan (8-3, 6-1) had leads of 28-10 at halftime and 42-10 after three quarters in decimating visiting Iowa (4-7, 2-5). Denard Robinson made his triumphant return to action after sitting out two games with an elbow injury. But Robinson did his work at running back, particularly after starter Fitzgerald Toussaint was hospitalized after a serious leg injury.
Toussaint's left leg snapped between his ankle and knee as he was tackled by two Hawkeyes on Michigan's first possession and he was carted off the field. Robinson had 13 carries for 98 yards. His replacement at quarterback, Devin Gardner, rushed for three touchdowns and also hit on 18 of 23 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
"I think it tells you about what kind of kid he is, what kind of young man he is, his growth, his character, his integrity," said UM coach Brady Hoke. "This kid had some unbelievable moments here and at Michigan Stadium and has had some moments that weren't so good, but he's grown from within.
"Devin said the other day, he has been the face of Michigan football."
* What We Learned – Gardner is the real deal and it seems Robinson will fit seamlessly back into the picture at running back. Gardner became the first Michigan quarterback to account for six TDs in a game since 1983, when Steve Smith had as many passing and rushing scores in a game at Minnesota … The loss means Iowa will miss postseason play for the first time since 2007. This will be the fourth time in Kirk Ferentz’s 14-year career that the Hawkeyes haven’t reached postseason play … Hoke is the first coach to avoid losing a home game in his first two years with the Wolverines since Fielding Yost in the early 1900s.
* What’s Next – Iowa hosts Nebraska on Friday, while Michigan visits Ohio State.
* More Coverage – Click here for more coverage from Wolverine 247.
Click here for more coverage from the Voice Of The Hawkeyes.
Nebraska (16) 38, Minnesota 14
* What Happened – Nebraska (9-2, 6-1) moved a step closer to the Big Ten championship game with this win over Minnesota (6-5, 2-5). Nebraska built a 24-0 lead and limited the Gophers to just 60 yards in the first half. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez completed 21 of 29 passes for 308 yards and two TDs to Kenny Bell.
Nebraska coaching great Tom Osborne joined Bo Pelini in leading the Huskers from the locker room onto the field. He was honored on the field at halftime as the day at Memorial Stadium was designated as a "Salute to Tom Osborne." The 75-year-old Osborne is retiring as athletic director on Jan. 1. It was his 500th game at Nebraska in an official capacity.
"He was reluctant to do it," Pelini said. "I thought it was the way it should be. I told him it would mean a lot to me and the football team and that's the way it should be, not just for us. The fans wanted to see him walk out of there one last time."
On the Minnesota side, a story broke on Sunday with wide receiver A.J. Barker’s messy departure from the Gophers football team. Barker leads Minnesota with 30 catches this season.
* What We Learned – Bell had nine catches for 136 yards, while RB Ameer Abdullah had 79 yards on 18 carries and went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season … The Huskers went unbeaten at home this year for the first time since 2001 … Martinez increased his career passing total to 6,140 yards, besting Zac Taylor’s previous school mark of 5,850 yards in 2005-06 … NU’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste returned an interception for a touchdown as well.
* What’s Next – Nebraska visits Iowa on Friday, while Minnesota hosts Michigan State on Saturday.
Penn State 45, Indiana 22
* What Happened – Penn State (7-4, 5-2) assured itself a winning season in Bill O’Brien’s first year as the coach, although it did come at a cost. Senior LB Mike Mauti was knocked out with a serious knee injury in the first quarter.
"This team is a bunch of resilient guys," O'Brien said. "When a guy like (Mauti) who's a leader on a football team goes down in a game, it was a good response ... They knew what they had to do."
Penn State QB Matt McGloin threw for a career-high 395 yards and hit Allen Robinson on three of his four TD passes. McGloin also set school records for yards in a season (3,071), career touchdowns (45) and single-season completions (251). Robinson had 10 catches for 197 yards in the win. He set the school’s single-season reception mark with 73.
* What We Learned – PSU RB Zach Zwinak added 135 rushing yards and a touchdown on 29 carries … Indiana QB Cameron Coffman completed 33 of 59 passes for 454 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The yardage total is the second-most for an IU quarterback, trailing Ben Chappell’s 480-yard game against Michigan in 2010 … McGloin eclipsed Daryll Clark's single-season passing record of 3,003 yards.
* What’s Next – Indiana visits Purdue on Saturday, while Penn State hosts Wisconsin.
Purdue 20, Illinois 17
* What Happened – Purdue (5-6, 2-5) kept its hopes of a bowl bid alive with this win at Champaign. After the Boilers led 6-3 at halftime, Robert Marve hit Akeem Hunt with a short pass. The running back turned it upfield for a 63-yard touchdown that gave Purdue some momentum.
Marve ended up 18 of 26 passing for 173 yards for Purdue. Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase completed 22 of 38 passes for 160 yards and also carried 20 times for 76 yards for the Illini (2-9, 0-7).
* What We Learned – Purdue won back-to-back Big Ten road games for the first time since 2009. The Boilers will play Indiana for a bowl berth and their first three-game winning streak in a season since 2006 … Illinois has lost 13 straight Big Ten games.
* What’s Next – Purdue hosts Indiana next Saturday, while Illinois travels to Northwestern.
* More Coverage – Click here for more coverage of Purdue athletics.
Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20
* What Happened – Northwestern (8-3, 4-3) pulled out a tight one at Michigan State (5-6, 2-5), winning on Jeff Budzien’s 27-yard field goal with 7:30 left in the game. Splitting time with Kain Colter, QB Trevor Siemian threw for 165 yards for the Wildcats.
MSU had one last possession from its own 20 with 1:29 left. But the Spartans’ comeback hopes were thwarted after four straight incompletions by QB Andrew Maxwell.
* What We Learned – All seven of MSU’s conference games have been decided by four points or less. Their five Big Ten losses have come by a combined 13 points … This was Northwestern’s first win over MSU since 2007 … The Spartans must win at Minnesota next week or will miss a bowl for the first time in coach Mark Dantonio’s six years in East Lansing … Northwestern won despite losing Colter and RB Venric Mark to injuries during the game … MSU had swept its home schedule the last two years, but was 0-4 in home Big Ten games and also had a loss to Notre Dame as well.
* What’s Next – Northwestern hosts Illinois next Saturday, while Michigan State travels to Minnesota.
Big Ten Standings
*Ohio State (11-0, 7-0)
Penn State (7-4, 5-2)
#Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3)
Purdue (5-6, 2-5)
Indiana (4-7, 2-5)
Illinois (2-9, 0-7)
Nebraska (9-2, 6-1)
Michigan (8-3, 6-1)
Northwestern (8-3, 4-3)
Minnesota (6-6, 2-5)
Michigan State (5-6, 2-5)
Iowa (4-7, 2-5)
*-Clinched tie for division title
#-Clinched Big Ten Championship Game berth
Nov. 17 Games
Michigan 42, Iowa 17
Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20
Penn State 45, Indiana 22
Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14 (OT)
Nebraska 38, Minnesota 14
Purdue 20, Illinois 17
Nov. 23 Game (All times Eastern)
Nebraska (17) at Iowa, noon (ABC national)
Nov. 24 Games
Michigan (20) at Ohio State (4), noon (ABC national)
Illinois at Northwestern, noon (Big Ten Network)
Indiana at Purdue, noon (Big Ten Network)
Michigan State at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Wisconsin at Penn State, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional, ESPN or ESPN2 outer market)
Dec. 1 Game
Big Ten Championship Game at Indianapolis
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska or Michigan, 8:17 p.m. (FOX)
Steve’s Updated Top 20
The top two teams in the BCS rankings, Oregon and Kansas State, lost on the same day for the first time since 2007.
They were among five AP top 25 teams that went down to defeat. That group included No. 1 Oregon (to No. 14 Stanford), No. 2 Kansas State (to Baylor), No. 19 Louisiana Tech (to Utah State), No. 21 USC (to No. 17 UCLA) and No. 23 Texas Tech (to Oklahoma State).
I have moved out Louisiana Tech and USC and moved in Michigan and Oregon State. Here is my new top 20:
Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Kansas State, Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Stanford, South Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Nebraska, UCLA, Texas, Louisville, Michigan and Oregon State.
On Thursday, I made my picks for Week 12.
I ended up 19-7 straight-up and 13-12-1 against-the-spread. For the year, I am now 222-74 SU and 141-141-4 ATS.
In Big Ten games, I was 5-1 straight-up and 2-4 ATS. Through 12 weeks, I am 72-18 straight-up and 43-39 ATS.
Stay tuned this week for our Big Ten Blast notes column on Tuesday and our Picks for Week 13 on Thursday.