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MSU's William Gholston pressures Iowa's James Vandenberg
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.
Some of the things we saw in Week 7 were completely predictable. Wisconsin rolled to an easy 38-14 win at struggling Purdue. Michigan flattened Illinois 45-0. And Northwestern grabbed an early lead and held on for dear life in defeating host Minnesota 21-13.
From the unpredictable file, though, Michigan State led the whole way against visiting Iowa. But the Spartans could not close the deal and lost 19-16 in double overtime. And who expected Indiana to take Ohio State into the 60th minute?? The Buckeyes could not stop the Hoosiers in the fourth quarter (or pretty much all night), but they escaped Bloomington with a wild 52-49 win to move to 7-0 on the season.
It was anything but pretty, but as former OSU head coach John Cooper would say, “Hey, it goes in the left-hand column.”
Looking to next Saturday, some of the issues in the Legends Division will get sorted out as Michigan State travels to Michigan and Nebraska visits Northwestern. And in a prime time game, Penn State will come off a bye by visiting resurgent Iowa.
Here we go with this week’s report:
Iowa 19, Michigan State 16 (2 OT)
* What Happened – Iowa (4-2, 2-0) struggled all day to establish anything before rallying for Mark Weisman’s 5-yard touchdown with 55 seconds left to tie the game at 13-13 and force overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first OT before Iowa went up on Mike Meyer’s 42-yard field goal in the second OT.
On second-and-9 from the 24, MSU QB Andrew Maxwell tried to hit Keith Mumphery over the middle. But the pass was deflected by an Iowa lineman, went through Mumphery’s hands and was intercepted by Iowa’s Greg Castillo to give the Hawkeyes an improbable win over the stunned Spartans (4-3, 1-2) on a rainy day at East Lansing.
Weisman had 116 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries for Iowa. Le’Veon Bell led MSU with 140 yards and a TD on 29 attempts.
“I think we have to look at where we are as a program right now and what’s the next step for us,” MSU coach Mark Dantonio said.
* What We Learned – After going unbeaten at home the last two years, MSU has lost three of first five home games this year … MSU may need to win out – beginning with next week’s game at rival Michigan – to have a chance to rep the Legends Division in Indy, and that may not even be enough … MSU badly mismanaged the clock at the end of both halves, missing on a chance to kick a field goal late in the first half and failing to run out the remaining time by throwing multiple incompletions late in the second … Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz recorded his 100th win as the Hawkeyes coach … Maxwell (and his receivers) continue to be a work in progress for MSU. He was 12 of 31 passing for 179 yards with that game-ending pick.
* What’s Next – Michigan State visits Michigan in a key Legends Division game next Saturday, while Iowa hosts Penn State.
Wisconsin 38, Purdue 14
* What Happened – Playing to gain an upper hand in the Leaders Division race, Purdue (3-3, 0-2) was drubbed at home for the second week in a row. Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1) is getting back to playing Wisconsin football. The Badgers rolled up 645 yards total offense, including an amazing 467 on the ground on a rainy day in West Lafayette.
RB Montee Ball is making up for lost time. He had 247 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries for the Badgers. Backup James White added 124 yards and a TD on 16 carries. QB Joel Stave was 12 of 21 passing for 178 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
* What We Learned – Purdue got 52 yards on its first play of the game, a pass from Caleb TerBush to Antavian Edison. That set up a TerBush 1-yard TD run and a quick 7-0 lead. After that, the Boilers netted 200 yards on their next 57 plays (3.5 average per play) … Purdue has three quarterbacks and used all three, but none of them stood out. TerBush, returning backup Robert Marve and Rob Henry combined to complete 11 of 31 passes for 124 yards with an interception … With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible, Wisconsin seems like a mortal lock to rep the Leaders in the Big Ten title game for the second year in a row. None of the other eligible teams in the division has won a league game yet … Ball’s big day moved him to 816 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games. With 72 total career TDs, Ball set the Big Ten record for touchdowns and moved past Texas Tech's Taurean Henderson for third place in NCAA history.
* What’s Next – Wisconsin hosts Minnesota next Saturday, while Purdue visits Ohio State.
Michigan 45, Illinois 0
* What Happened – Michigan (4-2, 2-0) outgained visiting Illinois (2-5, 0-3) by the wide margin of 527-134 in winning this laugher at Ann Arbor. The Wolverines led 17-0 at halftime and increased the bulge to 38-0 after three quarters.
QB Denard Robinson accounted for 287 yards total offense. He was 7 of 11 passing for 159 yards and two touchdowns and had 11 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Nine different Wolverines caught one pass each with Jeremy Gallon hauling a 71-yard TD and Devin Funchess adding an 8-yarder.
QBs Reilly O’Toole and Nathan Scheelhaase split time for Illinois, but neither got anything accomplished. They were a combined 7 of 16 for 29 yards with an interception. Scheelhaase had to leave the game with a concussion in the second quarter.
"It's probably as complete as we played," said Michigan coach Brady Hoke. "But it's not nearly good enough."
* What We Learned – The bye week can’t get here soon enough for Illinois, which has suffered its five losses by an average of 29.8 points. This was, by far, the worst, however … UM has held its last three opponents (Massachusetts, Notre Dame and Purdue) to a combined 39 points … Michigan seems primed once again for the meat of its schedule with its five division games lined up in the next five weeks, beginning with rival MSU next Saturday at The Big House. Michigan will be looking to stop a four-game losing streak to MSU.
* What’s Next – Michigan hosts Michigan State next Saturday, while Illinois will be idle.
* More Coverage – Click here for more coverage from Wolverine 247.
Ohio State (8) 52, Indiana 49
* What Happened – Ohio State (7-0, 3-0) went to Indiana missing a pair of defensive starters in DE Nathan Williams and LB Etienne Sabino, and it showed as the Buckeyes were lucky to get out of Bloomington with the win. The Buckeyes led comfortably at 52-34 after scoring with 6:47 left. But Indiana (2-4, 0-3) rallied with a pair of touchdowns, one after a recovered onside kick, to get within three. But OSU recovered a second onside kick try with 1:04 left to (mercifully) end it.
QB Braxton Miller shined again for the Buckeyes. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. He also carried the ball 23 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. OSU running back Carlos Hyde added 156 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and also had a touchdown catch.
"We are not good in certain areas and we were exposed," Meyer said. "Spread offenses right now are really exposing us. We have got to get something fixed."
* What We Learned – This was an abysmal football game to sit through with no defense played. The teams combined for 102 points, 54 first downs and 1,059 yards total offense. Ohio State had 578 of those yards, including 353 rushing … Between injury stoppages and instant replay reviews, this game wore on for four hours and two minutes … IU is 0-11 in Big Ten games under Kevin Wilson, but this was the Hoosiers’ closest conference defeat in that stretch … The Buckeyes are one of 12 unbeaten teams nationally. But they and Ohio University are the only two to successfully make it to 7-0 so far … The good news: OSU reached the 50-point plateau in back-to-back games for the first time since 1996, when they opened the year with wins over Rice (70-7) and Pittsburgh (72-0). The bad news: OSU gave up the most points in a game in 18 years, dating to a 63-14 loss at Penn State in 1994 … Ohio State has won 18 games in a row in the series, dating to a 1990 tie (27-27) at Bloomington. OSU has also won nine in a row in Bloomington.
* What’s Next – Ohio State hosts Purdue next Saturday, while Indiana travels to Navy next week.
Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13
* What Happened – Northwestern (6-1, 2-1) got out to a 14-3 lead on host Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) after one quarter and then just kind of skated to the win. The Gophers had the ball twice in the final three minutes, but could not score. QB Max Shortell threw a pair of incompletions to end the first series at the Wildcats 6. He then lost a fumble with 36 seconds left to end it.
Northwestern’s offense was built around RB Venric Mark, who had a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Both teams rotated quarterbacks. Only Kain Colter excelled, though, as he hit all 10 of his passes, albeit for just 63 yards.
* What We Learned – Minnesota QB MarQueis Gray returned to action after missing the last three games due to knee and ankle injuries. He hit on 7 of 11 passes for 66 yards and an interception and also rushed nine times for 86 yards and a touchdown. He left this game in the third quarter, though, with another injury … Northwestern overcame 11 penalties to become bowl-eligible for the sixth straight year (a school record) and spoil Minnesota’s homecoming … Minnesota is still two wins from becoming bowl-eligible. The good news is the Gophers host Purdue Oct. 27 and visit Illinois Nov. 10 … Northwestern returns home to host Nebraska in a key Legends Division game. The Wildcats upset the Huskers 28-25 last year in Lincoln … After the game, it was reported that UM coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure after meeting with the media. This has been a recurring health issue for Kill the last few years. He was released from a Minneapolis hospital on Sunday. It’s unclear what his status may be for this week.
* What’s Next – Northwestern hosts Nebraska next Saturday, while Minnesota travels to Wisconsin.
Idle This Week: Nebraska, Penn State
* What’s Next – Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) travels to Northwestern next Saturday. Penn State (4-2, 2-0) visits Iowa next Saturday.
Big Ten Standings
Ohio State (7-0, 3-0)
Penn State (4-2, 2-0)
Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1)
Purdue (3-3, 0-2)
Indiana (2-4, 0-3)
Illinois (2-5, 0-3)
Iowa (4-2, 2-0)
Michigan (4-2, 2-0)
Northwestern (6-1, 2-1)
Nebraska (4-2, 1-1)
Michigan State (4-3, 1-2)
Minnesota (4-2, 0-2)
October 13 Games
Wisconsin 38, Purdue 14
Iowa 19, Michigan State 16 (2 OT)
Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13
Michigan (25) 45, Illinois 0
Ohio State (8) 52, Indiana 49
Idle: Penn State, Nebraska
Oct. 20 Games (All Times Eastern)
Minnesota at Wisconsin, noon (ESPNU)
Purdue at Ohio State, noon (ABC regional, ESPN2 outer market)
Indiana at Navy, 3:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Michigan State at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Nebraska at Northwestern, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional, ESPN2 outer market)
Penn State at Iowa, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Steve’s Updated Top 20
Five of the AP’s top 25 teams lost: No. 3 South Carolina (to No. 9 LSU), No. 5 West Virginia (to Texas Tech), No. 15 Texas (to No. 13 Oklahoma), No. 17 Stanford (to No. 7 Notre Dame) and No. 23 Louisiana Tech (to No. 22 Texas A&M).
I kept Stanford in my top 20 despite its loss. I dropped Texas out and replaced UT with Michigan. Here is my new top 20:
Alabama, Oregon, Florida, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, LSU, Florida State, South Carolina, USC, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Clemson, Oregon State, Louisville, Georgia, Mississippi State, Cincinnati, Stanford and Michigan.
On Thursday, I made my picks for Week 7.
I ended up 15-6 straight-up and 11-10 against-the-spread. For the year, I am now 133-42 SU and 81-83-1 ATS.
In Big Ten games, I was 4-1 straight-up (lost on Iowa) and 3-2 ATS. Through seven weeks, I am 51-11 straight-up and 27-27 ATS.
Stay tuned this week for our Big Ten Blast notes column on Tuesday, Picks for Week 8 on Thursday and a Chat likely on Friday.