2012 NCAA Football – Week 8
Heart pounding finishes in several contest…
Big Ten football isn’t always pretty, but one thing is for sure lack of separation between most of the teams means close, hard-hitting games every week. Week 8 was no different – three games came down to the last or almost last snap: Michigan’s 12-10 win over Michigan State, Nebraska’s 29-28 squeaker over Northwestern, and Ohio State’s improbable 29-22 overtime comeback victory over Purdue. Indiana even went down to the wire in a 31-30 loss to Navy.
Ohio State 29 Purdue 22 OT
Ohio State pulled one out in a game that they should have lost. Braxton Miller was injured on the late in the third quarter and was taken to the hospital. Purdue led 22-14 when Ohio State drove 51 yards to tie the game after the two point conversion. Kenny Guiton came in to relieve Miller and threw a two yard TD pass to tie the game. The loss over-shadowed a good defensive effort by the Purdue defense led by DT Kawann Short. Short is one of the best DT in the country and has now had two good games against good competition. Earlier this year Short had a monster game in a loss to Notre Dame.
Up Next: Ohio State at Penn State, Purdue at Minnesota
Michigan 12 Michigan State 10
Somewhere up above Fielding Yost and Bo Schembechler are smiling as Michigan football recorded their 900th victory. The Wolverines are on a roll after early season losses to Alabama and Notre Dame. This one wasn’t pretty as it was a defensive struggle most of the way. Michigan was down 10-9 with two minutes to play when Denard Robinson drove the ball 36 yards to set-up a Brendan Gibbons 38 yard field goal to win the game. Robinson had 259 yards of offense on the day. The Spartans are reeling offensively when Le’Veon Bell can’t get off running. Bell was held to 68 yards on 28 carries.
Up Next: Michigan at Nebraska, Michigan State at Wisconsin
Nebraska 29, Northwestern 28
There isn’t really anything funny I can say about this matchup as it was actually a great game. Both Nebraska and Northwestern look like teams that will earn above-average bowl games. Nebraska now has an important tie-breaking win that will factor in the much more interesting chase for the Legends Division crown. Up next: Michigan at Nebraska, Iowa at Northwestern
Wisconsin 38, Minnesota 13
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Leaders Division winner Wisconsin Badgers! I know it’s only half way through the Big Ten schedule but seriously, Wisconsin (3-1 in Big Ten play) is the default winner of this division. Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible, Indiana can’t close out games, Purdue is mediocre and Illinois is terrible. Enjoy the trip to Indy, Wisconsin, you are the least terrible!
Up Next: Purdue at Minnesota, Michigan State at Wisconsin
Penn State 38, Iowa 14
Penn State continues to impress despite coming into the year following one of, if not the most, disastrous off-field distractions in sports history. Iowa wasn’t the strongest opponent but the Nittany Lions handled the Hawkeyes fairly easily, almost doubling them up in total offensive yards.
Navy 31, Indiana 30
For weeks it seemed that if Indiana’s defense could contain opponents, the Hoosiers could start winning games. Turns out what’s really keeping the Hoosiers from winning is their inability to finish games. For the third time during their current five game losing streak, the Hoosiers have blown fourth quarter leads, each one in a different way. The Ball State game was a double last-second comeback for both teams that ended in the Cardinals favor. The Michigan State game was controlled by the Hoosiers early, but gradually lost, resulting in a go-ahead score for the Spartans halfway through the fourth quarter. Now the Hoosiers blow a two-score lead in the final six minutes to Navy. The Hoosiers may lose almost every game, but at least they keep us guessing how they will lose it. The only way this team can truly get its confidence back is to beat up on a terrible team. Hello Illinois!
Illinois gets an extra week of practice before they play what looks like their only chance for a Big Ten win this season when it hosts Indiana. I researched, and yes, one of them will leave that weekend having won a Big Ten game, and we’ll be there LIVE.
FINAL OBSERVATION OF THE BIG TEN…
Big Ten football can almost expect these types of games over the final month and a half of the season, with unpredictable results and an exciting league race, especially in the Legends Division. They might not be as sexy or thrilling as watching a national championship contest, or most SEC games, but they will certainly keep Big Ten fans’ hearts pounding. Thus, a specific collision courses are all set for October. 27 in BIG Ten: Michigan and Nebraska! Both teams show grit to survive difficult tests, making their meeting in Lincoln a crucial one for the Legends Division race. With Iowa and Northwestern both losing, the Wolverines and Huskers stand as the top two teams in the division, and they have an intriguing game on tap. Nebraska’s high-scoring offense, which is even more potent at home, will try to top Michigan’s rapidly improving defense. Denard Robinson versus Taylor Martinez is a marquee matchup. In addition, Penn State – Ohio State!!!! Neither can make it to the Big Ten title game, due to sanctions, but they can have the best record in the Leaders conference and might just be the best two teams in the league, not just the division too. They will square off in State College in what should be a highly charged atmosphere. Add in the renewal of the recent rivalry between Wisconsin and Michigan State and a do-or-die Legends game between Northwestern and Iowa, and you can see why the Saturday before Halloween should be scary good.
NOTE: We will be LIVE in Champaign, Illinois for the Indiana – Illinois game!
Tune in next week for our recap!
****OTHER CONTEST ON OUR RADAR****
Notre Dame 17 BYU 14
A battle of great LB’s in this one with Notre Dame’s Manti T’eo and BYU’s Kyle Van Noy. T’eo is a Mormon by faith and spurned going to BYU which still doesn’t sit well in Provo. Both Van Noy and T’eo answered the bell and had interceptions in the game. Notre Dame’s defense is first class but this team isn’t national championship material with this offense. Tyler Eifert is their only passing weapon and it seems they target him on every play. Notre Dame did rush for 279 yards on the ground.
NORTHERN 37, Akron 7
AKRON, Ohio (AP) – Jordan Lynch threw two touchdowns and rushed for two more as Northen Illinois routed Akron 37-7 Saturday in Mid-American Conference action. Lynch finished with 223 yards on 20 of 33 passing and threw touchdown passes of nine and four yards. Northern Illinois (7-1, 4-1) held a 13-7 lead before Lynch’s 15-yard touchdown run gave the Huskies a 20-7 advantage at halftime. After Lynch’s second touchdown pass pushed the lead to 30-7, his second touchdown run, this time a 35-yarder, created the final margin. Lynch, who finished with 131 yards on the ground, has rushed for 100-plus yards in each of the Huskies’ last six games. Akron (1-7, 0-4) struggled to move the ball, gaining just 194 yards on 65 plays from scrimmage.
Northern Illinois has won 16 of its last 17 games. Its last lost was by one point to Iowa in the 2012 season opener.
WEEK 8 FUN FACTS
Interceptions this season of Alabama QB AJ McCarron. He ran his streak of attempts without an interception to 239 in the 44-13 win at Tennessee, extending his school record. He and Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron are the only QBs (minimum 15 attempts a game) in FBS not to be intercepted this season.
There are only two unbeatens left in FCS… Cal Poly moved to 7-0 with a 37-25 Big Sky win against Portland State, and Lehigh moved to 8-0 with a 42-19 homecoming win against Bucknell.
Southern Illinois has scored on three consecutive games on a blocked punt in a 38-21 win against Youngstown State. The Salukis, who also scored on a fumble recovery and interception, have won all three of those games.
Savannah State has thirteen (13) consecutive losses and it’s the longest active streak in FCS, before outlasting Edward Waters (Fla.) of the NAIA 42-35. The Tigers had 51 points in their first six games this season.
Harvard had fourteen (14) consecutive wins, longest active streak in all of Division I, before a 39-34 loss at Princeton. The Tigers had 29 points in the fourth quarter, including Quinn Epperly’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson with 13 seconds left.
Southern Methodist scored a school record of 72-points in their 72-42 win against Houston. The Mustangs had nine takeaways, tying a school record for most against an FBS team, converting four into touchdowns.
USC’s Matt Barkley tossed a career record 102 touchdown passes, setting school and Pac-12 records. He had six TD tosses in all Saturday in a 50-6 win against Colorado. Four of them went to Robert Woods, who also set a school record for career receptions and now has 220.
2. Oregon (7-0)
3. Kansas State (7-0)
4. Florida (7-0)
5. Notre Dame (7-0)
6. LSU (7-1)
7. Oregon State (6-0)
8. Oklahoma (5-1)
9. USC (6-1)
10. Georgia (6-1)
Don’t discount… Florida State, South Carolina, Rutgers, Louisville. For a complete list of the BCS Standings, visit http://www.bcsfootball.org/
Our original, pre-season Top 10 can be found by clicking here.
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