Big Ten Week 6 Recap
Tenth month of the year brings….
October 10, 2015
… a lot to the table: football, Halloween, lovely weather, pumpkin flavored beverages and of course, homecomings…
And yesterday was a wonderful fall afternoon/ evening for some for Big Ten football. And in the end, things went just about as expected on Saturday, but few anticipated the dominance displayed by our rivals to the north. But first let’s acknowledge one team right away – MICHIGAN is FORREAL!!!
Illinois 20 – Iowa 29
The Hawkeyes remain unbeaten after holding off the Ilini Saturday afternoon. Kirk Ferentz relied heavily on running back Jordan Canzeri who carried the ball 43 times, a new Hawkeye record. Canzeri ran for 256 yards on the day, including a 75-yard touchdown. The senior added a 17-yard touchdown reception as well.
Junior quarterback Wes Lunt led the Illini offense as he threw for 317 yards and a score. Geronimo Allison, the Big Ten’s leading receiver, continued his impressive season with eight catches for 148 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed for 67 yards a score but also had a costly fumble late in the fourth quarter.
Northwestern 0 Michigan 38
The Wolverines were razor sharp and totally focused out of the gate on Saturday as Jehu Chesson took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score. Jim Harbaugh and Co. refused to take their foot off the pedal as Michigan dominated Northwestern from start to finish – STATEMENT GAME.
“We’ll move on even more quickly than usual because it is such a good and worthy opponent,” Harbaugh said after the victory. “And, we’ll be looking forward to it.”
What else can be said about the Michigan defense? DJ Durkin has turned the unit into one of the nation’s elite. The Wildcats’ offense met the same fate as BYU and Maryland as they were unable to put up a single point against the Wolverine defense. Michigan has now allowed 31 points through five games, and 17 of those points came in the opener against the fifth-ranked Utes.
The Northwestern offense could only manage 168 yards on the day. Justin Jackson rushed for 25 yards while quarterback Clayton Thorson threw for 106 before the backups took over in the fourth quarter. The Michigan defense recorded four sacks and forced eight punts.
Jake Rudock had an efficient outing, connecting on 17 of 23 passes for 179 yards. The Michigan ground game put up 203 yards on the Northwestern defense. De’Veon Smith led the way with 59 yards on eight carries. Derrick Green added 47 yards and a score. The tight ends accounted for most of the receiving game as Jake Butt and AJ Williams combined for seven receptions and 88 yards.
Wisconsin 23 Nebraska 21
Nebraska’s late-game struggles continue to be the theme of the Huskers. Husker fullback Andy Janovich scored on a 55-yard touchdown run to give Nebraska the lead with less than four minutes to play. Things were looking fine for them until Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone missed a field goal with just over two minutes left. Nebraska was then forced to punt, and with less than a minute left, the Badgers drove down the field to set up the game-winning field goal attempt.
Joel Stave led the Badger offense as he tallied 322 yards and a score. Dare Ogunbowale added 117 yards on 18 carries; getting most of the workload after starting running back Taiwan Deal went out with an ankle injury. Senior wideout Alex Erickson hauled in seven passes for 113 yards.
Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong ended the day with 179 yards and two touchdowns. Janovich and junior tailback Terrell Newby each notched 59 yards rushing on the day.
Michigan St. 31 Rutgers 24
The Scarlet Knights have had recent success when donning the all-black uniforms—defeating Michigan last year and Arkansas in 2013—but they fell just short against the Spartans on Saturday night. Rutgers kicked a field goal to tie things up with just over four minutes left in the game, but they were unable to stop Michigan State on the ensuing drive as L.J. Scott scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute left. Rutgers got the ball back and drove into Sparty territory when quarterback Chris Laviano elected to spike the ball on fourth down rather than throw a hail mary. Bold strategy.
Connor Cook completed 23 of 38 passes for 357 yards with two scores and one interception. Despite sitting out much of the game, L.J. Scott led the ground game with 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Aaron Burbridge led all wideouts with nine grabs for 146 yards.
Laviano led Rutgers with 208 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Sparty secondary struggled to contain senior wide receiver Leonte Carroo who ended the night with seven receptions for 134 yards and three scores.
Maryland 28 Ohio St 49
Minnesota 41 Purdue 13
Indiana 7 Penn St. 29
So what did we learn this week? Not a lot, really – just pure confirmation. The Wolverines continue to be on the rise and will have another tough opponent next week as they face cross-town foe – Spartans. This game should be fun to watch. Michigan State struggled on the road, but like we said, Rutgers tends to rise to the occasion in these games each year. The Big Ten’s bottom-feeders still look pretty awful; though we have to give credit to Maryland quarterback Perry Hills for that gutty performance.
Besides the big one in Ann Arbor next week, you’ll want to keep an eye on Iowa traveling to Northwestern and—of course—Black Saturday in Columbus.
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