2014 Big Ten Week 8 Recap

Posted on October 19, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 8…

October 18, 2014

Week 8… not sure how to describe it – you are either a fan of the B1G Ten or not. For me, this weekend was like going out on a second date, to a mediocre restaurant, and the check comes, and it’s a little more than you thought it would be – expectations were not met.

On the flip side, two B1G TEN teams did stamp their eligibility on for a bowl game. I guess this is when games start to really matter.

 

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Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17

Each team made a fashion statement: Northwestern with its alternate Gothic jerseys, Nebraska fans by taking over Ryan Field. Northwestern’s Justin Jackson made his own statement with two touchdown runs, and the Wildcats defense contained Nebraska en route to a 17-14 halftime lead.

Nebraska’s Blackshirts adjusted in the second half, shutting out Northwestern and limiting them to 30 yards of offense. Ameer Abdullah broke free for 146 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and Tommy Armstrong made you believe a large man could fly.

It’s a tough loss for Northwestern, which had shown some fight after a rough start to the season. Beyond the emergence of freshman running back Justin Jackson (who would be performing like Abdullah or Melvin Gordon if he had a better offensive line), not much is going well. To make a bowl, the Wildcats have to sweep Michigan, Purdue and Illinois or else pull an upset. As for the Cornhuskers, this finally looks like the year Bo Pelini loses fewer than four games.

 

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Minnesota 39, Purdue 38

Is Minnesota for real? Well Saturday they proved they deserve a seat at the table like everyone else.

It was sloppy but it’s a ‘W’ period.

The Gophers took the lead on Ryan Santoso’s 52-yard field goal. On Purdue’s final drive, Cedric Thompson intercepted Austin Appleby to preserve the win.

Purdue played a solid game in the first-half behind the play of running back, Raheem Mostert, who had 100 rushing yards after two carries, and Appleby’s second touchdown pass put the Boilermakers up 31-20 at the half.

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Maryland 38, Iowa 31

Hawkeyes got things started frist and jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the home team, fought back behind the fine play of Stefon Diggs, who finished the day with 9 catches, 130 yards. And in the fourth, bam… a pick-six which sealed the victory.

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Michigan State 56, Indiana 17

The Spartans continue to dominate including three straight touchdown drives let the Spartans put the game out of reach by halftime, and then Mark Dantonio added three more in the fourth quarter for good measure.

Week 9 in the Big Ten, which has Rutgers-Nebraska, Maryland-Wisconsin, Minnesota-Illinois and Michigan-Michigan State going for it.

 

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Nebraska, RB Ameer Abdullah, 146 yards and a career-high four touchdowns

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on September 29, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 5…

September 27, 2014

During Week 5 of the Big Ten, some teams established themselves solidly while others need a hug including Brady Hoke’s Wolverines…

Nebraska 45, Illinois 14

Last Big Ten undefeated team remained the last undefeated team as the crush the Illini. The Cornhuskers did it on the ground, as Ameer Abdullah, had 208 of Nebraska’s 458 rushing yards and scored the first three touchdowns.

Illinois made it 28-14 with a long Geronimo Allison touchdown reception, but Nebraska scored the last 17 points of the blowout.

Iowa 24, Purdue 10

Have you ever seen a game where both teams really don’t deserve a victory? Well, this is one of them… but in the end Iowa got it done.

The Boilermakers struck first with a pick-six by Frankie Williams and a field goal to go up 10-0, but nobody on Purdue’s low-powered offense (2.3 yards per pass, 2.8 yards per rush) besides Akeem Hunt could do a single thing to protect the lead.

Maryland 37, Indiana 15

Just when you thought Indiana was on the right track after a big win against SEC foe Missouri last week, the Hoosiers go Hoosier. The Terrapins C.J. Brown and Caleb Rowe combined for 361 passing yards as Maryland brushed the Hoosiers aside to win its first-ever Big Ten game.

Even with injuries to the offense, the Terrapins have been one of the most consistent Big Ten teams so far (one pass defense meltdown against West Virginia aside). Their home game next week against Ohio State will demonstrate where in the conference’s pecking order they fall. And with three road wins to date, Maryland is the senior day opponent nobody wants to play.

For Indiana, it’s back to the drawing board. On the bright side, Tevin Coleman kept his streak of games with 100+ rushing yards alive and the Hoosiers still have several gimme games to get to bowl eligibility.

Minnesota 30, Michigan 14

The Golden Gophers knocked off the Wolverines pretty handily especially in the second half as they took advantage of turnovers and field position, which turned in to a 27-7.

The Gophers reclaimed the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 2005.

They out-gained them 373 to 171. To make matters worst for the home team, when the PA announcer claimed 102,000 fans were in attendance (thus keeping Michigan Stadium’s 100,000+ attendance streak alive), Wolverine fans booed the obviously fraudulent number.

Northwestern 29, Penn State 6

The ‘Cats capitalized on mistake after mistake from the Nittany Lions’ and knock them off big up in Happy Valley.

Although the Wildcats took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, it was assumed that Christian Hackenberg would lead a comeback win. But Penn State could manage only two field goals through three quarters, and consecutive turnovers in the fourth quarter (including a pick-six) drove PSU to its doom.

Rutgers 31, Tulane 6

Nothing any worst than losing a key player for the season, as running back Paul James, suffered a torn ACL. But the Scarlet Knights used the ‘next man up’ regimen and put away the Green Wave with little trouble.

Michigan State 56, Wyoming 14

The Spartans continue winning and blew out Wyoming. Jeremy Langford rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown, while backup QB Tyler O’Connor ran for a touchdown and passed for another.

Wisconsin 27, South Florida 10

Talk about a slow starting game… it was 3-3 at the half. But in the second half the Badgets got things going as Mr. Melvin Gordon flexed his muscles and got his stride going strong as he rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Erickson had six catches for 91 yards.

Week 5 is in the books… next week, Nebraska-Michigan State should be Big Ten Game of the Week!

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKER 4 the Week”

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Cole Farrand (LB), Maryland – 19 tackles, 1.5 TFLs

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 4 Recap

Posted on September 21, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 4…

September 20, 2014

The Big Ten needed Week 4 to help boost moral and confidence as conference play looms. And well, all of the teams responded except on as they went 12-1 – its best record of the season – with blowouts, road wins and an upset of a ranked team. For once, the Big Ten looked like an actual power conference.

Northwestern 24, Western Illinois 7

Lucky win? Who cares… it’s a victory for the Wildcats as they had 283 yards of offense, were out gained by nearly 100 yards at home, and have no passing game to speak of. The only bright spots were Ifeadi Odenigbo (three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery), Justin Jackson (92 rushing yards, one TD) and Solomon Vault (two rushing TDs).

Northwestern fans are mad at the playcalling and the effort. Give credit to Pat Fitzgerald, who said after the game, “[m]y size 12 is going where the sun don’t shine with this team for the rest of the year.” Should be an interesting week of practice.

Purdue 35, Southern Illinois 13

The Boilermakers jumped out to a 25-0 lead and never looked back. They did this mostly with takeaways and field position; their four touchdown drives on the day went 23, 44, 26 and 43 yards. Danny Anthrop had five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, and the rushing defense excelled.

Illinois 42, Texas State 35

Illinois outscored Texas State 24-7 in the fourth quarter to survive an upset scare. WHEW!!! This game also had a weather delay, after which the Illini recovered from a 21-6 deficit thanks to Josh Ferguson’s 233 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. V’Angelo Bentley had a pick-six in the waning minutes to give Illinois a two-score lead, which it needed when Texas State scored soon after. Illinois has struggled in every game this year, but find ways to win…

Indiana 31, Missouri 27

Indy put in work and it paid off with a huge win over ranked Missouri.

The Hoosiers led for much of the first half and third quarter, but they traded leads with Mizzou several times in the fourth quarter. Trailing 27-24 with two minutes left, Nate Sudfeld and Tevin Coleman engineered a 75-yard drive to win the game.

Indiana’s defense held up surprisingly well against the Missouri spread. The Hoosiers beat a ranked team despite going 1 of 14 on third down conversions, suggesting that things are looking up for Indiana.

Nebraska 41, Miami (FL) 31

Ameer Abdullah set a Nebraska record for most career all-purpose yards as the Cornhuskers outslugged Miami in front of a record crowd of 91,585 in Lincoln.

Nebraska chose to run on the Hurricanes, to great effect. The Cornhuskers racked up 343 rushing yards, paced by Abdullah’s 229 yards and Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s 96 yards.

Michigan State 73, Eastern Michigan 14

The Spartans had 320 yards of offense in the first half, and they out gained the Eagles by 319. Thorough stand in the State of Michigan!

Wisconsin 68, Bowling Green 17

The Badgers set a modern era Big Ten record for rushing yards (644), and Melvin Gordon is a shoe-in for offensive player of the week with 253 rushing yards and five TDs. Gordon is now averaging 8.26 yards per carry for his career, tied with Glenn Davis for the highest career average in history.

Iowa 24, Pittsburgh 20

The Hawkeyes knocked off Pitt on the road and upgraded their starting quarterback.

Iowa had trouble stopping Pitt running back James Conner, and the Hawkeyes trailed 17-7 at the half. With the offense stalling, it appeared starting QB Jake Rudock was yanked in the third quarter for CJ Beathard, whose magnificent hair sparked the offense. Iowa got into a late groove, Mark Weisman scored two touchdown runs to take the lead, and the stingy Hawkeye defense held on to preserve the win.

Maryland 34, Syracuse 20

Syracuse outgained Maryland by 220 yards and demolished Maryland’s rushing defense, but Maryland had all kinds of luck against Syracuse. Will Likely had an 88-yard pick six, Brandon Ross turned a swing pass into a 90-yard touchdown, and timely turnovers helped the Terrapins beat the Orange in the Carrier Dome. A late touchdown by Syracuse made the score closer to reality, but it was still a comfortable win for the Terrapins.

Rutgers 31, Navy 24

Rutgers overcame Navy’s triple option offense and a knee injury to Paul James to defeat the Midshipmen in Annapolis. They even had success pounding the ball with James, but he left the game after taking a helmet to the knee in the second quarter. Justin Goodwin and Desmon Peoples filled in with a combined 186 rushing yards, while Gary Nova had two short touchdown runs and didn’t screw up. Navy drove as far as the Rutgers 6-yard line in the final minute, but the Scarlet Knights’ defense held strong. While Rutgers won’t win the division, they’re playing like a potential bowl team.

Penn State 48, Massachusetts 7

The Nittany Lions displayed an active running game for the first time, destroying Massachusetts to improve to 4-0. Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak each had a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Akeel Lynch added 81 yards. Even more impressive was the Penn State rushing defense, which held UMass to 28 yards (sack-adjusted) on 28 carries.

Utah 26, Michigan 10

As I stated above, the Big Ten lost only one game on the day. It came in a miserable, rain delay-lengthened slog of a game, Utah defeated Michigan at the Big House. The Wolverines offense just couldn’t – period. They only scored 3 points, a field-goal, a-l-l game… the other score came on a pick six by Willie Henry.

Next week will feature more nonconference sleepers and a couple of conference games where teams better pay attention including Minnesota-Michigan; Maryland-Indiana and Michigan State-Wyoming. See you then…..

Minnesota 24, San Jose State 7

 

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Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska 229 yards, two touchdowns

 

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2014 BIG Ten – Week 2

Posted on September 8, 2014. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 2…

September 6, 2014

BIG games this week across the board…

The Big Ten went 8-5 in Week 2, and we learned some things in the process. Brace yourself; this won’t be pretty.

Aside from Wisconsin-LSU, the rest of the Big Ten games were blowouts, narrow escapes against inferior teams, or upset losses. Week 2, I argued, would show what the Big Ten was capable of. Oh, did it ever.

Western KentuckyWKentucky 34, Illinoisillinois2014 42

For the second straight week, the Fightin’ Illini came back to snag a victory. This week, it was against stingy Western Kentucky.

WKU led 17-14 at the half, but then Wes Lunt carried the load, or should we say passed the load, by going for 456. Illinois scored three times to take a 42-27 lead in the fourth quarter and survive a last-minute score by the Hilltoppers. It’s not pretty, but Tim Beckman’s team is 2-0.

Central MichiganCMichigan  38, Purduepurdue2014 17

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN. – a sloppy loss for the Boilermakers at home against the MAC.

It was the (Cooper) Rush / (Thomas) Rawls show for the Chippewas (2-0). Rush tossed 2 TD passes, while Rawls ran for two. He finished the game with 31 carries for 155 yards, while Rush finished 11 of 16 for 172 yards with one interception.

It wasn’t even close. Another spark for the visitors came from former Mount Carmel player, Brandon Greer, who returned a 57-yard interception back for the for the first score of the game. Then in about 2-mintues later, Anthony Rice broke a tackle and scored on a 65-yard catch-and-run (14-0).

The Boilermakers got on the board when Danny Etling took the ball in from 4 yards out making the score 14-7. A few series later Rawls scored from two-yards out before halftime making it 21-7. Home team couldn’t get any closer than that.

The Chippewas beat a Big Ten foe for the second time in three seasons and improved to 6-23 against teams currently in the conference.

Purdue (1-1) failed to get its first 2-0 start since 2007 and still hasn’t opened a season with back-to-back wins over Football Bowl Subdivision opponents since 2005.

HowardHoward 25, Rutgersrutgers2014 38

The Scarlet Knights led 31-7 at the half. Despite the late scores and routinely porous defense, Rutgers was the most impressive of the noon teams.

 

Akron 3, Penn State 21

You can say Penn State played down to visiting Akron, as they only had a 7-0 lead at halftime, but the Nitanny Lions got their roar in the second half to get the W.

McNeese State 24, Nebraska 31

Ameer Abdullah came to the rescue for Nebraska in an incredible last-minute touchdown reception saving the Cornhuskers from total embarrassment against McNeese State.

The Cornhuskers let McNeese State hang around far longer than they should have. Leading 14-7 in the second quarter, Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a lazy out route that McNeese returned 98 yards for a tying score. Nebraska’s offensive line couldn’t give Abdullah holes, and McNeese tied it at 24 with four minutes remaining. With only 20 seconds remaining, Abdullah had a sensational tackle-breaking run after catch to spare Nebraska from ignominy.

NOTE: In the absence of Braxton Miller, the “Abdullah for Big Ten MVP” bandwagon is looking pretty good.

Western Illinois 37, Wisconsin 3

The game began in a weird fashion with a safety on Western Illinois’ opening kickoff return. The Badgers led 2-0 for most of the half, as neither Melvin Gordon (17 carries for 38 yards) nor Tanner McEvoy could produce. At least McEvoy recovered after halftime, completing 17 passes in a row and finishing with three touchdowns, but it was a shaky performance for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin seemed a little out of sorts through the entire first half, but recovered in the second half to produce a deceptively perilous final score.

 Ball State 13,  Iowa 17

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Maryland 24, USF 17

Maryland was supposed to beat South Florida easily. Instead, the Terrapins had six giveaways and had to rely on a blocked punt in the fourth quarter to put away the Bulls.

Middle Tennessee 24, Minnesota 35

Once again Minnesota was out-gained by an opponent, and once again it won by double digits. Minnesota built a 28-0 lead and rode out a rough second half to beat Middle Tennessee.

Unlike Iowa, Minnesota coaches know their strengths (David Cobb, their star running back, is a powerful workhorse) and weaknesses (Mitch Leidner can’t pass) and craft an optimal offense around those limitations. It’s going to get tiring calling the Golden Gophers opportunistic every week.

Northern IllinoisNIU  23, Northwesternnorthwestern2014 15

In spite of Northwestern’s collapse against Cal in the season opener, the Wildcats were a 5 point favorite coming into this game. Go figure!

Like last week, the Wildcats were down early to a 23-7 lead and just couldn’t come back. In short, Northwestern was trounced on the line of scrimmage by a MAC team, an awful sign for Big Ten play.

Michigan Statemichiganstate2014 27, OregonOregon 46

The Ducks were trailing in the third quarter, 27-18, against Michigan State until Marcus Mariota flipped the ball to Royce Freeman (89 yards, 2 scores) and the flood gates opened up. From here, they went on to score the first of four unanswered touchdowns to knock out the Big Ten from a west coast victory.

Mariota went 17/28 for 318 and three touchdowns.

Michigan State was lead by 29/47 for 343 and 2 TDs / 2 INTs.

Michiganmichigan2014 O, Notre DameNotreDame 31

The Irish are for real. After seeing them week one against Rice, there game play was lowered saying who they played, but tonight, whew…. the Irish jumped out early and often knocking off what many thought was the hottest team in the Big Ten in a complete shutout.

Everything went Notre Dame’s way.

Wolverine’s Devin Gardner had four giveaways, including a pick six at the final whistle that didn’t count in the final score and resulted in him getting dinged up. Michigan running backs averaged 2.9 yards per carry.

This game also marks the last game in the Michigan-Notre Dame series, and possibly the rivalry.

NOTE: the Wolverines scoreless for the first time in 30 years.

Virginia TechVaTech 35,  Ohio Stateohiostate2014 21

Michael Brewer passed for two touchdowns on Saturday night and Virginia Tech’s defense stood tough at the end as the Hokies stunned the eighth-ranked Buckeyes 35-21.

”I still have confidence that we have enough skill on this football team to get by people,” Meyer said.

Indiana Bye Week

Stay tuned for next week when the Big Ten’s Week 2 winners try to restore a shred of the conference’s credibility. Iowa-Iowa State, Maryland-West Virginia, Minnesota-TCU, Illinois-Washington and the very first Big Ten game in Rutgers history ought to be worth watching.

 

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKERS 4 the Week”

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OFFENSE: Wes Lunt, Illinois
DEFENSE: Drew Ott, Iowa
SPECIAL TEAMS: N/A
FRESHMEN: N/A

 

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2014 Big Ten – Week 1

Posted on September 1, 2014. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 1 is in the books…

August 31, 2014

Eastern Illinois 20, Minnesota 42

Rutgers 41, Washington State 38
Whew… first Big Ten victory!

Jacksonville State 7, Michigan State 45
Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… yup 11 of ’em

Penn State 26, UCF 24
Whew game of the week from Ireland

Youngstown State 17, Illinois 28
A victory nonetheless 1-0 to start the season off

After a shaky start (give the guy a break, he hadn’t played in two years), the Rochester rocket finished with 285 yards and four touchdowns. And his teammates promise he will get better. Somewhere, Nathan Scheelhaase was smiling, knowing his old spot is in good hands with Mr. Wes Lunt

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Indiana State 10, Indiana 28
defense — helped Indiana get by Indiana State

Northern Iowa 23, Iowa 31
Work in progress but a win is a win!

Appalachian State 14, Michigan 52
250 yards of rushing later.., the Wolverines cruise past App State

Ohio State 34, Navy 17
   …a game of two halves but in the end… the ‘i’ was dotted 1-0

Western Michigan 34, Purdue 43
Got enough points to win… next?

Florida Atlantic 7, Nebraska 55
Abdullah and Armstrong Jr – nuff said!!!

California 31, Northwestern 24
Ut oh… 0-1 for the ‘Cats

James Madison 7, Maryland 52
Big first win but a major injury could hurt long-term

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKERS 4 the Week”

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OFFENSE: Ameer Abdullah, Neb.
DEFENSE: Johnathan Aiken, RU
SPECIAL TEAMS: Sam Ficken, PSU
FRESHMEN: QB Barrett, OSU & WR Hamilton, PSU

 

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Big Ten Week 7 recap

Posted on October 14, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Big Ten Week 7 Recap…

October 12, 2013

Michigan State 42, Indiana 28

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Nebraska 44, Purdue 7

The Cornhuskers has their way against the homecoming host Purdue Boilermakers, as they defeat them with ease 44-7 on Saturday.

Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah ran for 126 yards and a touchdown. Terrell Newby ran for 61 yards and Imani Cross added 56 yards and two touchdowns for the Cornhuskers (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten).

This victory came with QB Taylor Martinez on the bench who has a turf toe injury. So, Tommy Armstrong Jr. started and completed just 6 of 18 passes for 43 yards with three interceptions. Ron Kellogg III stepped in and completed 10 of 13 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

On the other side of the ball, Nebraska held Purdue to 216 yards, and the Boilermakers didn’t score until the final minute of the game. Purdue ran for just 32 yards on 25 carries.

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Northwestern 6, Wisconsin 35

The Badgers defense did all its talking on the field defeating the Cats 35-6. For most of the day, the Badgers pushed around an opponent that had been averaging 39 points and 474 yards a game. Players in red jerseys were flying around all over the field, especially in Northwestern’s backfield.

The Badgers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) chased down quarterbacks Kain Colter and Trever Siemian. Jared Abbrederis burned the secondary for a 63-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter before leaving with a head injury. Gordon finished with 22 carries for 172 yards.

And, as usual, the heady Chris Borland was in the middle of what seemed like every play. That energy from the pregame speech seemed to carry over to both sides of the ball, building up as a slow start and defensive struggle turned into a decided blowout on homecoming weekend.

“Trust me, Chris Borland said whatever he needed to say in very (certain) terms,” coach Gary Andersen said. “Those kids listened to him.”

Northwestern (4-2, 0-2) the league’s peskiest defense, grabbed three more turnovers to increase its season total to 17.

The Wildcats just couldn’t turn those mistakes into enough points.

Clobbered by the pass rush. Shut down in the running game — just 44 yards on 25 carries, the lowest total since getting zero yards in a loss to Ohio State in 2007.

“I hope this gives our guys a punch in the face and wakes them up. It’s hard to win Big Ten football games,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When you get punched in the face, you’ve got to shake the cobwebs out.”

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Michigan 40, Penn State 43

It took overtime in Happy Valley for Penn to snag a 43-40 victory over visiting Michigan.

On fourth-and-1 and with an upset on the line, Belton leaped ahead for 3 yards. Three plays later, he was in the end zone, and Penn State’s party was on.

“If I don’t get the yard,” Belton said, “I’m going to hear it the rest of the time I’m here.”

Bill O’Brien celebrates arguably his biggest win as coach of Penn State with fans Saturday night.

The Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) stormed the field in wild celebration, sending more than 100,000 fans into a frenzy.

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BIG TEN Week 5 Recap

Posted on October 6, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Separation week…

October 5, 2013

OHIO STATE 40, Northwestern 30

The Buckeyes’ remain undefeated (6-0, 2-0) as they knock off the ‘Cats 40-30. Carlos Hyde, who was suspended for the first three games after an alleged conflict with a female in a bar this summer, ran for a career-high 168 yards and three touchdowns, and Ohio State rallied to beat No. 16 Northwestern 40-30 Saturday and extend the nation’s longest win streak to 18 games.

“I go out every game with the mindset that I have to make up for those three games,” Hyde said.

Northwestern was leading 23-20 early in the fourth when Doran Grant stepped in front of Lawrence to pick off a pass by Siemian at the 23. He returned it 7 yards to the Northwestern 16, and on third-and-goal at the 2, Hyde reached across the goal line and was credited with the touchdown after a replay review.

That delighted the Buckeyes fans, but the Northwestern crowd had plenty to cheer moments later.

Siemian connected with Lawrence on a 67-yard slant to the 7. Then, with the ball at the 12, a scrambling Siemian found Dickerson in the end zone on third down. Just like that, the Wildcats were back on top, 30-27, but in the end, it was Ohio State’s night.

Northwestern hasn’t beaten a Top-five team since it opened the 1959 season with wins over No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 5 Iowa.

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INDIANA 44, Penn State 24

The Hoosiers’ (3-2, 1-0) are FORREAL as they defeat Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-1) 44-24 in Bloomington.  Nate Sudfeld threw two touchdown passes and Tre Roberson ran for two more scores.

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NEBRASKA 39, Illinois 19

Cornhuskers proved to have too many weapons for the Fighting Illini Saturday as they dominated in the win 39-19 in Lincoln. Ameer Abdullah ran for a career-high 225 yards and two touchdowns and Nebraska’s maligned defense was much improved in a 39-19 victory over Illinois on Saturday.

Tommy Armstrong, starting his second straight game in place of injured quarterback Taylor Martinez, led the Cornhuskers (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) to touchdowns on his first three series and was solid throughout. Armstrong was 8 of 13 for 135 yards.

Illinois (3-2, 0-1), which came in averaging 40 points a game, didn’t score its first touchdown until the middle of the third quarter. Twice when the Illini looked as if they would make a game of it, the Huskers made big stops.

Josh Ferguson led the Illini with 114 yards on 19 carries and another 82 yards on eight catches.

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MICHIGAN STATE 26, Iowa 14

MICHIGAN 42, Minnesota 13

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2012 Big Ten Championship

Posted on November 30, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

nebraska1vs. wiscbadgers1

by Kevin DeBartlo and Prez Ro

November 30, 2012

No. 14 Nebraska (10-2, 7-1) vs. Wisconsin (7-5, 4-4), 8:17 p.m. Saturday (Fox)

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WHAT’S AT STAKE
In short, the winner will play in the Rose bowl against whoever wins tonights Pac-12 championship game.

Nebraska, Legends Division champion, defeated Wisconsin in their first matchup in September, 30-27.

Wisconsin gets to play for a third straight Big Ten championship by default because the teams ahead of the Badgers in the Leaders Division, Ohio State and Penn State, are ineligible. Click here to see the trophy…

KEY MATCHUP
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball vs. Nebraska defense. The Badgers’ 1,500-yard rusher accounts for almost 35 percent of the Badgers’ offense. If Ball gets going, QB Curt Phillips will be more effective with play-action passes and Wisconsin will keep Nebraska’s high-powered offense on the sideline longer. The Huskers held Ball to 2.8 yards a carry in the first game. But Ball has been on a roll lately, and Nebraska is without defensive line anchor Baker Steinkuhler because of injury.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nebraska: RB Rex Burkhead, a 1,300-yard rusher a year ago, returned after a four-game injury layoff to spark the Huskers in the second half against Iowa last week. The Badgers rank second in the Big Ten against the run, but Penn State’s Zach Zwinak dented the Badgers for 179 yards last week. The fresh-legged Burkhead coupled with Ameer Abdullah give Nebraska a formidable 1-2 punch.

Wisconsin: Phillips is the Badgers’ third starter this season, and the question is how he will respond to the championship-game atmosphere. Phillips has completed just 52 percent of his passes and has been sacked nine times in his three starts. To his credit, he led fourth-quarter comebacks against Ohio State and Penn State, but the Badgers lost those games when he failed to move the offense in overtime.

FACTS & FIGURES
Wisconsin is designated as the home team for the game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Huskers are in their third conference championship game in four years. They lost Big 12 title games to Texas in 2009 and Oklahoma in 2010.

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Ohter fun notes thanks to the fine folks at ESPN Stats & Info…

football_icon_small1Nebraska gives up 152.2 pass yards per game, the fewest in the FBS this season. Two reasons for the Cornhuskers’ success are they do not allow many yards after the catch and they do not allow downfield completions. They rank second among all BCS automatic-qualifying schools in yards after the catch allowed per game (54.2), and they lead the Big Ten in fewest completions allowed (22) on passes thrown 15 yards or longer.

football_icon_small1Wisconsin and Nebraska represent two of the winningest programs in the nation over the past four seasons. Wisconsin has the FBS’ 11th-best win percentage since the start of the 2009 season at .750 (39-13), while Nebraska ranks 13th at .736 (39-14).

football_icon_small1Huskers sophomore wide receiver Kenny Bell has caught six of Taylor Martinez’s nine touchdowns on passes thrown 15 yards or longer this season, the most such touchdowns for any Nebraska player in the last nine seasons.

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football_icon_small1Nebraska has fumbled 32 times this season, with its opponents recovering 20, the second most in the FBS. Martinez has the most fumbles (14) in the FBS this season. It is the third straight season that he had the most or tied for the most fumbles in the FBS.

football_icon_small1Wisconsin is converting 33.5 percent of its third downs this season, tied for 104th in the FBS. Last season, the Badgers led the FBS in third-down conversion percentage (52.2). One difference has been in the passing game. Wisconsin is completing 45.5 percent of its third-down passes, tied for the eighth-lowest percentage in FBS. The Badgers led the nation in third-down completion percentage last season (71.7).

football_icon_small1On designed running plays this season, Martinez is averaging a career-high 7.6 yards per rush against Big Ten opponents. That is three yards per carry more than last season. Martinez had 90 yards on eight such runs in the Big Ten opener against Wisconsin, including two runs that gained 20 yards or more.

football_icon_small1The nation’s top tackler over the past two seasons with 265 total stops, Wisconsin senior linebacker Mike Taylor has averaged 18.6 tackles in two career games against Nebraska. He had a career-high 22 tackles last season and totaled 15 stops in the teams’ Sept. 29 meeting in Lincoln.

football_icon_small1According to STATS LLC, Nebraska’s four second-half double-digit comebacks in 2012 not only lead the nation, but represent one of just four times since 1996 that an FBS team has posted as many as four double-digit second-half comebacks. North Carolina State had six such comebacks in 2000, while NU is one of three with four comebacks. The four second-half double-digit comebacks in 2012 are also the most in school history.

football_icon_small1Wisconsin has lost just 11 turnovers on the season, matching Iowa for the fewest in the Big Ten and tying for the fourth-fewest nationally. Only Ohio (8), Pittsburgh (8) and Kansas State (9) have fewer giveaways than UW this season.

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football_icon_small1With 18 touchdowns on the year, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is the first player to lead the Big Ten in scoring in three consecutive seasons since at least 1939. •Nebraska has defeated a team twice in a season only three times in school history. In 1891, Nebraska and Doane College met three times, with the Huskers winning two of those games. In 1894, Nebraska defeated the Omaha YMCA twice, while Nebraska also defeated Nebraska Wesleyan twice in 1896. The Huskers beat Wisconsin 30-27 on Sept. 29 in Lincoln.

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