2016 Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on October 3, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten from Week 5 Recap…

October 1, 2016

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compiled by Prez Ro
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This was a big week in college football and the Big Ten had one marquee matchup that turned into a bit of a dud. Here ya go!

Michigan 14, Wisconsin 7

I was really looking forward to watching this game, and then it started, and well, I started doing laundry… The most exciting moment for me was one of the better interceptions you’ll see all year and the goofy centipede formation by coach Jim Harbaugh.

The Wolverines went into halftime with a 7-0 lead thanks to a touchdown from fullback Khalid Hill. Wisconsin answered in the third when freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook connected with Dare Ogunbowale for a 17-yard touchdown strike. Michigan would recapture the lead midway through the fourth when Wilton Speight hit Amara Darboh for what would turn out to be the game-winning 46-yard score.

That’s it….

 

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Indiana 24, Michigan State 21 (OT)

I thought it was pretty silly earlier in the week when I saw that Michigan State was only favored by six points over the Hoosiers. Late last night I felt pretty silly myself for thinking that I knew more than the sharks in Vegas.

The Hoosiers’ victory allowed them to reclaim the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time in a decade. What exactly is an old brass spittoon? I have no idea, but it sounds pretty mysterious and I would love to have one of my own someday.

Richard Lagow led the Hoosiers as he completed 16 of 26 passes for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lagow was also on the receiving end of a five-yard score in the third quarter. Devine Redding led all rushers with 100 yards on 19 carries. Senior wideout Ricky Jones added 124 yards receiving and a touchdown.

The Spartans’ three-headed backfield of Gerald Holmes, Madre London, and L.J. Scott combined for 128 yards rushing while Tyler O’Connor added 36 of his own. O’Connor connected on 21 of 35 passes for 263 yards and three scores. R.J. Shelton had himself a day as the senior hauled in seven passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger missed a 49-yard field goal attempt in overtime. The Hoosiers returned the favor with a miss of their own, but the Spartans were flagged for leaping which gave Indiana new life. Griffin Oakes would then knock in the chip-shot 20-yarder to bring the Hoosiers to 3-1.

Nebraska 31, Illinois 16

Illini jumped out early and controlled the game until the fourth quarter when tailback Terrell Newby led the way in a fourth quarter that saw Nebraska score three touchdowns. The senior ran for 113 of his 140 yards in the game’s final quarter and scored twice on his own.

Tommy Armstrong completed 16 of 23 passes for 220 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also found the endzone once with his legs. Jordan Westerkamp led all receivers with four receptions for 65 yards.

The Illinois offense had a pretty lackluster day, totaling just 270 yards. Wes Lunt was 13 of 22 for 133 yards. Reggie Corbin led the Illini ground game with nine carries for 72 yards. Lovie Smith’s squad struggled to convert in enemy territory and had to settle for three Chase McLaughlin field goals.

 

Ohio State 58, Rutgers 0

Speechless even for me when talking about Ohio State…

With the win, Ohio State moved to 4-0 (1-0 B1G) on the season. The loss dropped Rutgers to 2-3 (0-2).

The Buckeyes will next be in action Saturday when they host Indiana at 3:30 p.m.

 

Penn State 29, Minnesota 26

Penn State steals a victory over Minnesota behind the play of the entire team.

Northwestern 38, Iowa 31

The Hawkeye fanbase has to be elated that the administration and athletic supporters elected to keep Kirk Ferentz around for another decade or so. Since the extension was announced less than a month ago, Iowa has fallen at home twice. Two weeks ago it was to North Dakota State of the FCS and yesterday’s loss came at the hands of a Northwestern squad that was 1-3 heading into the matchup.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson accounted for all five of the Wildcats’ touchdowns. Thorson threw for 164 yards and a trio of scores while adding another with his legs. Jackson rushed for 171 yards and, with the game tied at 24, scored on a 58-yard scamper late in the third quarter. Senior wideout Austin Carr hauled in all three of Thorson’s touchdown passes.

The Hawkeye offense could only manage 283 yards on the day. C.J. Beathard threw for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception. LeShun Daniels Jr. ran for 72 yards and a score. Akrum Wadley struggled to get anything going as the junior rushed for just 35 yards on 14 carries, though he did find the endzone twice.

Looking at the bright side for Iowa, they may be able to avoid about $2 million that Ferentz is set to bring home (over the length of his contract) if the Hawkeyes reach seven wins on the season. That could help to make a ridiculous buyout a little bit less absurd.

Note: Internet searches for “Kirk Ferentz buyout” peaked around 2:30PM yesterday.

Maryland 50, Purdue 7

The Terrapins are not as bad as many thought they’d be. In his first year at the helm, D.J. Durkin actually has Maryland looking like a solid football team, and his Big Ten debut was a memorable one. Yes, Purdue is awful, but the Terps were damn impressive on Saturday as they moved to 4-0 on the season.

 

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Not a bad little weekend in the conference. The Hoosiers handing Dantonio his second conference loss was a bit unexpected. The Buckeyes obviously rolled over Rutgers and neither Michigan nor Wisconsin did anything that should invoke fear across the state of Ohio.

Next week’s conference slate can best be described as “meh.” Michigan is traveling to Rutgers where they will surely trounce the Scarlet Knights. The Spartans host BYU as they will look to avoid a third straight loss. The Hoosiers – who have been a tad bit pesky lately – will make their way to Columbus.

Are the Durkin-led Terps going to screw around and end up in the Top 25? A win at Happy Valley next week could certainly help their case.

 

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2016 BIG Ten Week 4

Posted on September 26, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten from Week 4 Recap…

September 24, 2016

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compiled by Prez Ro
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Week 4…. Conference play kicked off this weekend…. Here ya go!

Wisconsin 30, Michigan State 6

Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook’s first start was a memorable one for the Badgers as they knocked off the Spartans. The Badgers – led by a defense that forced four turnovers – would go on to hold the Spartans without a touchdown.

Hornibrook tossed a touchdown pass and Corey Clement found the endzone in the second quarter to give Wisconsin the edge and they never looked back. The freshman ended the day 16 of 26 for 195 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Corey Clement found the endzone twice but could only manage 54 yards on 23 carries. Jazz Peavy led all pass-catchers with four receptions for 96 yards.

Word has it that the Spartans may be on the verge of a bit of a quarterback controversy, though their head coach is saying otherwise. Lima, Ohio native Tyler O’Connor was atrocious on the day. The senior was 18 of 38 for 224 yards and three interceptions and his performance has some fans clamoring for redshirt freshman Brian Lewerke. Lewerke came in on the Spartans’ final drive and was 2 of 4 for 26 yards.

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Michigan 49, Penn State 10

In a yawner at home, the Wolverines dominated from the kickoff. Let me put it this way, it was pointed out to me that Michigan had more points (28) than Penn State had total yards (24). WOW! Nothing else to report. LINK TO BOXSCORE

Nebraska 24, Northwestern 13

Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. put on a show Saturday afternoon which led to the victory against the ‘Cats. He threw for 246 yards and a score while adding a new career high of 132 yards rushing. Terrell Newby ran for 69 yards and scored a touchdown of his own.

Clayton Thorson led the Northwestern attack with 292 yards of total offense to go along with a pair of touchdowns. The sophomore was also picked off twice. Justin Jackson led the ground game with 79 yards while Austin Carr was the game’s leading receiver with 109 yards and a score.

With three losses already on the young season, the Wildcats have matched their total from last year’s 10-3 campaign.

Iowa 14, Rutgers 7

Minnesota 31, Colorado State 24

Wake Forest 33, Indiana 28

Purdue 24, Nevada 14

 

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Next weekend’s headliner will certainly be the Badgers traveling back to the Mitten State to take on the Wolverines. The Buckeyes will host Rutgers and Michigan State will be looking to bounce back in Bloomington.

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2016 BIG Ten Week 3

Posted on September 19, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten from Week 3 Recap…

September 18, 2016

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Week 3…. Big Ten stood strong when it needed to when they were in the national spotlight but for the others… it was ugly.

Here we go….

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Michigan State 36, Notre Dame 28

The Michigan State offense proved too much for the Irish as they had more than 500 yards led by quarterback Tyler O’Connor and the backfield duo of Gerald Holmes and L.J. Scott. Holmes rushed for 100 yards and two scores while Scott added 98 and another touchdown. O’Connor threw for 241 yards and a pair of scores with another 43 yards coming on the ground.

Even true freshman Donnie Corley got him some in the contest as he hauled in four passes for 88 yards including a second-quarter touchdown that got the Spartans on the board.

The Irish did fight back after the Spartans were up by 29 points in the third quarter. DeShone Kizer led the way for Notre Dame as the junior threw for 344 yards and four total touchdowns (2 rushing, 2 passing). Torii Hunter Jr. caught five passes for 95 yards.

Nebraska 35, Oregon 32

This game was an offensive juggernaut in which both teams combined for over 900 yards of total offense. But in the end, it was Tommy Armstrong’s 34-yard touchdown scamper late in the fourth quarter that sealed the deal for the Huskers.

Armstrong finished with 200 yards and two touchdowns on the day plus 95 on the ground.

Before the game, the Ducks paid tribute to Sam Foltz, the Cornhuskers’ fallen punter. Classy move by Mark Helfrich and Co.

Michigan 45, Colorado 28

The Buffalos flew out of the pasture on the Wolverines jumping out to a quick 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but things would happen, Harbough & Co. rallied back to go up by a field goal by halftime. Then in the second half, they scored three touchdowns to seal the game.

North Dakota State 23, Iowa 21

NDS proved why they are championship caliber team knocking off Big Ten’s Iowa squad 23-21.

In the end, it was Bison kicker, Cam Pedersen, who nailed a 37-yard field goal to give the Bison the win as time expired.

The Hawkeye offense struggled all afternoon as they only obtain less than 250 yards of offense. Quarterback C.J. Beathard connected on 50% of his passes while throwing for 152 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The usually potent ground game that put up 212 yards against Miami (OH) and just shy of 200 against Iowa State was stymied on Saturday. LeShun Daniels Jr. – Iowa’s leading rusher on the day – could only manage 29 yards on 14 carries. As a whole, the team gained 34 yards on the ground.

Wisconsin 23, Georgia State 17

With under 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Badgers found themselves trailing the 0-2 Panthers. Paul Chryst elected to shake things up at quarterback when senior Bart Houston was benched in favor of Alex Hornibrook. The redshirt freshman took over in the third quarter after a number of errant passes from Houston. The Badgers found the endzone on Hornibrook’s opening drive under center, their first of the game.

Hornibrook finished the day 8 of 12 for 122 yards with a touchdown and one interception. Houston was 10 of 18 for 91 yards. Dare Ogunbowale led the Badger ground game as the senior rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Northwestern 24, Duke 13

Finally…. The Northwestern Wilcats got a vicotry for the season as they defeated visiting Duke, 24-13.  Clayton Thorson threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns while Justin Jackson added 94 on the ground. Senior wideout Austin Carr hauled in six passed for 135 yards and a score.

Maryland 30, UCF 24 (2OT)

It took two overtimes, but the Terps were able to move to 3-0 on the season. Quarterback Perry Hills accounted for 156 yards and a touchdown, but it was true freshman Tyrrell Pigrome who scored the game-winner in double overtime. Hill exited the game with a shoulder injury and the true freshman came in for his only play of the day.

Ohio State 45, Oklahoma 24

If Ohio State wanted to make a statement, well, mission accomplished as dominated from kickoff to the final whistle. With the win, Ohio State improved to 3-0 on the young season while the loss dropped the Sooners to 1-2. Saturday was the third meeting in the series between Ohio State and Oklahoma. The Buckeyes are now 2–1 vs. Oklahoma and 19–5–1 all-time against current members of the Big 12 conference.

Game Notes
– The win extends Ohio State’s road win streak to 19 games, the longest active streak in the nation.

– Ohio State is undefeated, 19–0, in true road games under head coach Urban Meyer.

– Urban Meyer is now 34–13 in his career vs. ranked teams, including 13–3 at Ohio State.

– J.T. Barrett completed 14 of 20 passes for 152 yards and four touchdowns, all to Noah Brown. Barrett now has 55 career TD passes, passing Braxton Miller (52) and Troy Smith (54) for third place on Ohio State’s all-time list. The record is 57 by Bobby Hoying.

– Noah Brown tied the Ohio State record with four TD receptions. Dane Sanzenbacher (2010), Terry Glenn (1995) and Bob Grimes (1952) also had four in a game. Brown finished with five catches for 72 yards.

– Ohio State’s defense surrendered its fist touchdowns of the season Saturday, keeping opposing defenses out of the end zone for the first 9 quarters of the season. Ohio State is yet to allow a rushing TD on the season.

– Chris Worley led Ohio State with a career-high 10 tackles on the night.

 

Rutgers 37, New Mexico 28

Western Michigan 34, Illinois 10

Penn State 34, Temple 27

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So, after a rough afternoon, things got much better for the conference as the day unfolded. Yes, Iowa fell to an FCS championship-style opponent and that’s never a good look, but Ohio State, Nebraska, and Michigan State all got it done Saturday evening.

The Buckeyes have a bye next week, but there’s two pretty interesting games to watch out for as the Badgers travel to East Lansing and the Wolverines are set to host Penn State.

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2016 BIG Ten Preview

Posted on August 31, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2016 BIG Ten Preview

August 31, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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The Big Ten remains top heavy heading into this season but their best teams all reside in the same division so there will be some major collusions featuring Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. The winner of the East could very well be the champion of the Big Ten but I’m certain Iowa and Wisconsin will have something to say about that.

The Hawkeyes are currently the favorites to repeat as West but Wisconsin has restocked their roster as well as  Nebraska. The Big Ten may not be the deepest conference of the so-called Power 5, but its top teams should play significant roles when it comes to the national title picture that’s for sure.

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The conference had more players drafted in the first three rounds – the ones that matter – than the SEC, and everyone else. B1G joins the ACC as the only league to have two different teams in the first two years of the College Football Playoff, it had some high-profile moments this last bowl season – nothing to see here with the Rose, Sugar and Outback, though – and more than anything else, the conference’s programs are really, really, really rich, and getting richer.

Eight Big Ten schools – with newbies Maryland and Rutgers, along with Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue just on the outside – are in the $100 million athletic department club in annual revenue generated, while the Big Ten Network is definitely printing money for the schools.

In short, all this means it’s easier to keep around the Harbaughs, and the Meyers, and the Franklins, and the Dantonios and it’s easier to attract the Lovies, and have the Schianos as assistants. And soon, it might be easier to attract more programs to expand even further. But that’s for another day.

On the field, the Big Ten is better when Michigan is one of college football’s elite programs. It’s back with Jim Harbaugh the most interesting man in the world, while Ohio State continues to be special, Michigan State not going anywhere, and a resurgent Penn State about to be a whole bunch better over the next few seasons.

AP Poll

Throw in the improved coaching situations at Maryland and Rutgers, and with Indiana no longer a speedbump, and the East is going to be fascinating.

Can Nebraska start to get the right breaks and be better and stronger under Mike Riley? Probably. Iowa has another great team returning, Wisconsin is going to have a running game again and be dangerous, Northwestern and Minnesota are still solid, Illinois should be far better in a hurry under Lovie Smith, and Purdue has its best team yet under Darrell Hazell.

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NOTE: Big Ten Game of the Year
Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 26 – All due respect given to Michigan State, who gets the Wolverines and Buckeyes at home, but the rivalry of all sports rivalries will matter more than ever now. It might be for the Big Ten East – and, effectively, the Big Ten title – after the game not making a difference in the race last year, and while Jim Harbaugh can’t do any wrong, it’s not going to sit well if he’s 0-2 against Urban.

Here is our overall Big Ten Predictions….

EAST

WEST

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“IF” all things go according to our prediction, Ohio State and Wisconsin will face off December 3 in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship with the Buckeyes winning it all going into the BCS Playoffs.

Even by the Big Ten Network poll, Ohio State was chosen to win it all – click here to read!

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BIG Ten Week 11 Recap

Posted on November 9, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Just another week of football….

November 8, 2014

Wow… what a week for the Big Ten… my staff and I are speechless. And people are questioning why isn’t any Big Ten teams in the top four… whew!!!

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Wisconsin 34, Purdue 16

The Badgers are balanced and have a well-oiled offense.

Melvin Gordon got Wisconsin going with two touchdown runs, and Joel Stave had a great game throwing the ball (17-27, 190 yards, 2 TDs). The only Purdue player to stand out was kicker Paul Griggs, who kicked three field goals. Purdue brought it within 24-16, but Wisconsin pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Michigan 10, Northwestern 9

Another last minute heartbreaking lose for Northwestern…. That’s three years in a row.

Overall, this game had no offense at all. On social media, Michigan-Northwestern was jokingly called the M00N game since the score remained 0-0 for most of the game.

In the third quarter, Michigan turned a botched punt return into a short field touchdown. Northwestern couldn’t respond until the mid-fourth quarter when it marched 95 yards only to kick a field goal (given the game’s context, the dumbest field goal I’ve ever seen).​ After a Michigan field goal, the Wildcats drove for a touchdown with three seconds left to cut it to 10-9. Pat Fitzgerald mercifully called for a two-point conversion to end the game, but Michigan knew what was coming and Trevor Siemian fell down to end the game.

Penn State 13, Indiana 7

This game featured the battle between punters as both teams had a grand total of 20 punts….

The Hoosiers’ struck first on a pick-six by Mark Murphy. A few seconds later, the Nittany Lions countered on Bill Belton’s 92-yard touchdown run, the longest by any player in Penn State history. It was the only offensive highlight on the day. Other than two second half field goals by Penn State’s Sam Ficken… that’s it folks….

Tevin Coleman finished the game with 71 yards on 20 carries.

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Minnesota 51, Iowa 14

Every year, Minnesota and Iowa play for Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze trophy shaped like a pig. The Big Ten’s most idiosyncratic trophy went to the Golden Gophers, as Minnesota handed Iowa its worst loss in 15 years.

Iowa opened with a touchdown, and that was it for a while for them… The Gophers rattled off 51 consecutive points, demolishing Iowa on the ground and through the air. Maxx Williams had three touchdown catches, including a fantastic spear in the second quarter, and the defense shut down Iowa until the waning seconds of the game.

After this dominant performance, it’s time for the nation to reconsider the Gophers as a force to be reckoned with. They are one of only four Big Ten teams to control their destiny in the conference championship race, and they have an outside chance of breaking into the top 25 rankings by year’s end. With games remaining against Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin, Minnesota needs all the gravitas it can muster.

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Next week (week 12) brings some good action, namely a matchup between ranked Nebraska and Wisconsin teams and a consolation game between Michigan State and Maryland. Whatever happens, it ought to be better than this week. See you all then.

 

 

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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 7 Recap

Posted on October 15, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 7…

October 11, 2014

No ranked games for any BIG TEN teams… Really? Wow… Well, at least every game was competitive. As a sidebar, I’m still a little confused on Big Ten football…

 

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Wisconsin 38, Illinois 28
Although the Illini took an early lead against the Badgers, 14-7, but it wouldn’t be for the entire game, of course. The Badgers dominated much of the second and third quarters behind Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement’s 339 rushing yards, but the Illini scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the final line more respectable.

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Michigan State 45, Purdue 31
The Spartans were just too much for the Boilermakers. There one-two punch of Connor Cook and Tony Lippett resembled an NFL-caliber quarterback-receiver duo.

The Boilermakers did make it a game beind for 21 in the fourth. The Boilermakers got the ball back with three minutes and a chance to tie, but pressure from the Spartan defense (which harassed Purdue QB Austin Appleby all game) forced an errant throw Darien Harris picked off and returned for a touchdown to seal the win.

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Michigan 18, Penn State 13
Close but necessary victory for Michigan.

The Nittany Lions led 13-10 at the half thanks to a Devin Gardner pick turned into a touchdown. From this, they were only able to score 3 points, and the Wolverines hit two field goals. Facing fourth and long in its own territory, Penn State took an intentional safety and attempted a last-ditch onside kick. They recovered it, only for a bogus offside penalty to wipe it out. Yawn….

Minnesota 24, Northwestern 17
Gophers keep doing just enough to win games and on this Saturday they improved to 2-0 in conference play. This is the first time in a decade. Way to go!!!

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Iowa 45, Indiana 29
In the first quarter, Iowa exploded for four touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead. The Hoosiers got it close, pulling within seven at 28-21, but returning Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock propelled Iowa to a couple more scores to ensure he could wear his plaid victory cap.

Running-back Tevin Coleman (15 carries, 219 yards) is doing all he can to buoy the Hoosiers, busting out for three 40+ yard touchdown runs, but he can’t save the season all by himself.

NOTE: Iowa is just one win away from bowl eligibility.

Week 8 features four Big Ten games outside of the Ohio State-Rutgers game: Purdue-Minnesota, Iowa-Maryland, Michigan State-Indiana and Nebraska-Northwestern. I recommend Iowa-Maryland for its delicate combination of crab and corn and Purdue-Minnesota for the gleeful uglyball the Gophers will play. See you all then.

 

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Tevin Coleman, Indiana, Jr., RB, Tinley Park, Ill./Oak Forest 15 carries, 219 yards

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 6 Recap

Posted on October 6, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 6…

October 4, 2014

What an EPIC college football weekend as five top-10 teams lost in the same week for the first time ever, and two others barely survived. The Big Ten was just as strange and after six weeks of play, the best conference record belongs to Northwestern. Who knew….

 

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Purdue 38, Illinois 27

Purdue coach Darrell Hazell promoted QB Austin Appleby to starter which lead to an efficient performance. The Boilermakers, led by Appleby and Akeem Hunt, exploited Illinois’ horrid rush defense for 551 yards of offense, 349 of those on the ground.

Illinois was never able to dig out of a 7-11 point hole, and quarterback Wes Lunt left the game late with a leg injury. Only receiver Mike Dudek (eight catches, 200 yards) was a bright spot for the Illini.

The Boilermakers won their first Big Ten game since 2012.

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Northwestern 20, Wisconsin 14

Northwestern pulled off a Big Ten stunner for the second week in a row, taking down a ranked Wisconsin team in Evanston for the fourth time since 1999.

It was Miles Shuler who put the Wildcats up 17-7 in the third quarter, and Godwin Igwebuike had three interceptions to move Northwestern to 2-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2000.

Melvin Gordon had a career high 259 rushing yards, but Wisconsin’s quarterbacks were worse than ever. Tanner McEvoy was so ineffective that he was pulled for Joel Stave, who is battling the yips. The Badgers are afflicted by Le’Veon Bell Syndrome, which occurs when a team relies on a star running back so much that the rest of a team’s offense becomes ineffective (see Michigan State, 2012).

Michigan State 27, Nebraska 22

The Spartans jumped out early with a 27-3 lead until the tables turned… The Spartans had three giveaways in their own territory, two of them in a row, and Nebraska still couldn’t score.

A good punt return gave Nebraska strong field position, which it converted into an Abdullah power-rush touchdown. Nebraska again pounded Abdullah for a rushing touchdown, and a 62-yard return by De’Mornay Pierson-El after a MSU punt made it a one score game. Michigan State’s field goal attempt with a minute left hit the upright; Nebraska advanced to the MSU 37, but an interception by Trae Waynes sealed the game.

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Rutgers 26, Michigan 24

The Scarlet Knights defeated Michigan to move one win away from bowl eligibility and send the Wolverines to 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1967. Michigan had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Kemoko Turay blocked a 56-yard field goal to preserve the win for Rutgers.

This was a classic good news/bad news game for Michigan. The good news: the rush defense is stout, the Wolverines averaged 4.5 yards a carry, and Devin Gardner was nearly good enough to guide Michigan to an upset of Rutgers. The bad news: Devin Gardner was not quite good enough to guide Michigan to an upset of Rutgers, and 2-10 is a real, horrifying possibility with Northwestern and Indiana looking spry.

Indiana 49, North Texas 24

Indiana has to be the Big Ten’s most hot-and-cold team. They were hot on Saturday, trouncing North Texas.

The Hoosiers used a short field and a timely onside kick to race out to a 21-0 lead, which they maintained for the rest of the game. The maligned defense, led by Donovan Clark, contained the Mean Green to 348 yards. Tevin Coleman, the Big Ten’s leading rusher, added 150 yards and a touchdown to seal the win.

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Week 7 will put some interesting matchups on the same field including Northwestern-Minnesota, Indiana-Iowa, and Penn State-Michigan among others. Hhhhmmmmm see you next week!

 

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Gary Nova, QB, Rutgers – 404 yards, 3 three 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

 

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKER 4 the Week”

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Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska 229 yards, two touchdowns

 

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