2014 BIG Ten – Week 3

Posted on September 14, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 3…

September 13, 2014

BIG games this week across the board…

I think we all can clearly admit that Big Ten Football hasn’t been that good this season. Last week, they went 8-5 against what some would consider easy opponents. Now in week 3, they faced a fewer tougher opponents. Overall, the league played a lot better but same results going 4-7.

 Washington 44, Illinois 19

The Fighting Illini barely won during the first two weeks, well, that caught up with them during week 3 as Washington dominated them all afternoon.

Washington led 21-3 at the end of the first quarter and 38-12 at the half, thanks in part to two defensive touchdowns from Shaq Thompson. Illinois played a sloppy, miserable game they had no chance of winning. Don’t interrupt Illinois head coach Tim Beckman’s delusions by telling him that, though.

———

 Penn State 13, Rutgers 10

Conference play kicked off with Penn State-Rutgers, in Rutgers’ first-ever Big Ten game. The Scarlet Knights’ much-maligned defense had a strong performance, but Gary Nova’s antics cost them the game.

The Rutgers defense asserted its will from the get-go, shutting out Penn State for the first half. After scraping out a couple field goals in the third and fourth quarter to pull within 10-6, Christian Hackenberg led PSU on a beautiful two-minute drill to take the lead. In response, Nova threw his fifth interception of the game.

It was a rough introduction to the Big Ten for Rutgers

———-

 West Virginia 40, Maryland 37

Heartbreak type of game here….

West Virginia jumped out to a 28-6 lead, but Maryland came back with a combination of red zone defense stances and plays from C.J. Brown and Stefon Diggs. Late in the fourth quarter, Maryland had a punt return from Will Likely to tie the score, and then allowed West Virginia to drive for the game-winning field goal.

———-
Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14

In the battle of Indiana… well, it’s still all about the Irish as they remain perfect.

Purdue was feisty in the first half, grabbing a 14-10 lead in the second quarter and ceding little ground on defense. But the Boilermakers allowed a last-minute touchdown before the half, and they couldn’t string together an offensive drive in the second half until it was too late.

The talent disparity was too great as the Fighting Irish beat the Boilermakers in Indianapolis.

——–
 Bowling Green 45, Indiana 42

The Big Ten’s struggles with the MAC continues as Indiana lost a winnable game to Bowling Green. This game went back-and-forth from the start as each team traded jabs, but in the end, the Hooisers’ defense couldn’t prevent an 88-yard touchdown drive in two minutes, giving up the winning score with nine seconds to go.

———-
 Michigan 34, Miami (Ohio) 10

Michigan needed this win more than a fat kid needs recess, as they suffered an embrassing loss last week at the hands of Notre Dame. So, this was the perfect opponent especially since Miami (Ohio) entered the contest on an 18-game losing streak.

The Wolverines got out to a quick 10-0 lead, but three turnovers in the second quarter let Miami tie the game. But athletic Derrick Green had an outstanding shownig for the Wolverines, rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and the Michigan defense smothered Miami. In the end, this was a well-needed win for Michigan and the Big Ten.

———

Iowa State 20, Iowa 17

TCU 30, Minnesota 7

Nebraska 55, Fresno State 19

BYE: Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin

 

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKER 4 the Week”

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J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State – finished the day 23 of 30 passing for 312 yards and six touchdown passes.

 

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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”

BIGTen-Helmet

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 Football Week Recap

Posted on October 27, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG TEN Football Recap…

November 30, 2013

2013 Conference Leaders

PASSING COMP ATT YDS TD
N. Scheelhaase 287 430 3272 21
D. Gardner 208 345 2960 21
RUSHING CAR YDS AVG TD
A. Abdullah 254 1568 6.2 8
M. Gordon 181 1466 8.1 12
RECEIVING REC YDS AVG TD
A. Robinson 97 1432 14.8 6
J. Gallon 80 1284 16.1 9

ohiostate-helmet 42, michigan-helmet41

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The 110th game between Ohio State and Michigan might have been the most thrilling, a back-and-forth affair that came down to one final play.  The Wolverines went for the win… and well, they came up short.

Tyvis Powell intercepted Devin Gardner’s 2-point conversion pass with 32 seconds left and No. 3 Ohio State held on for a 42-41 victory against Michigan on Saturday as one of the greatest rivalries in sports added another memorable chapter to its storied history.

“That’s an instant classic,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.

VAC365-TPOS

Top Performers
Passing: D. Gardner (MICH) – 451 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: C. Hyde (OSU) – 27 CAR, 226 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: J. Gallon (MICH) – 9 REC, 175 YDS, 1 TD

With this win and an Alabama lost, the Buckeyes’ may be playing in this years BCS. Here is our 2013-14 Bowl Predictions, CLICK HERE.

purdue-helmet36, indiana helmet56

Top Performers
Passing: D. Etling (PUR) – 485 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: S. Houston (IND) – 17 CAR, 120 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: D. Yancey (PUR) – 11 REC, 125 YDS, 1 TD

pennstate-helmet 41, wiscbadgers124

Top Performers
Passing: C. Hackenberg (PSU) – 339 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: Z. Zwinak (PSU) – 22 CAR, 115 YDS
Receiving: J. Abbrederis (WIS) – 12 REC, 135 YDS

northwestern-helmet 37, illini helmet34

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns (31-44, 0 INT) and Christian Jones caught 13 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Illinois 37-34 Saturday in the finale for both teams.

The Wildcats gashed an Illinois defense that has given up big yards and points all season. Northwestern’s 560 total yards made it the fifth team to top 500 yards against Illinois (4-8, 1-7).

Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 31-45 for 307 yards and two touchdowns in his last game at Illinois. Scheelhaase threw one interception in the game, but it was a game-changer.

Down 30-27 with just over eight minutes to play in the game, Illinois was driving. On a first-and-10 at his own 45, Scheelhaase rolled right under pressure and, just before he stepped out of bounds, forced a ball down the sideline. The only player close to it was Northwestern defensive end Tyler Scott, who juggled the ball but held it with both hands as he went out of bounds.

The play was upheld on review, a decision the sparse crowd howled loudly about and coach Tim Beckman argued over with the officials.

The Wildcats made quick work of Illinois’ defense, driving to the 7-yard line where Siemian found Jones in the end zone for the touchdown that put the Wildcats up by 10, 37-27, with 8:07 left to play.

Illinois pulled back to within three when Scheelhaase hit Miles Osei for an 11-yard touchdown with 2:23 left in the game.

But Northwestern’s Cameron Dickerson came up with the onside kick and the Wildcats ran out the clock.

The win, the Wildcats ended a seven-game losing streak for Northwestern (5-7, 1-7 Big Ten).

Top Performers
Passing: T. Siemian (NW) – 414 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: J. Ferguson (ILL) – 14 CAR, 110 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: C. Jones (NW) – 13 REC, 182 YDS, 2 TD

NOTE: Scheelhaase, a four-year starter, finished his career at Illinois with 10,634 total yards, No. 1 on the team’s all-time list. His 362 yards Saturday broke Juice Williams’ old record.

iowa-helmet38, nebraska117

Top Performers
Passing: J. Rudock (IOWA) – 126 YDS, 2 TD
Rushing: M. Weisman (IOWA) – 25 CAR, 73 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: K. Martin-Manley (IOWA) – 2 REC, 60 YDS, 1 TD

minnesota-helmet 3, michiganstate-helmet 14

Top Performers
Passing: C. Cook (MSU) – 143 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: J. Langford (MSU) – 21 CAR, 134 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: T. Lippett (MSU) – 4 REC, 71 YDS

 

November 16, 2013

illini helmet 35, ohiostate-helmet 52

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Buckeyes came, they saw, and they conquered the Fighting Illini Saturday afternoon 60-35, and continue their undefeated season (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten).

Between Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller were just too much. Hyde finished the day with 248 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground and another through the air. Quarterback Braxton Miller wasn’t far behind with 184 yards rushing and two more touchdowns.

“That last run, in my head I was like, we could (have done) this the whole time,” Hyde said. “That last run, I had energy and I just feel like we could have had that momentum the whole game.”

Illinois didn’t give up – after trailing 28-0 in the second quarter, they closed to 35-21 in the third on two Nathan Scheelhaase touchdown passes. Scheelhaase led the Illini with 288 yards passing and two touchdowns. But the Buckeyes defense kept him under pressure all day, sacking him five times and hitting him more than that.

Meyer praised Scheelhaase. “I love guys like that,” he said. “I told him after the game he was a great player. I thought he was hard to defend today.”

The loss extends the Big Ten losing streak for Illinois (3-7, 0-6) to 20 games.

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GAME NOTES
Braxton Miller became the fourth FBS quarterback this season to run for a touchdown of 70 yards or more, joining Kentucky’s Jalen Whitlow, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

Most 70-Yard Rushes by QB Since 2011
Braxton Miller, OSU 3
Marcus Mariota, ORE 3
Taylor Martinez, NEB 3
Jordan Lynch, NIU 3

NOTE: 2011 was Braxton Miller’s first season

“We weren’t really playing a good game, but we still put up 60 points,” said Miller, who added that he was fine after the hit. “Just gotta put a hard effort in and, toward the end of the game, you gotta give it your all.”

statefarm1

michigan-helmet27, northwestern-helmet 19 OT

EVANSTON, Ill. — Talk about precision at the end of the regulation. Visiting Wolverines’ special teams sprinted onto the field as the final seconds ticked away, and with one swift kick from 44-yards, Brendan Gibbons, nailed a kick that sent the game into overtime. This kick also saved Michigan from another loss and helped send the Wolverines to one thrilling victory.

“The last play of regulation is a play that a lot of team may not follow through and be successful,” coach Brady Hoke said. “That tells you about the discipline of these guys playing together. How they got on the field. How the guys that weren’t on that team got off the field. It might be the best single play I’ve ever seen.”

In overtime, on their first possession, it was Devin Gardner scored on a 5-yard run to lift Michigan to a 27-19 triple-overtime win over Northwestern on Saturday.

Gardner scored on an option and ran it in on the two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game.

Northwestern had one more chance, but Trevor Siemian got sacked for a 14-yard loss by Jibreel Black on second down. Then, his desperation pass on fourth down got intercepted by Thomas Gordan in the end zone, giving the Wolverines (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) their second win in five games and sending the Wildcats (4-6, 0-6) to their sixth straight loss.

None of that would have happened had Gibbons not converted in a chaotic finish at the end of regulation.

indiana helmet3,  wiscbadgers1 51

purdue-helmet 21, pennstate-helmet45

michiganstate-helmet 41, nebraska128

November 9, 2013

illini helmet 35, indiana helmet 52

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An offensive game at its best but in the end it was the Hooisers on top of the Illini 52-35.

Indiana’s Tevin Coleman rushed 15 times for a career-high 215 yards, the most by a Hoosier in the last 10 seasons. The teams engaged in a back-and-forth shootout until Coleman’s 75-yard touchdown run edged Indiana ahead 42-35 with 12:41 remaining. Indiana burned the Illini’s run defense for 371 yards and gained a season-high 650 yards overall.

Illini’s Nathan Scheelhaase completed 38 of 57 passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns to lead Illinois. He added 45 yards and a score on the ground. Receiver Steve Hull exploded for 224 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions.

With this win, the Hoosiers (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten) snapped a three-game skid, while Illinois (3-6, 0-5) extended its school-record conference losing streak to 19 games.

Indiana suffered some tough injuries including Coleman, who was helped off the field midway through the fourth quarter. Up next for them is a trip to tough Wisconsin. Illini host top-ranked Ohio State next Saturday.

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iowa-helmet38,purdue-helmet 14

Jordan Canzeri ran for a career-high 165 yards on 20 carries to help the Iowa Hawkeyes defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 38-14 on Saturday afternoon.

Canzeri, a sophomore who entered the game with 173 yards rushing all season, also scored a touchdown to help the Hawkeyes become bowl eligible. Jake Rudock passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten), which set season highs for total yards (509) and yards rushing (318).

Danny Etling completed 15 of 28 passes for 145 yards for Purdue (1-8, 0-5), which has lost seven straight and has not beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team this year. The Boilermakers have scored 31 points in five Big Ten games, with two of the touchdowns coming in the final minute of play.

statefarm1

nebraska117, michigan-helmet13

Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a left-handed, 5-yard shovel pass to Ameer Abdullah for a go-ahead touchdown with 2:03 left and Nebraska’s defense made enough stops to seal a 17-13 win over Michigan on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) kept their chances alive of returning to the conference championship game. Nebraska can move a big step closer to its goal by beating Legends Division-leading Michigan State next Saturday at home.

The Wolverines (6-3, 2-3) dashed hopes of earning a Big Ten title for the first time since 2004 with their first loss in 20 home games under coach Brady Hoke, turning the ball over on downs during their last possession.

pennstate-helmet 10, minnesota-helmet 24

BYU 17, wiscbadgers1 27

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November 1, 2013

illini helmet17, pennstate-helmetPenn 24 (OT)

The Fighting Illini fought back against Penn State and forced overtime, but came up short, when  Christian Hackenberg hit Kyle Carter with a 15-yard touchdown pass in overtime and Ryan Keiser sealed the win with an end zone interception, lifting Penn State over Illinois 24-17 on Saturday.

wiscbadgers128, iowa-helmet9

The Badgers scored on both sides of the ball including a pair of second-half interceptions into touchdowns that turned a close game into an easy win over the Hawkeyes.

James White ran for 132 yards and a pair of late TDs as 24th-ranked Wisconsin beat Iowa 28-9 on Saturday for its third straight win.

Joel Stave added two touchdown passes for the Badgers (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten), who are bowl eligible for the 12th year in a row.

“The turnovers were huge for us. I’m proud of the young men of this program for how they played,” Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. “They kept on fighting and battling and we were fortunate to get some points out of it.”

michigan-helmet6, michiganstate-helmet29

The Battle of Michigan….

Spartans battered their biggest rivals for the full 60 minutes Saturday, and No. 22 Michigan State remained unbeaten in the Big Ten with a 29-6 victory over the No. 21 Wolverines. Michigan was sacked seven times and finished with minus-48 yards rushing, the worst output in the Ann Arbor program’s lengthy history.

This after the Wolverines had vowed Saturday wouldn’t be a repeat of the game in East Lansing in 2011, when Michigan State’s physicality was too much for Michigan.

“Two years ago was nothing,” Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen said. “It was a lot worse today, and I think they felt it.”

Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) has won five of the last six meetings with the Wolverines (6-2, 2-2), and this was the Spartans’ most lopsided win in the series since 1967.

northwestern-helmet24,  nebraska1 27

Cornhuskers hailmary answered to seal the narrow victory…

The Cornhuskers looked like they were finished after Northwestern took a three-point lead with 1:20 left. They started their final drive at their 17 with no timeouts.

Ameer Abdullah caught a short pass and stretched to convert a fourth-and-15. Then, with four seconds on the clock, Ron Kellogg III connected with Jordan Westerkamp on a Hail Mary 49-yard touchdown pass as time expired to lead Nebraska past Northwestern 27-24.

Nebraska’s winning play was perhaps its most dramatic since Matt Davison’s “Flea Kicker” catch that kept alive the Huskers’ national-championship season in 1997.

ohiostate-helmet56, purdue-helmet0

minnesota-helmet42, indiana helmet39

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October 19, 2013

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42michiganstate-helmetillini helmet3

The Spartans were dominate on both sides of the ball against the Fighting Illini, and easily defeated them 42-3.

QB Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and finished the game 15-of-16 for 208 yards, setting a Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) record for passing efficiency just a week after he was grilled for failing to move the ball against Purdue.

Tailback Jeremy Langford had 104 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns for the Spartans.

The Michigan State defense came into the game ranked first in the nation in total defense at 228 yards a game, and looked even better Saturday, holding Illinois to just 128. That included 25 yards on the ground.

Illinois had been scoring 35.3 points a game, but not today. The Illini only scored a field goal, which came on the game’s opening drive, a 12-play, 53-yarder, that pumped a little optimism into a homecoming day crowd.

Illinois’ Big Ten losing streak reached 17 games, with a road trip to Penn State on the schedule next Saturday. The last Illini win the in the conference came more than two years ago, 41-20 over Indiana on Oct. 8, 2011.

10northwestern-helmet  iowa-helmet 17

The Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) almost gave this one away after taking an nearly lead against Northwestern, but they were able to hold on for the 17-10 win. The Hawkeye defense sealed the victory by sacking Kain Colter on the final play of the game.

Jake Rudock completed 19-of-27 passes for 169 yards — none bigger than the third-down pass to Fiedorowicz in overtime. Rudock rolled to his right and lofted a pass to his big tight end in the left corner of the end zone.

This snaps Iowa two-game losing skid. The irony of it all was Hawkeyes led at halftime in each of their three losses.

On the other hand, Northwestern (4-4, 0-4) dropped its fourth straight game.

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BIG Ten Week 9 Recap

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Separation Week in the BIG TEN…

October 19, 2013

20minnesota-helmet northwestern-helmet17

The Golden Gophers edge ‘Cats 20-17

EVANSTON — Minnesota (5-2, 1-2) snapped a two-game losing streak as James Manuel broke a 7-7 tie with a 24-yard third quarter interception return and Chris Hawthorne turned another Wildcat turnover into a 34-yard field goal in the fourth.

Host Northwestern (4-3, 0-3) dropped its third straight.

Ailing head coach Jerry Kill, on indefinite leave after a series of epileptic seizures, watched from the coaches box as Manuel picked off Wildcat quarterback Trevor Siemian with 1:22 for a go-ahead score. The Gophers made it 17-7 just 87 seconds later on Hawthorne’s field goal after recovering a Wildcat fumble.

NOTE: Tracy Claeys has served as head coach.VAC365-TPOS

Hawthorne’s 38-yard field goal with 5:24 remaining made it 20-10. Northwestern cut the deficit to 20-17 on a 10-yard touchdown strike from Siemian to Tony Jones with 2:07 remaining.

Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson was 8-of-11 for 112 yards, including a touchdown strike to Derrick Engel. Running back David Cobb rushed 20 times for 103 yards.

Minnesota’s defense shut down a promising Northwestern drive deep into Gopher territory early in the final frame. The Wildcats settled for a 35-yard Jeff Budzien field goal that cut the Gopher lead to 17-10 with 11:09 left in regulation.

After Hawthorne’s second field goal, Northwestern converted on three fourth downs in a 75-yard scoring drive that culminated in Jones’ 10-yard TD reception.

An important note for the ‘Cats was two key Northwestern players were sidelined with reported ankle injuries: tailback Venric Mark and quarterback Kain Colter, who was dressed but only available in an emergency role.

Minnesota hosts Nebraska next Saturday while Northwestern travels to Iowa.

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Wisconsin has their way against Illinois 56-32

CHAMPAIGN — Melvin Gordon carried the mail on Saturday afternoon for the Badgers as he rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns to lead the ranked Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) to a 56-32 rout of Illinois. Second running back James White backed him up with another 98 yards in 20 carries and two touchdowns.

“That momentum at the beginning was important,” Gordon said. “We knew we had to come out fast, especially on the road. They tried to take it from us but we took right back.”

Wisconsin lost defensive leader Chris Borland to injury early on Saturday and even with an early three-touchdown lead struggled to put Illinois away.

Borland, the team’s leading tackler, said he hurt his right hamstring covering a punt in the first quarter. He never returned, watching much of the second half in street clothes.

Borland’s absence didn’t improve Illinois’ ability to run. The Badgers entered the game as the 10th-best run defense in the country, giving up 90.1 yards a game. Josh Ferguson led Illinois with just 25 yards on seven carries. Borland’s backup, Marcus Trotter, made the most of his shot with a team-high nine tackles.

“I just couldn’t play,” he said. “It’s going to be OK, they’ve already started to take care of it.”

Illinois coach Tim Beckman said defense was a problem for the Illini (3-3, 0-2) , but so was a running game that managed just 72 yards on 29 carries against one of the top run defenses in the country.

“When you play against a team like that, you’ve got to be clocking on all cylinders,” he said. “Defensively, we didn’t tackle well in space.”

Illinois’ offense revolved around quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, who had 249 yards passing. Steve Hull caught six passes for 105 yards.

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14michiganstate-helmetpurdue-helmet10

Defense carries Spartans to 14-0 win over Purdue (Associated Press)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Denicos Allen returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown, and Michigan State’s offense finally added an insurance score in the fourth quarter of a 14-0 win over Purdue on Saturday.

The Spartans didn’t make it past the Purdue 32-yard line until the fourth, when receiver Tony Lippett threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Gleichert on a trick play.

Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten Conference) remains atop the Legends Division but clearly has work to do with the toughest part of its schedule still to come. Purdue (1-6, 0-3) kept it close after being routed by Wisconsin and Nebraska in its first two conference games, but Paul Griggs missed two field goals.

The Spartans entered with the nation’s top-ranked defense, and Allen opened the scoring in the second quarter with Michigan State’s fifth defensive touchdown of the season. Max Bullough hit quarterback Danny Etling, the ball popped free, and Allen was able to scoop it up and score easily.

Purdue converted a fourth down thanks to a penalty, which gave the Boilermakers the ball at the Michigan State 34 with 9 seconds left in the second quarter. That was as far into opposing territory as either team advanced the ball in the first half, but Griggs was short on a 51-yard field goal attempt.

Griggs also came up short from 41 yards in the third quarter, and Michigan State scored again in the fourth. Connor Cook completed a pass to Macgarrett Kings for 25 yards on third-and-12, and a 26-yard catch-and-run by Josiah Price put the ball at the Purdue 7.

Two plays later, Lippett took the ball on what looked like an end-around, but he threw to an open Gleichert for a touchdown.

Cook went 13 of 25 for 107 yards, although at one point he had only 17 yards on eight completions. Etling was 14 of 25 for 160 yards, but he also threw a crucial interception in the end zone in the first quarter, after Purdue had reached the Michigan State 37 with a fourth-down conversion.

Jeremy Langford had 131 yards on 24 carries for Michigan State.

While the Spartans were sputtering offensively, punter Mike Sadler gave them a lift, landing three punts inside the 10-yard line.

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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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BIG TEN Week 3 recap

Posted on September 16, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stunning weekend in the Big Ten…

September 15, 2013

Huskies 34,  illini helmet24 ~click here to read our recap!

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The Boilermakers came to play taking an early lead of 10-3 at the half against the Irish but couldn’t stop the visitors from scoring in the fourth quarter. The Irish scored 21 points in the fourth quarter which proved to be enough to steal a victory 31-24 on Saturday night.

Notre Dame receiver DaVaris Daniels staggered Purdue with two late touchdowns. Three plays after his second score, teammate Bennett Jackson delivered the final blow — a 34-yard interception return for a score.

“I was never worried in the sense there was a panic,” Kelly said. “I felt really confident that we were going to win the football game. We just needed to settle down a little bit.”

michigan-helmet28, Akron 24

One the winningest program in college football might have just had its worst win.

Fitzgerald Toussaint scored a go-ahead, 2-yard touchdown with 2:49 left and Michigan made a desperately needed stop on the final play to hold on for a 28-24 victory over Akron on Saturday.

It’s something about Michigan (3-0) and the Mid-American Conference, where they seem to have a few problems as they did with Appalachian State and Toledo.

nebraska121, UCLA 41

The Bruins came back from 18 points down behind the fine play of QB Brett Hundley, who threw three touchdown passes and stunned Nebraska 41-21 in front of a record crowd of 91,471 on Saturday.

The win for UCLA came six days after receiver Nick Pasquale was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while he was walking in his hometown and a day before coaches and teammates travel to San Clemente, Calif., for his memorial service.

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OTHER NOTEABLES

Minnesota 29, Western Illinois 12

Indiana 42, Bowling Green 10

Michigan State 55, Youngstown 17

Iowa 27, Iowa St 21

Ohio State 52, Cal 34

Western Michigan 17, Northwestern 38

Wisconsin 30, Arizona State 32

BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS click here2

by Adam Rittenberg & Brian Bennett

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Illini win game one

Posted on September 13, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Salukisillini helmet

Illini get the season rolling with a victory 42-34

August 31, 2013

CHAMPAIGN — Nathan Scheelhaase got things started a\early and that was enough for the teams first win of the season, Saturday’s 42-34  over visiting Southern Illinois.  He also threw for a career-high 416 passing yards under the revamped offense and his performance was enough to avoid a late charge from the Salukis.

“The biggest thing is just feeling excited about a win,” said Scheelhaase, who completed 28 of 36 passes with two touchdowns as Illinois broke a nine-game skid. “To be able to come out feeling good about what happened, that’s the biggest thing rather than how many yards we threw for.”

Saturday’s game actually wasn’t decided until SIU quarterback Kory Faulkner sailed a pass from the 3 too high for tight end Adam Fuehner in the end zone on the final play. The Salukis nearly overcame a 22-point, late third-quarter deficit and could have forced overtime.

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V’Angelo Bentley’s school record-tying 100-yard kickoff return for a score in the third quarter along with Josh Ferguson’s 53-yard yard touchdown catch off a screen pass in the second were two big plays the Illini sorely needed to avoid embarrassment. One could imagine the fallout had the Illini found a way to lose, particularly with second-year coach Tim Beckman already feeling heat after last season’s 2-10 record.

“Although it was not the most glorious win, I was very proud of the way the team fought,” Beckman said. “There’s no question we have to make some strides.”

“We’re here to win. We’re here to score points,” Beckman said. “We’re here to do what we need to do to be successful.

“We might have thought that we’d take a knee and run out the (half). We ain’t doing that anymore. We’re here to win.”

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The mentality around Illinois football obviously has changed and many people are looking forward to seeing more from them over the season.

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Illini Chicago Homecoming Game

Posted on September 13, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Huskiesillini helmet

Illini host ranked Washington

September 13, 2013

Just two games into the 2013 season, but the state of Illinois is buzzing for the Fighting Illini, who are 2-0, after defeating top-contender Cincinnati 45-17 last week in a very impressionable fashion.

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On the other side of the ball, Washington (2-0) have had an impressionable win too defeating Boise State 36-6 in the season-opener. Now, the Huskies have been resting since the game against Boise allowing for their young talent to get prepared for the fast Illini offense behind the fine play of Nathan Scheelhaase.

The Fighting Illini brought in former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit to revamp the offense, and the results were favorable in victories over Southern Illinois and Cincinnati. Illinois is averaging 43.5 points and 493 yards and has posted 17 plays of 20-plus yards after having just 34 last season. The Huskies will have All-American tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (69 receptions, 850 yards in 2012) back on the field after he was suspended for the Boise State game due to an offseason DUI charge.

The Huskies come in to Soldier Field trying to prove their season-opening thrashing of Boise State wasn’t a fluke and Illinois looks to start 3-0 for only the second time in 12 seasons when the teams met today. The Huskies shot into the national rankings after their convincing 38-6 win in their opener but went 3-10 away from Seattle over the previous two seasons. Illinois is playing at Soldier Field for only the second time.

EXTRAS

ABOUT WASHINGTON (1-0): Senior quarterback Keith Price passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns against Boise State and is 115 yards away from overtaking Brock Huard (6,391 yards from 1996-98) for third place on the school’s all-time list. Junior tailback Bishop Sankey rushed for 161 yards (his fifth 100-yard performance in his last six games) in a strong opening-game salvo to follow up last year’s 1,439-yard season. Junior middle linebacker – and defensive leader – John Timu racked up 13 tackles in the opener while senior safety Sean Parker made an interception.

ABOUT ILLINOIS (2-0): Cubit’s effect on quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has been stunning as the senior has six touchdown passes in two games to surpass last season’s output (four in 246 attempts). Scheelhaase threw for a career-high 416 yards in the opener against Southern Illinois and followed up with 312 in last Saturday’s 45-17 rout of favored Cincinnati. The defense, which has experienced issues while allowing an average of 431 yards, is led by senior outside linebacker Jonathan Brown (14 tackles against Cincinnati, 23 overall), sophomore middle linebacker Mason Monheim (2.5 tackles for loss among 18 stops) and junior strong safety Earnest Thomas III (16 tackles in two games).

1. Washington leads the all-time series 5-4. The programs last met in 1972, when the Huskies notched a 31-11 home victory.

2. Illinois’ lone previous contest at Soldier Field was a 10-9 victory over Washington State in 1994.

3. Sophomore WR Jaydon Mickens set career highs for receptions (nine) and yards (109) in Washington’s season opener.

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Follow the action LIVE on your mobile device at http://www.athletics.illinois.edu/livestats/xlive.htm

Follow the action LIVE on your PC at http://www.fightingillini.com/gametracker/launch/gt_mfootbl.html?event=1236439&school=ill&sport=mfootbl&camefrom=&startschool=&

FUN NOTES for Fighting Illini

�The Fighting Illini (2-0) look to continue their hot start on Saturday when they head to the Windy City to host No. 19/23 Washington at Soldier Field for Chicago Homecoming (5 p.m. CT, BTN). A win would make Illinois 3-0 for only the second time in the last 12 seasons. The other was in 2011, when the Illini started the season 6-0.

�Following Saturday’s shellacking of Cincinnati, the Illini are receiving votes in both polls for the first time since Oct. 24, 2011. Illinois sits 34th in the AP poll (nine votes) and 39th in the coaches poll (three votes).

�Illinois faces its first top-25 opponent of the season on Saturday as Washington is ranked No. 19 in this week’s Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

�Scheelhaase has more passing touchdowns (six) in two games than 102 of the 123 FBS teams. He also has thrown for 728 yards, more than 116 of 123 FBS teams through week 2.

• Scheelhaase’s 728 yards are the most in Illinois’ first two games of a season since Jason Verduzco passed for 783 yards in the first two games of 1991. Scheelhaase also has six passing touchdowns, equaling the school record for most TD passes in the first two games of a season shared by Juice Williams (2008) and Kurt Kittner (2000).

• Senior LB and Butkus Award candiate Jonathan Brown leads the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally in tackles (11.5 tpg). Brown had 14 stops against Cincinnati, a B1G single-game high this season.

• Washington leads the all-time series with the Illini by a 5-4 margin, but the teams haven’t met since 1972. The two programs are 2-2 in games played in Champaign, while Washington holds a 3-1 margin in Seattle. The Illini notched a 17-7 win in the 1964 Rose Bowl. Illinois will travel to Seattle in the third week of 2014 for a Sept. 13 tilt at Husky Stadium.

• This year is the 50th anniversary of Illinois’ 1964 Rose Bowl victory over the Huskies, an Illini squad that was led by Chicago-born Illini legends Dick Butkus and Jim Grabowski. Washington took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, but Illinois’ defense took over and the Illini managed touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters for the 17-7 final score. Grabowski earned MVP honors, finishing with 125 yards and a touchdown.

#Illini defeated Washington in ’64 @rosebowlgame, 17-7. In the 50th anniversary @illinifootball hoping for repeat Sat, Sep 14 at @SoldierField. http://pic.twitter.com/otoTCpKtgA

So, can the Illini continue their winning ways at their northern home, Soldier Field Saturday night? Or will the Huskies speed in the pass rush be too much for Scheelhaase?

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We will see – kickoff is at at 5p LIVE from Chicago and Soldier Field.  Follow the action with us via Twitter, @ASNN365, as well as here on our blog.

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