Big Ten Week 11 Recap

Posted on November 13, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Movers weekend…

November 13, 2015

What a week: Buckeyes and Iowa are still unbeaten… Hoosiers push Wolverines in OT… Sparty’s Cook is hurt

Given what we have to look forward to over the next couple weeks, this week’s lineup felt a bit like the calm before the storm. There weren’t any “huge” surprises… Let’s recap…

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ohio State now may look ahead to the Michigan State game many have had circled all season as they defeat Illinois 28-3.

Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) again started the game sluggish as the Buckeyes led just 14-3 at halftime. After J.T. Barrett was ruled short of the end zone on back-to-back runs and Ohio State missed a field goal on its opening drive, he hooked up with Thomas for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the second drive of the game.

Illinois then added a field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3 before Barrett plunged it in from 6 yards out late in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes their 11-point halftime lead.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott topped the 100-yard mark for the 15th-straight game, the Buckeyes limited Illinois to just 20 yards rushing and Ohio State racked up 440 yards of total offense and scored in each and every quarter – Whew!

Elliott gained 181 yards on the ground on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns. The junior running back scored from 1 yard out to give the third-ranked Buckeyes a three-score lead midway through the third quarter and then put the game on ice with a 10-yard scoring run early in the fourth.

Barrett went 15-for-23 passing for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception and Michael Thomas led the Ohio State wide receivers with six catches for 76 yards and a score. Barrett also gained 74 yards on the ground on 16 carries.

Ohio State held the Illini to just 101 yards of total offense in the first half while racking up 209 of its own. Barrett was 9-for-13 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while also carrying the ball 11 times for 56 yards and a score. Elliott had 47 of his yards in the first half.

“To come on the road, our defense is playing lights out and that’s obvious. The only issue I have, I think we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides and the negative is we have to be more balanced,” coach Meyer said after Ohio State won it’s 10th game of the year, defeating Illinois 28-3 Saturday. “We know what’s coming down the road next week and we have to be a little bit more balanced than we were and that starts with pass protection. That was the only negative.”

Ohio State hosts 13th-ranked Michigan State next Saturday, and I’m certain ESPN GameDay will be in Columbus for this one!

NOTE: Ohio State has won a Big Ten-record 30 conference games in a row, breaking the current conference landscape mark of 29 consecutive wins in the ACC by Florida State from 1992-95.

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The health of Connor Cook is going to be a pretty big discussion point leading up to next weekend’s showdown in Columbus. The senior went out in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and was clearly in a lot of pain. Though Cook did return for the second quarter, backup Tyler O’Connor was under center for the second half.

It wasn’t the most prolific passing day for the Spartans as Cook completed just 6 of 20 passes for 77 yards and an interception. O’Connor was 6 of 11 for 44 yards with one touchdown and an interception of his own. Gerald Holmes led the rushing attack with 18 of the team’s 41 carries. The sophomore finished the day with 83 yards and a score. After a hot start to the season, true freshman L.J. Scott continues to see limited touches, rushing just two times for 12 yards. Wideout Macgarrett Kings Jr. added 48 receiving yards—including a very nice one-handed grab—and hauled in a touchdown pass.

The Maryland offense was plagued by turnovers and could only manage 289 yards on the day. Quarterbacks Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe combined for 182 yards and three interceptions. Junior tailback Wes Brown rushed for 52 yards while Hills added another 39 on the ground.

Gigantic contest next week… who will seal the victory Sparty or Buckeyes?

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It is being reported that LeShun Daniels had a career day for the Hawkeyes, rushing for 195 yards and a trio of touchdowns. And his QB, C.J. Beathard, connected on 18 of 26 passes for for 213 yards and an additional 50 yards on the ground with a pair of scores.

Mitch Leidner and Shannon Brooks led the way for the Gophs’ offense. Leidner totaled 291 yards of offense and a pair of scores. Brooks added 86 yards and a rushing touchdown. The freshman tailback also connected with Drew Wolitarsky for a touchdown off of a halfback pass.

With a win over Purdue next week, the Hawkeyes will clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Any takers that they won’t win next week?

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The Hoosiers had a chance to tie the game—or possibly win it—but they were unable to punch it in as Nate Sudfeld’s pass fell incomplete at the goal line. The Indiana ground attack had been gashing the Michigan defense all game, leaving many to question the decision to throw the football from two yards out.

De’Veon Smith and the Wolverine running game were stymied for the majority of the day, but quarterback Jake Rudock put together the best performance of his career. The senior threw for 440 yards and six touchdowns while adding another 64 yards on the ground. Outside of a bad third-quarter interception, Rudock was nearly perfect. Jehu Chesson hauled in ten passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns, including the five-yarder that tied the game with no time left in regulation. Amara Darboh and Jake Butt each caught touchdown passes as well.

Junior tailback Jordan Howard put on a show for the Hoosiers, rushing for 238 yards and two scores against the nation’s third-ranked rushing defense. Sudfeld threw for 220 yards and a score. Simmie Cobbs Jr. led all IU pass-catchers with four receptions for 86 yards. The Hoosiers have now lost six consecutive games after starting off 4-0.

Believe it or not, the Wolverines kept their Big Ten title hopes alive with a double-overtime win in Bloomington.

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And finally…

With Week 11 in the books, we are down to just two more weekends of regular season Big Ten play. Yes, it’s sad that things are winding down, but the fun is really just beginning. Ohio State fans have watched their Buckeyes (mostly) cruise through the past few weeks, but it’s going to be a different ballgame from here on out.

Next weekend is gonna be a doozy. The Buckeyes will host the Spartans (and a number of the nation’s top high school talent will be on the sidelines – visitors weekend in Columbus), the Wolverines travel to Happy Valley, and the Badgers are home against Northwestern. Should be a good one in the Big Ten!

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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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2013 Big Ten Championship

Posted on December 8, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Spartans knockoff Buckeyes from possible BCS Championship
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December 7, 2013

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INDIANAPOLIS – UPSET? hhhmmm….

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Behind the play of sophomore quarterback, Connor Cook, Michigan State rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit by scoring the final 17 points Saturday night to upset Ohio State 34-24 and deny the Buckeyes a chance to play in the VIZIO BCS National Championship game.

“I think we heard people talk bad about us all year. This wasn’t the first week where we heard people say negative things about us as an offense or as a football team, Cook said after throwing a 9-yard TD pass with 11:41 left to give the Spartans a 27-24 lead. “I think we were underdogs in the majority of the games we played this year. It really didn’t affect us.”

Cook responded to the challenge by driving the Spartans for a field goal, hooking up with the wide open Josiah Price in the flat of the end zone and then burned 3½ critical minutes on the clinching drive, capped by Jeremy Langford’s sealing 26-yard TD run.

Cook finished 24-of-40 for a career-high 304 yards and three scores. Langford ran 24 times for 128 yards, becoming the first player this season to top 100 yards against the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes did that late in the first half when they closed to 17-10 at halftime. Braxton Miller opened the second half with an 8-yard TD run to tie and then gave Ohio State the 24-17 lead with a 6-yard run with 5:36 left in the third.

Michigan State answered with Michael Geiger’s 44-yard field goal, which barely dropped over the crossbar, to make it 24-20 and Cook hooked up with a wide-open Price in the flat to make it 27-24 before Langford sealed it with his TD run with 2:16 left, which prompted coach Mark Dantonio to lobby for the Spartans to be playing in the title game Jan. 6.

“I can tell you this, we beat the No. 2 team,” Dantonio said. “We’re 12-1 so why not us? Why not us? I’ll vote us No. 2.”
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STATS

PASSING
Ohio State    C/ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    INT
Miller            8/21        101      4.8       1       0

Michigan State    C/ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    INT
Cook                      24/40      304    7.6       3        1

Rushing
Ohio State    CAR    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
Miller            21        142      6.8       2      48
Hyde             18        118       6.6       0      18

Michigan State    CAR    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
Langford               24    128    5.3    1    34
Shelton                 2       8        4.0    0    7

Receiving
Ohio State    REC    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
Brown            5         53        10.6    1        20
Heuerman    1         36         36.0    0       36

Michigan State    REC    YDS    AVG    TD    LG
Mumphery           2          84      42.0      1       72
Kings Jr.               5          67       13.4      0      48

NOTES
Ohio State came into the game with the nation’s longest winning streak (24), had not lost under Meyer in two seasons and had one of the nation’s most productive offenses and underrated defenses.

With Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller each over 100 rush yards…. Ohio State has multiple 100-yd rushers in 4 straight games (5 total this season); Buckeyes had 5 such games in the previous 15 seasons combined

Ohio State held scoreless in 1st qtr for 1st time since Oct. 27, 2012 at Penn State (won 35-23) Buckeyes entered the day with an FBS-high 220 points scored in the 1st qtr this season

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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October 19, 2013

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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.

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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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