BIG Ten Week 13 Recap

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

Time to clinch or is it?

November 19, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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What a week of football last week as Iowa upset Michigan and Ohio State had their ‘i’ dotted by Michigan State, what could happen this weekend?

As a conference, the Big Ten faces more questions than perhaps any other in the country.

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The Badgers were clicking on ALL cylinders this afternoon in West Lafayette as they cruised to a 49-20 victory over Purdue. Wisconsin scored 35 points in the final 8 1/2 minutes of the first half to the Boilermakers 10.

In front of a slim, home crowd which was there to celebrate senior day, the home team got on the board with the only score in th first quarter on a 28 yard field goal by J.D. Dellinger. After that, the Badgers scored on their next five possessions.

Sophomore Alec Ingold got in the end zone on a 1-yard run taking the lead at 7-3 and from that, they never looked back. Ingold would score again later in the quarter, this time on a 19 yard pass from Bart Huston. Huston finished the shared duties as quarterback 5-6 102. One special highlight came on when junior T.J. Watt, younger brother of J.J., had a pick 6 on a batted interception by David Blough.

“What a play by T.J.,” Badgers coach Paul Chryst said. “To knock it down is a really good play. To get a pick is a really good play. To do both that changed (the game).”

Bradrick Shaw scored twice himself… both on the ground. One from 7 yards out, the other from 33. Now remember all of this is in the first half.

“We knew we had to win the turnover battle,” Purdue interim head coach Gerad Parker said. “Early on, our defense bottled up the football. We lost some things in that turnover stretch in the second quarter.”

Second half, the Badgers (9-2, 6-2) eased off the gas and score two more times on a 25-yard pass from Alex Hornibrook to Jazz Peavy in the third and their final score came from Corey Clement (27 carries, 112 yards) who scored on a 6-yard run. Hornibrook went 7-9 for 89 yards.

The Boilermakers (3-8, 1-7) did get in the end zone twice in the second half as DeAngelo Yancey caught a 75-yard pass and a 10-yarder from David Blough. Blough finished the game 14-30 for 206 yard with those two touchdowns and three interceptions. Yancey finished with 155 yards on 6 receptions.

The Badgers didn’t get the help they needed to wrap up the West, but the win certainly keeps their playoff hopes alive. But with this victory, Wisconsin can clinch the West Division title and earn a spot in the Dec. 3 conference championship game with a victory next weekend against Minnesota as they try to retain the Paul Bunyan Axe for the 13th consecutive year.

And for Purdue, they hope to snap a three-game losing streak against rival Indiana. The Boilermakers haven’t lost the Old Oaken Bucket in four straight years since the 1940s.

 

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What a game……

The Buckeyes survived a scare as the Spartans had a chance to win, but came up 1-point short, 17-16 at home. Michigan State running back L.J. Scott scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to bring the Spartans within 17-16 with just 4:53 to play. Mark Dantonio elected to go for the two-point conversion, but Tyler O’Connor’s pass was intercepted by Malik Hooker.

Michigan State got the ball on its own 20-yard line with just over 2 minutes to play needing just a field goal to win, but O’Connor’s pass was intercepted a-g-a-i-n by Gareon Conley on the second play.

The Spartans came out fired up and took a 7-0 lead on Ohio State after just two offensive plays. Tyler O’Connor hit running back L.J. Scott on a 64-yard screen pass that found pay dirt just 46 seconds into the game. The Buckeyes responded, however, shortly thereafter with a five-play, 50-yard scoring drive. Quarterback J.T. Barrett hooked up with Curtis Samuel for a 24-yard touchdown strike with 7:56 to play in the first quarter to tie things at 7-all.

The teams traded field goals to enter halftime at 10-10, and only to score as described above to conclude this tough contest.

Michigan State out-gained Ohio State 334 to 310, but the Buckeyes narrowly control possession 30:53 to 29:07 and rushing, 224 – 207.

Now Ohio State can officially focus on The Game as they host ‘The” Ohio State next weekend at HIGH NOON. This is biggest Ohio State–Michigan game since 2006. The Wolverines traveled to Columbus that year and fell 42-39. Michigan, like Ohio State, is now 10-1. This will be “the” de facto playoff quarterfinal and technical the BIG TEN championship wink wink.

Maryland 7, Nebraska 28

Iowa 28, Illinois 0

Indiana 10, Michigan 20

Northwestern 12, Minnesota 29

Penn State, Rutgers – gametime 7p CST

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Who will come out on top when Michigan and Ohio State square off at the end of the season? Can the Buckeyes make it into the College Football Playoff without a conference championship? Can the Big Ten qualify two teams in the CFP?

Most of those questions won’t be answered this week, yet Week 12 is filled with potential trap games for all the contenders at the center of those questions. Before Ohio State and Michigan can look forward to their match-up in Week 13, the Buckeyes and Wolverines must navigate games against Michigan State and Indiana, respectively.

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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

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

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

PrezRo
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

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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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 Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 5, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten showed their power in Week 1

September 4, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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The 2016 Big Ten season is off and running and they represented very well. The opening weekend was highlighted by an SEC/Big Ten showdown at Lambeau and a number of youngsters making their debuts at quarterback, new coaches and several blows outs… The Big Ten went 12-2

Here we go….

Illinois 52, Murray State 3

The Lovie Smith Era got off to a solid start at home Saturday as the defensive guru has to be impressed with the effort put forth by the Illini. Murray State was held to just 165 yards on the day, including -10 rushing yards. Illinois recorded six sacks and forced three turnovers

Senior quarterback Wes Lunt led the Illini offense with 226 yards passing and three touchdowns. The ground game recorded 287 yards on the day and was led by the trio of Kendrick Foster, Reggie Corbin, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Foster ran for 118 yards on just four carries while finding the endzone twice, including a pair of 56-yarders.

Purdue 45, Eastern Kentucky 24

Coming off a rotten 2-10 season, the Boilers opened 2016 with a win over Eastern Kentucky. This was the type of victory that was perfect for the Boilermakers to build confidence for the upcoming season. There running game did the bulk of the work on the day, tallying 261 yards and four touchdowns. Markell Jones led all players with 145 yards rushing. Sophomore quarterback David Blough connected on 25 of 43 passing attempts for 245 yards with one score and one interception.

Defense was a huge issue for the Boilermakers last year as seven of their 12 opponents scored at least 41 points. They managed to force three turnovers on Saturday, including a pair from former Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk.

The victory is Darrell Hazell’s seventh dating back to 2013 when he took over in West Lafayette. He has 30 losses during that time.

Wisconsin 16, LSU 14

Call it an upset? Whatever…. The Badgers were on our teams to watch preview and they showed why at Lambeau field!

Bart Houston made his first career start under center for the Badgers and, to the surprise of many, was asked to take on more than the typical game-manager role that their quarterbacks often see. Houston’s stat line was fairly lackluster as the senior completed 19 of 31 passed for 205 yards and a pair of interceptions. The ground game totaled 134 yards and the return of Corey Clement is certainly a welcome sight for Badger fans. Clement led the rushing attack with 86 yards and a score.

Leonard Fournette got his for the Tigers, though his stats weren’t as ridiculous as we have grown accustomed to. The Heisman candidate tallied 138 yards on 23 carries and added 38 yards receiving. Former Buckeye target Brandon Harris carried on the struggling quarterback trend for Les Miles. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 131 yards on the day while adding a score and two interceptions. The latter of the two picks came late in the fourth quarter as LSU was driving down the field to potentially win the game.

But Rafael Gaglianone kicked the game-winning 47-yard field goal with just under four minutes left in regulation.

Western Michigan 22, Northwestern 21

Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats got off to a rough start as they fell to Western Michigan at home. Quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson accounted for virtually all of Northwestern’s offense. Thorson threw for 196 yards while Jackson rushed for 124 and accounted for all three of the Wildcat touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, MAC conference rep P.J. Fleck wasn’t afraid to take some risks as the Broncos converted four of four attempts on 4th down. Senior quarterback Zach Terrell had an efficient outing as he completed 26 of 36 passes for 218 yards and one score. Tailback Jamauri Bogan led the way on the ground with 103 yards and a touchdown.

It was a wacky ending in Evanston as Thorson’s goal-line fumble in the waning minutes of the game all but sealed the Wildcats’ fate.

MICHIGAN 63, HAWAI’I 3

No disrespect to Hawaii, this game played out like an early spring scrimmage for Jim Harbaugh and Co. as their defense allowed just 232 yards and also managed to put up two touchdowns of their own. Jabrill Peppers lined up primarily at linebacker and recorded seven tackles (2 TFL) and added a sack.

The most impressive part about the defensive performance was perhaps the players who were not on the field. Starters Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone both missed the second half with injuries while Jourdan Lewis – who may be the team’s best player – was held out of the game (coaches’ decision).

Wilton Speight got the nod at quarterback and was promptly intercepted on Michigan’s first offensive play of the game. The redshirt sophomore would settle down, however, and ended the day with 145 yards, three scores, and the one interception. Jake Butt and Amara Darboh both were on the receiving end of Speight touchdown passes.

The story on offense was true freshman tailback Chris Evans. The speedster from Indy grew up a Buckeye fan but Ohio State didn’t extend an offer until a month before February’s signing day. In his Wolverine debut, Evans tallied 112 yards on just eight carries while also finding the endzone twice.

Iowa 45, Miami (OH) 21

The Iowa ground game paved the way for Kirk Ferentz on Saturday as Akrum Wadley, LeShun Daniels, and the rest of the Hawkeye backfield totaled over 200 yards and five touchdowns. The running game opened things up quite a bite for senior quarterback C.J. Beathard, who threw for over 180 yards and a score as the offense appeared to be clicking in the season opener.

But on the other side of the ball, the Hawkeyes’ defense had its struggles with the Redhawk offense as Miami outgained them 424 to 404. The defense did play the bulk of the game without starting linebacker Josey Jewell. The Second Team All-Big Ten defender was ejected in the first quarter after a nasty helmet-to-helmet targeting call.

The Redhawks were led by sophomore quarterback Billy Bahl and wideouts Rokeem Williams and James Gardner. Bahl threw for 266 yards and two scores. Williams accounted for 113 yards while Gardner was on the receiving end of both touchdowns.

Michigan State 28, Furman 13

In the Spartans opner, it was kind of dry as they held an 8-point lead, 21-13, behind the play of quarterback Tyler O’Connor.  He did throw for close to 200 yards and three scores, but he also looks prone to stare down wide receivers which will present problems against a more talented team. The three-headed monster in the backfield was more of a one-man show on Friday as sophomore L.J. Scott got the bulk of the carries.

Minnesota 30, Oregon State 23

In a nail biter, the Gophers defeated Beavers, 30-23. Quarterback Mitch Leidner didn’t have his best game throwing the football but was able to make up for it with his legs. The senior was 13 of 26 for 130 yards and added another 76 yards and two scores on the ground. Sophomore tailback Rodney Smith led all rushers with 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The game was without controversy as three defenders got ejected for targeting calls but still managed win.

Oregon State was led by quarterback Darell Garretson. The junior passed for 228 yard and three scores but also lost two crucial fumbles.

Ohio St 77, Bowling Green 10

The Buckeyes rolled past the Bowling Green Falcons 77-10 in the season opener for both teams in Columbus.

J.T. Barrett tied his own school record, which he shares with former Buckeye Kenny Guiton, with six touchdown passes. He also ran for another score and finished 21 of 31 for 349 yards passing. Barrett’s only real mistake, ironically enough, was his second pass of the game, which was picked off by the Falcons’ Brandon Harris and returned 63 yards for a touchdown.

The Falcons lead only lasted a little over two minutes, as Barrett found K.J. Hill on their next possession for a 47 yard touchdown to tie the score 7-7. It didn’t get much better from there for the Falcons. Barrett would throw four first half touchdowns and rush for another as the Buckeyes sprinted to a 35-10 lead at the intermission.

And as the final score says, the Falcons never scored again and the Buckeyes scored 42 points in the second half.
Nothing else to say except WOW!

Washington 48, Rutgers 13

It’s early but Rutgers didn’t look good in Saturday’s game against Washington. The top-ranked Huskies showed their muscle early putting up 24 points in the opening quarter. Quarterback Jake Browning threw for 287 yard and a trio of touchdowns with junior wideout John Ross amassing 90 receiving yards and accounting for two of those scores. Ross also found the endzone on a 92-yard kickoff return.

For the Scarlet Knights, Chris Laviano lined up under center and completed 24 of 40 passes for 168 yards, zero scores, and one interception. Tailback Josh Hicks led the way on the ground with 70 yards on 14 carries. Rutgers managed 304 yards of total offense on the day to go along with three turnovers.

Penn State 33, Kent State 13

Happy Valley is Happy as the Nittany Lions’ get that first victory of the season knocking off MAC conference Kent State 33-13.

James Franklin’s new signal-caller completed 16 of 31 passes for 209 yards and two scores while adding another 47 yards on the ground. It was a workman-like effort for sophomore tailback Saquon Barkley who rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Chris Godwin led the Nittany Lion receivers with seven receptions for 67 yards.

The Penn State defense forced three turnovers while holding the Golden Flashes to 279 yards of total offense.

Nebraska 43, Fresno State 10

A late run for the Huskers proved to be too much for Fresno State. They add 22 points in the fourth behind the play of Tommy Armstrong with a combination of the running game, in which they gained close to 300 yards and five touchdowns. Armstrong threw for 108 yards and a score while also finding the endzone twice with his legs.

Moment of the weekend took place when the Huskers remembered punter Sam Foltz by lining up with just 10 players on the field for their first punt. Foltz tragically passed away in a July auto accident. Fresno State declined the delay of game penalty.

Maryland 52, Howard 13

The Terrapins put up over 500 yards of total offense against the MEAC rep Howard Bison. Quarterback Perry Hillis threw for 126 yards, but it was the Maryland ground game that did the most damage on the day. The Terps rushed for 315 yards and found the endzone six times. The attack was balanced as six players rushed for more than 40 yards with each of them also finding the endzone.

NOTE: Howard will travel to Rutgers next week and I guarantee this game will give another head coach his first career win.

Indiana 34, Florida International 13

The Hoosiers were down 13-12 at the end of the third quarter on Thursday evening, but they bounced back and used a 22-point explosion in the fourth to take down FIU. New starting quarterback Richard Lagow – a juco transfer who also spent time at Oklahoma State – had a solid debut completing 18 of 27 passes for 240 yards and a score. Youngstown’s Devine Redding led the Hoosier rushing attack as the junior piled up 135 yards on the ground.

A season ago, the Hoosiers’ defense was 120th in the nation… they are hoping to make a difference this season in the Big Ten.

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Overall, it was a nice start for the Big Ten. Rutgers didn’t look good and Northwestern fell to to the preseason MAC favorite, but the Badgers’ win over LSU was one of the highlights of the entire college football weekend. Ohio State and Michigan both actually performed better than expected, but the Spartans did struggle a bit out of the gate.

Looking ahead to week two, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about. The Buckeyes are set to host Tulsa, UCF travels to Ann Arbor, and Penn State will square off against the Pitt Panthers. The Spartans will enjoy an off week before their week-three showdown in South Bend.

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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

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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.

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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

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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