NIU vs Toledo

Posted on November 9, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , |

MAC Conference: Huskies take on the Rockets

November 9, 2016

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First official contest at Guaranteed Rate Field aka U.S. Cellular aka Comiskey features the Mid-American Conference Northern Illinois (3-6) taking on Toledo (7-2) and they are calling it the “Chi-Town Showdown.”

toledo vs.niu2

By the game being held in Chicago, it’s a crucial locale in terms of former and future students, as well as alum for both schools.

“It probably doesn’t have everything riding on it the way people thought,” NIU coach Rod Carey said. “The same appeal might not be there, but it is a big game for those reasons.”

In addition, the MAC stakes couldn’t be higher for the Rockets.

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NIU needs to win its final three games to qualify for a ninth straight bowl appearance, extending its MAC record. As long as there’s a bowl game to play for, the emphasis remains on the present rather than the unknown future.

The shocking loss to Ohio a few weeks ago forced Toledo to have to win out to take the MAC West – and that includes a showdown at Western Michigan after facing Ball State next week.

The offense continues to be amazing, averaging 553 yards per game with the nation’s second-most efficient passing attack. The attack moves at will, and outside of a few braincramps, the defense has been good enough. But now the Rockets have to face a red-hot NIU team rolling at the right time.

It’s been a tough season full of injuries and ineffectiveness, but the Huskies have taken care of two home games helped by an offense that’s going off.

Joel Bouagnon ran for 134 yards and five scores in last week’s blowout win over Bowling Green, while QB Anthony Maddie took over two weeks ago running for 125 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-7 win over Buffalo.

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Can the NIU backfield go off against a Rocket defense that’s allowed more than 100 yards just two times over the last five games? Yeah, but the Toledo offense will make up for it with a strong enough offensive performance – the passing game will kick in – to win a thriller worthy of the venue.

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2016 MAC Preview

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

2016 MAC Preview

August 31, 2016

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You want diversity? You want a contrast in styles? You want a fascinating mix of superstar offensive talents mixed in with just enough solid defensive teams to keep things interesting? Well the MAC is all about that this year!

The conference always boasts the haves and have-nots, with a gaping disparity between the elite and not-so-elite, yet this time around, the conference should be a bit more even. The coaching is strong, there’s plenty of star power at quarterback, and the division races are as unpredictable as they’ve been in several years.

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Last year Bowling Green didn’t field a defense and still won a MAC championship by outbombing everyone. Head coach Dino Babers is now in Syracuse and quarterback Matt Johnson is gone, but the offense should still be dangerous enough to contend.

Contrast the Falcons with Akron, the breakthrough team of last year that dominated on defense. Kent State had absolutely no offense whatsoever, ruining a fantastic campaign for a phenomenal defense. Now the Zips have to rebuild and the Golden Flashes have to hope they have some way to move the ball to keep up with the other high-powered stars in the division.

The other day I heard the ‘MAC East is the kids’ table.’

They may have taken the championship last season, but the league’s four best teams are in the West – PERIOD. So I agree.

Western Michigan is about to be devastating. Quarterback Zach Terrell leads a potentially unstoppable offense that should be an automatic 30-point-per-game machine, while the defense gets seven starters back and should be good enough to get by.

AP Poll

Northern Illinois will have a healthy quarterback this season – something it didn’t field late last year when the team was ravaged by key injuries – and now the offense is back to its normal high level. It’ll have to be considering Toledo isn’t going anywhere despite the loss of head coach Matt Campbell to Iowa State. The rushing tandem of Kareem Hunt and Terry Swanson should be as productive as any in America.

Central Michigan has the high-rising quarterback in the NFL Draft world in Cooper Rush, and the defense that finished 16th in the nation welcomes back eight starters – this might be the most complete team in the MAC.

Ball State should be among the league’s most improved teams with Mike Neu taking over a veteran squad, while Eastern Michigan will try to keep the program afloat as the sixth-best team – by far – in a six-team division.

Besides the championship game, of course, we believe the MAC Football Game Of The Year will be Toledo at Northern Illinois (in Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field aka U.S. Cellular Field) Nov. 9. As good as Toledo has been over the last several years, why hasn’t it been able to break through and become the star of the MAC? NIU has won six straight in the series.

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Here is our overall MAC Predictions….

EAST

WEST

1. Ohio

2. Bowling Green

3. Buffalo

4. Akron

5. Kent State

6. Miami University

1. Western Michigan

2. Northern Illinois

3. Toledo

4. Central Michigan

5. Ball State

6. Eastern Michigan

Western Michigan should be the star of the West, and it gets both Toledo and Northern Illinois at home making the showdown between the Rockets and Huskies in Chicago all but an elimination game.

As we have stated, the MAC West is the toughest to predict as the battle should come down to Western Michigan against Northern Illinois, and the battle will be decided October 8… winner of this contest should win the West. And since the Broncos nor the Huskies play Ohio, who should win the East… whew – should be an exciting game in Detroit December 2.

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BIG Ten Week 3 Recap

Posted on September 19, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten Week 3….

September 19, 2015

All four of the conference’s ranked teams were victorious this weekend, but there’s been a shake-up in the bottom half of the power rankings. Here’s how things went…..

VIRGINIA TECH 51, Purdue 24

We were LIVE in West Lafayette covering the matchup between Purdue and an ACC powerhouse, Virginia Tech Hokies.  What a sign of two-halves….

Coach Frank Beamer looks at his team as they warm up to play…

Both teams started out 1-1 and this is a non-conference game, both teams are desperate to win for many reasons and looking and for some momentum for the season.

In the end, the Boilermakers’ passing game struggled on Saturday, totaling only 121 yards and zero touchdowns to go along with a pair of interceptions. Hokies’ fullback, Sam Rogers, did better than the Boilermarks actual QB, as he threw two passes – including a touchdown. Thus, the overwhelming score in the loss.

Junior Austin Appleby completed nine of 28 passes for 110 yards and two interceptions. Backup David Blough was three of seven for 11 yards. Markell Jones led the Purdue running game with 90 yards and a touchdown on just six carries. Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley finished the day 15 of 23 for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a rushing score.

Beamer Ball was alive and well as they played their very first game in the fine State of Indiana on Saturday as the Hokies scored a touchdown off a blocked punt. Both defenses also found the endzone by way of fumble recoveries.

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NORTH CAROLINA 48, ILLINOIS 14

After a nice start to the season for the Illini, things came crashing down in Chapel Hill this weekend. The Illi running game seemed to be the only bright spot as they had a total of 227 yards and two scores on the ground. Junior quarterback Wes Lunt completed 15 of 32 passes for 140 yards and an interception.

Senior Josh Ferguson rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

NORTHWESTERN 19, DUKE 10

For the Wildcats, Clayton Thorson struggled throughout the day. The redshirt freshman was 9 of 23 for just 70 yards and a pair of interceptions. Tailback Justin Jackson added 120 yards on 35 carries. Backup running back Warren Long led the way for Northwestern. While the junior only touched the ball three times, he recorded a 55-yard touchdown run and recovered a punt late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Wildcats.  Winning ugly is part of a good season. Come November who will actually care how ugly this win was as long as a W was in the right place…

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INDIANA 38, WESTERN KENTUCKY 35

The Big Ten’s leading rusher led the way for the Hoosiers this weekend as Jordan Howard ran for 203 yards on 31 carries. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 355 yards and a trio of touchdowns as the offense continued to have its way with opposing defenses. When all was said and done, the IU offense had amassed 639 yards.

MIAMI 36, NEBRASKA 33

A wild comeback by the Huskers forced overtime, but they ended up falling just short after an errant pass by quarterback Tommy Armstrong. The Hurricanes got off to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, and with just over eight minutes left in the fourth, that lead had grown to 23 points. Nebraska then answered with 23 unanswered points to tie the game at 33-33 and force overtime.

On the first play of overtime, Miami defensive back Corn Elder picked off Armstrong. An ugly late hit by Nebraska offensive tackle Alex Lewis gave the Canes great field position which ultimately led to a chip-shot field goal.

Armstrong tossed four touchdown passes on the day – three of which came in the fourth quarter to help lead the comeback. He threw for 309 yards but also added three costly interceptions.

PENN STATE 28, RUTGERS 3

The Penn State ground game was too much for Rutgers as Big Ten play kicked off on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions rushed for 330 yards, most of which came from Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch. Barkley, a true freshman, continues to make an early impact as he rushed for 195 yards and two scores. Lynch added 120 yards and a touchdown of his own.

On the other side of the ball, the Nittany Lions defense continues to be stingy as they allowed less than 300 total yards and forced three turnovers. Rutgers’ quarterback Chris Laviano threw for 213 yards and a pair of interceptions.

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NORTHERN ILLINOIS 13, OHIO STATE 20

MICHIGAN STATE 35, AIR FORCE 21

MICHIGAN 28, UNLV 7

IOWA 27, PITTSBURGH 24

WISCONSIN 28, TROY 3

MINNESOTA 10, KENT STATE 7

MARYLAND 35, SOUTH FLORIDA 17

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Overall, it wasn’t a very impressive from the standpoint of the boxscore this week for the Big Ten, but they went 9-3 including the multiple games with ACC teams.

Nebraska and Illinois both suffered bad losses. The Buckeyes and Spartans weren’t up to snuff against inferior opponents while Minnesota and Indiana barely squeaked by.  But a win is a win right?

What’s on the itinerary for week four? Michigan faces off against BYU – whew! The Hoosiers will be on the road at Wake Forest. Maryland takes on an undefeated West Virginia squad. And the Buckeyes’ offense will look to get back on track against Western Michigan. See yall then…..

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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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Ranking NCAA Football Conferences 2013

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

Who’s the TOP College football conference?

August 28, 2013

10sunbelt

Who? Okay…. we needed a 10th conference…

9 confUSA

Louisiana Tech is fun to watch… next

8Mid-American

Northern Illinois dominates this conference every year and this year will NOT be any different but the rest of the teams struggle.

7MountainWest

There’s Boise State and a bunch of other teams… Next!

6AmericanConf

Louisville, Cincy and Rutgers are all gonna battle and that makes this conference tough.

5  acc

It’s all about Clemson and Florida State, but still nothing to sneeze at here.

4BigTen-Logo

Right night, it’s hard to imagine any team long-term outperforming The Ohio State this year, even though Wisconsin will try their best to keep things close since they are in the same conference (Leaders). On the other side of the division, Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern will fight and scratch to the end in order to play the Buckeyes in the championship game December 7 in Indianapolis.

3Big12

This 10-team league is wide-open with contenders like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Baylor and Kansas State at the top. Who will prevail? See ya in December…

2  Pac12

Right away, when you think Pac-12 you think Stanford and Oregon, which is absolutely correct but don’t sleep on Arizona State and UCLA this season.

1SEC

As much as we would love to put another conference on top, the reality of it all is we can’t. Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, etc… would dominate any conference listed below – hands down. Thus, SEC again is the top football conference – PERIOD!

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2012 Bowl Season overview

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Bowl Season overview…

December 19, 2012

And now the best regular season in sports gives way to the worst postseason in sports.   Bowl season is upon us. And it is a mess of unprecedented proportion.

Bcs_logo_2010

Mark Richt and the Bulldogs are headed to the Capital One Bowl to face Nebraska. (AP) Yeah, the BCS championship game is awesome. Notre Dame vs. Alabama is a sports fan’s dream. And a sports writer’s dream. And a TV executive’s dream, too. The ratings will be absurd.

The Fiesta Bowl is great, too. If not for the night of Nov. 17, Oregon-Kansas State might have been the national championship game.   But after that? It’s a joke.

Bowl season is always a mess because the bowl system is a ridiculous, unsatisfying conclusion to the college football season. Bad matchups, long layoffs, too many 6-6 teams, coaching turnover and decisions designed to make money, not sense, shortchange the fans.

Three teams in BCS bowls that aren’t ranked in the AP top 15. Take a bow, Northern Illinois (16th), Louisville (22nd) and Wisconsin (unranked). You don’t have to apologize for appearing in marquee bowls like the Orange, Sugar and Rose – but we don’t have to pretend we’re happy you’re there, either.   Who is excited for Florida State-Northern Illinois in the Orange? I mean, other than nobody? NIU must take 17,500 tickets for the game, but its season average attendance is 15,670. Enjoy that vat of red ink you’re diving into, Huskies.

Making that game even more enticing is the fact that NIU coach Dave Doeren left the school faster than Kim Kardashian left Kris Humphries. He went from winning the Mid-American Conference championship game Friday night to being announced as the new coach at North Carolina State Saturday afternoon. He won’t be around for the Orange Bowl, with the Huskies promoting offensive coordinator Rod Carey to head coach.

The Florida-Louisville matchup in the Sugar Bowl might yet feature an interim coach of the Cardinals. Charlie Strong reportedly has interviewed for both the Auburn and Tennessee jobs, although he has denied both reports. Even if he’s still coaching Louisville, his team is far less impressive than some that were kicked to the BCS curb – namely Oklahoma.

Then there’s the mockery that the Big Ten has perpetrated all season, culminating with the 8-5 Badgers showing up in the Rose Bowl.

Are you setting the DVR for East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl? How about canceling all plans with the significant other because you just can’t miss Rice and Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl? Won’t sit down to Christmas Eve dinner until the Hawaii Bowl between SMU and Fresno State is over? Well, we’re with you.   Here are all 35 bowls, ranked from absolute must-see TV to must-see-a-psychiatrist if it’s on your TV:

1. BCS Championship Game (Jan. 7, Miami): Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1)  We’re not going to lie: There’s a good chance this isn’t a shootout. But this should be a great game between two hard-nosed teams with great defenses, and there’s a heck of a lot of history among the two programs, too.

2. Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 3, Glendale, Ariz.): Oregon (11-1) vs. Kansas State (11-1)  This is a game of old-school football vs. new-school football. Kansas State will try to pound the ball with quarterback Collin Klein while Oregon will use a bunch of different weapons to keep the Wildcats on their toes.

3. Cotton Bowl (Jan. 4, Arlington, Texas): Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)  It’s not A&M and Texas, but it’s a matchup of former Big 12 rivals. In terms of quarterbacks, one team had a potential Heisman candidate and the other has this year’s probable winner.   ]

4. Chick-fil-A (Dec. 31, Atlanta): LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)  These are two teams that could have been in BCS bowls were it not for ill-timed losses. Even though it’s not a BCS bowl, it’s still one of the best games on the docket. Clemson brings the offense while LSU brings the defense. This one should be fun.

5. Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2, New Orleans): Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)  This could be a great matchup of agile quarterbacks, but if Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater isn’t healthy, this game could be a blowout.

6. Rose Bowl (Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.): Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)  If you’re a traditionalist, this game between the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions is gold. Wisconsin comes in after thrashing Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game, while Stanford has been consistently strong all season.   [Related: Oregon vs. Kansas State in Fiesta Bowl is intriguing]

7. Holiday (Dec. 27, San Diego): UCLA (9-4) vs. Baylor (7-5)  Pac-12 runner-up UCLA should have nice crowd support for this bowl, and it may be a wild game against a Baylor team that ranks first in FBS in total offense and 119th in total defense.

8. Alamo (Dec. 29, San Antonio): Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)  Oregon State had one of the best turnarounds in the country going from 3-9 to 9-3 and has been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. As for Texas, you never know what you’re going to get or who’s going to be quarterbacking it. Still, this could end up being a great, tightly contested game.

9. Capital One (Jan. 1, Orlando): Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3)  This game had the potential to be one of the best of the bowl season, but Nebraska’s lackluster performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship might have ruined it. Georgia expended a lot of energy in the SEC title game against Alabama and despite a fantastic season, has no BCS bowl to show for it. This is a poor substitute.   (US Presswire)

10. Outback (Jan. 1, Tampa): South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)  Both teams had preseason Heisman Trophy candidates and neither worked out, but both programs remained solid despite adversity. Michigan’s Denard Robinson is one of the more exciting players on the field this bowl season.

11. Orange Bowl (Jan. 1, Miami): Florida State (11-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)  Many don’t think NIU deserved a BCS bowl berth and they’re probably right, but the Huskies might be more motivated to play the game than Florida State. Both teams will be missing a coach in this game — NIU head coach Dave Doeren took the N.C. State job while FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops took the head-coaching job at Kentucky.

12. Gator (Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla.): Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)  Northwestern is having an exceptional season while Mississippi State is trying to end on a high note. The Wildcats exceeded expectations and have a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 1995. Mississippi State started 7-0, but won just one game down the stretch.

13. Las Vegas (Dec. 22, Las Vegas): Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)  Boise State, having narrowly missed out on a BCS bid, is going for a Las Vegas Bowl win for the third straight season against a Washington team that has wins against Stanford and Oregon State.

14. Idaho Potato (Dec. 15, Boise, Idaho): Utah State (10-2) vs. Toledo (9-3)  Utah State is a balanced, solid team that does just about everything well. Its only two losses came at Wisconsin and at BYU by five combined points. USU will face a Toledo team that lost two of its last three but is still potent.

15. Military (Dec. 27, Washington, D.C.): San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)  San Jose State took Stanford to the wire in a three-point loss, a sign of things to come for the Spartans, and they get a tough test against Bowling Green, which ranks in the top 10 nationally in yards allowed and points allowed.

16. GoDaddy.com (Jan. 6. Mobile, Ala.): Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)  This is actually a good game if you like offense. Both of these teams can put points on the board early and often, and if you like running backs, Kent State’s Dri Archer is one of the best.

17. Buffalo Wild Wings (Dec. 29, Tempe, Ariz.): TCU (7-5) vs. Michigan State (6-6)  TCU fared well for its first season in the Big 12 while Michigan State was a disappointment. Both of these teams had their worst seasons since 2007 and ’09 respectively.

18. New Mexico (Dec. 15, Albuquerque, N.M.): Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)  The first matchup of the bowl season should be entertaining. Nevada is 105th in total defense in FBS, but that’s still better than Arizona, which is 116th. Points will be plentiful.

19. Poinsettia (Dec. 20, San Diego): BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)  The meeting between a pair of old Mountain West rivals pits a BYU team that rode its strong defense to seven wins against an Aztecs team that won its last seven games.

20. Music City (Dec. 31, Nashville): N.C. State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)  Vanderbilt overachieved while N.C. State underachieved and ultimately fired its coach. A win would give Vandy nine wins for the first time since 1982.

21. Pinstripe (Dec. 29, Bronx, N.Y.): Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)  Both of these teams are among the best passing programs in the country and both play little defense. That should make for a high-scoring and highly entertaining game.

22. Liberty (Dec. 31, Memphis): Tulsa (10-3) vs. Iowa State (6-6)  These two teams played in the season opener and Iowa State came away with a 38-23 win. Tulsa should give the Cyclones a better game this time around.

23. Russell Athletic (Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla.): Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)  The Scarlet Knights are probably disappointed to land here after blowing a chance for a BCS game in the season finale, and Virginia Tech’s whole season has been a disappointment with just six wins.

24. Kraft Fight Hunger (Dec. 29, San Francisco): Navy (7-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5)  These programs are moving in two different directions. ASU had a rough second half of the season while Navy thrived after a rough start. Arizona State will need the month to prepare for Navy’s option.

25. Independence (Dec. 28, Shreveport, La.): Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)  Lousiana-Monroe, whose upset of Arkansas was a great story early this season, will play in a bowl for the first time in program history. It will face an Ohio team that was ranked for the first time since 1968 at midseason but lost its last three games, all by double digits.

26. Compass (Jan. 5, Birmingham, Ala.): Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Ole Miss (6-6)  Both of these teams came on late to make a push to get to six wins and both will be eager to finish with a winning season in the first year for both Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.

27. Belk (Dec. 27, Charlotte, N.C.): Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)  The Blue Devils are back in a bowl for the first time since 1994, but come in on a four-game losing streak and face a Bearcats team that is 12th in the nation in scoring defense.

28. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, Fla.): Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4)  Ball State was 3-3 before an overtime win sparked a six-game winning streak, and it will face a UCF team that lost a shot at the C-USA title in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Tulsa on Saturday.

29. Hawaii (Dec. 24, Honolulu): SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)  Coach Tim DeRuyter’s first season with the Bulldogs resulted in a share of the Mountain West title, and Fresno State will go against an SMU team that got a win in its season finale against Tulsa to get eligible.

30. Sun (Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas): USC (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)  This is not where anyone expected USC to be at the end of the season and playing a team with a losing record is almost insult to injury. USC was supposed to be playing for the national title while Georgia Tech lost in its conference championship game and needed an exemption waiver by the NCAA.

31. Heart of Dallas (Jan. 1, Dallas): Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)  Oklahoma State is unlike any team Purdue has faced this season with its up-tempo style and ability to put points on the board quickly. Purdue will be without its head coach Danny Hope, which might leave the Boilermakers uninspired.

32. Meineke Car Care of Texas (Dec. 28, Houston): Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)  Texas Tech is second in the nation in passing offense, but its defense slipped after a great start to the season. Minnesota fattened up its record before conference play, then got bowl eligible despite going 2-6 in Big Ten play.

33. New Orleans (Dec. 22, New Orleans): East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)  East Carolina won five of its last six games, and will be going against a Louisiana-Lafayette team that beat San Diego State in last year’s New Orleans Bowl on a field goal as time expired.

34. Armed Forces (Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas): Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)  Air Force knows this bowl well, as it is the Falcons’ fourth appearance in the game in six years, while Rice is in just its third bowl game since 1961. It’s just hard to get too excited for a game between a pair of .500 teams.

35. Little Caesars Pizza (Dec. 26, Detroit): Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)  Central Michigan was like the final at-large team to get into the NCAA tournament, with a 6-6 record after a 3-6 start. Western Kentucky was barely in the field, too, losing three straight before a one-point win against North Texas in the finale.

2012-13 College Football Bowl TV Schedule

Note: All times Eastern Time (ET). All games except for the Hyundai Sun Bowl and AT&T Cotton Bowl are also available at WatchESPN.

Gildan New Mexico – Nevada vs. Arizona, University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, December 15, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Famous Idaho Potato – Toledo vs. Utah State, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho, Saturday, December 15, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia – BYU vs. San Diego State, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 20, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg – UCF vs. Ball State, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida, Friday, December 21, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans – East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, December 22, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

MAACO Las Vegas – Washington vs. Boise State, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, December 22, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Sheraton Hawaii – Fresno State vs. SMU, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Monday, December 24, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Little Caesars Pizza – Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, Wednesday, December 26, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman – San Jose State vs. Bowling Green, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 27, 3:00 p.m., ESPN

Belk – Cincinnati vs. Duke, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday, December 27, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Bridgepoint Education Holiday – Baylor vs. UCLA, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 27, 9:45 p.m., ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Independence – Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana, Friday, December 28, 2:00 p.m., ESPN

Russell Athletic – Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Friday, December 28, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Meineke Car Care of Texas – Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas, Friday, December 28, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces – Rice vs. Air Force, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 11:45 a.m., ESPN

New Era Pinstripe – West Virginia vs. Syracuse, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, Saturday, December 29, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

Kraft Fight Hunger – Navy vs. Arizona State, AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, Saturday, December 29, 4:00 p.m., ESPN2

Valero Alamo – Texas vs. Oregon State, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 6:45 p.m., ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings – TCU vs. Michigan State, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona, Saturday, December 29, 10:15 p.m., ESPN

Franklin American Mortgage Music City – North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt, LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

Hyundai Sun – USC vs. Georgia Tech, Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, Monday, December 31, 2:00 p.m., CBS

AutoZone Liberty – Iowa State vs. Tulsa, Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Chick-fil-A – LSU vs. Clemson, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia, Monday, December 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

TaxSlayer.com Gator – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPN2

Heart of Dallas – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU

Outback – South Carolina vs. Michigan, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Capital One – Georgia vs. Nebraska, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ABC

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – Wisconsin vs. Stanford, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, Tuesday, January 1, 5:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover Orange – Northern Illinois vs. Florida State, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Allstate Sugar – Louisville vs. Florida, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Wednesday, January 2, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta – Oregon vs. Kansas State, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, Thursday, January 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

AT&T Cotton – Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Friday, January 4, 8:00 p.m., FOX

BBVA Compass – Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss, Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday, January 5, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

GoDaddy.com – Kent State vs. Arkansas State, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama, Sunday, January 6, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover BCS National Championship – Notre Dame vs. Alabama, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Monday, January 7, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

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2012 NCAA Football – Week 7

Posted on October 18, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

August 2012

Northern Illinois rout Buffalo 45-3

(AP) — Jordan Lynch ran for a pair of first-half touchdowns and threw two scoring passes in the second half as Northern Illinois rolled to a 45-3 victory over Buffalo on Saturday.

Northern Illinois (6-1, 3-0 MAC 2nd place west division behind toledo. Play them Nov 14) got 129 yards on the ground from Lynch, and he completed 13 of 20 passes for 232 yards. Martel Moore caught 8 passes for 133 yards and a TD.

Buffalo (1-5, 0-3) was pressured by the Northern Illinois defense most of the day. Northern Illinois intercepted Alex Zordich on two occasions and sacked him twice.

Devon Hughes caught 9 passes for 105 yards for Buffalo.

Iowa knocks off favorite Michgan State at hm 19-16

(AP) — Mark Weisman ran for 116 yards and scored a tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation, and Iowa went on to beat Michigan State 19-16 in double overtime Saturday.

Mike Meyer kicked field goals in both overtimes, including a 42-yarder in the second that gave the Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) their first lead of the game. Iowa then won it when Andrew Maxwell‘s deflected pass was intercepted by Greg Castillo.

Le’Veon Bell ran for 140 yards and a touchdown for Michigan State, but the Spartans (4-3, 1-2) couldn’t hold on late. Iowa drove 68 yards in nine plays and tied it at 13 on Weisman’s 5-yard scoring run with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The Hawkeyes appeared to be in trouble late in the fourth when they faced second-and-26 from their own 16, but James Vandenberg found Keenan Davis single covered along the right sideline for a 35-yard gain.

Weisman’s 37-yard run on third-and-6 gave Iowa the ball at the Michigan State 8 and set up the tying TD, which also came on third down.

The teams traded short field goals in the first overtime. Michigan State could have won it with a touchdown in the second, but Maxwell’s pass appeared to be tipped at the line of scrimmage, then deflected off the hands of wide receiver Keith Mumphery and was intercepted by Castillo.

It was the first interception for Maxwell since he threw three in the season opener against Boise State.

On a rainy day at Spartan Stadium, Vandenberg threw an early interception when his pass was tipped by defensive lineman William Gholston and picked off by Denicos Allen.

Michigan State took over at the Iowa 26 and gave the ball to Bell four straight times. His 14-yard touchdown run made it 7-0.

The Hawkeyes trailed 10-0 in the second quarter when Jordan Cotton had a kickoff return for a touchdown nullified by an illegal block. Iowa still ended up with the ball near midfield and drove for a field goal.

Michigan State missed a chance to score in the final seconds of the half because of a farcical miscommunication. Maxwell completed a 19-yard pass to Mumphery to the Iowa 32 with 6 seconds left. The clock stopped momentarily because of the first down, but there was mass confusion among the Spartans, who needed only to stop the clock with a spike and bring their field-goal unit out.

Michigan State eventually got lined up – but Maxwell, the quarterback, was nowhere to be seen. Bell went to the line of scrimmage as if to take the snap himself, and Maxwell finally ran over from the sideline to the backfield, but the clock ran out.

 

Michigan cruises over Illinois 45-0

(AP) — Denard Robinson overcame his mysterious first-quarter injury and then brushed aside the Illini almost as easily.

Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores, leading No. 25 Michigan in a 45-0 win over the Fighting Illini (0-3, 2-5) on Saturday.

The Wolverines (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) got a scare when Robinson left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the first quarter. He missed just one-plus possessions, though, and returned to score on a 6-yard run – his second of four touchdowns – to put Michigan up 17-0 late in the first half.

”It was just a boo-boo,” said Robinson, declining to say what sent him out of the game briefly. ”It’s all good. It didn’t bother me at all.”

Robinson threw two TD passes, ran for two scores and accounted for 287 yards, giving him 10,000-plus career yards on offense.

He was 7 of 11 for 159 yards and connected with Jeremy Gallon, who turned a short toss into a 71-yard score, and perfectly lofted an 8-yard pass to Devin Funchess in the end zone.

Robinson ran 11 times for 128 yards – his 18th career 100-yard game on the ground – and the highlight was a juke-filled, 49-yard run that put Michigan ahead 24-0 early in the second half.

”He made people miss tackles,” Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman said. ”He’s a very, very good football player. He had a sensational game.”

The Wolverines were also pretty good on defense. They had their first shutout since beating Minnesota 58-0 a little more than a year ago and held Illinois to 134 yards of offense with just 13 yards after halftime.

”It’s embarrassing,” Illinois center Graham Pocic said. ”We can’t put it all together.”

Michigan also made plays on special teams with freshman Dennis Norfleet returning a punt 42 yards, not giving up a yard on four punts, allowed no more than 21 yards on a kickoff return and connected on its only field goal.

”It’s probably as complete as we played,” Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said. ”But it’s not nearly good enough.”

Michigan gave its fans a lot of reasons to cheer on a chilly, rainy day, but the fans cloaked in maize and blue ponchos were loudest when it was announced that rival Michigan State lost earlier in the day at home to Iowa. The Wolverines will host the Spartans (4-3, 1-2) on Saturday, hoping to snap a four-game losing streak in the series, but insisted they won’t start thinking about that matchup until Sunday.

The Fighting Illini (2-5, 0-3) had their starting quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase, knocked out of the game because of concussion in the second quarter.

Scheelhaase completed two passes for 4 yards and ran six times for 34 yards, including a 23-yard gain in which he was injured when he landed face first in the turf when Jibreel Black hit him from behind.

”I grabbed Nate when he came off the field and he said he was all right and wanted to go back in the game,” Beckman said. ”But he did some things that proved he wasn’t all right. Our doctors made the right decision.”

Scheelhaase was replaced by Reilly O’Toole, whose two turnovers in the third quarter helped Michigan pull away. O’Toole was 5 of 10 for 25 yards and lost 8 yards on five carries.

In the first half, Illinois had chances to keep it close.

Beckman chose to attempt a 50-yard field goal – instead of going for a fourth-and-4 from the Michigan 32 down by 10 points – and Taylor Zalewski missed the kick, ending the drive in which Scheelhaase was hurt. The Illini turned the ball over on downs on their next possession when running back Donovonn Young was dropped for a loss by Kenny Demens on a fourth-and-1 from the Michigan 41.

The Wolverines turned the lopsided game into a rout with 21 points in the third, turning two turnovers into TDs and forcing the Illini to lose 9 yards in the quarter.

On Illinois’ first snap of the second half, O’Toole threw an interception to Demens and the linebacker returned it 13 yards to the Illini 27 to set up another TD. Toole avoided getting sacked by Jake Ryan later in the third quarter, but held onto the ball long enough for the outside linebacker to get back to him to force a fumble at the Illinois 6.

Fitzgerald Toussaint, who had 62 yards rushing on 18 carries, scored on a 2-yard run two plays later to put the Wolverines ahead 38-0.

Michigan put backup Russell Bellomy, who replaced Robinson when he was hurt, came back in and promptly fumbled the ball away on the first drive of the fourth quarter.

Later, Bellomy handed off to Thomas Rawls up the middle and the backup running back did the rest, breaking two tackles on a 63-yard run to give Michigan a 45-0 lead later in the fourth.

Just before kickoff, college football’s winningest school unretired the jersey worn by former President Gerald Ford. The Wolverines let linebacker Desmond Morgan to wear No. 48 with a ”Michigan Football Legends,” patch and he made a tackle on Illinois’ first play.

”It’s quite an honor and privilege,” Morgan said.

 

Northwestern squeeks passed Minnesota 21-13

(AP) — Venric Mark rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns to carry Northwestern to a 21-13 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.

Mark wasn’t touched on scoring runs of 26 and 48 yards and the Wildcats (6-1, 2-1 Legends Divison behind Michigan and Iowa) overcame 11 penalties to become bowl eligible and spoil Minnesota’s homecoming celebration.

MarQueis Gray rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown after missing the previous two games with knee and ankle injuries. But he also threw an interception and was injured again late in the third quarter for the Golden Gophers (4-2, 0-2).

The Gophers had a chance for a tying touchdown late, but Northwestern’s defense stiffened at the 6-yard line to keep them out of the end zone. Cornerback Nick VanHoose made the key play on the stand, batting a pass away from A.J. Barker in the end zone to save a touchdown.

Less than 10 seconds into the game, Northwestern was already up 7-0. Gophers linebacker Lamonte Edwards, a converted running back, botched the opening kickoff and C.J. Bryant pounced on it to give the Wildcats the ball at Minnesota’s 26-yard line.

Mark took the handoff, burst through the line and saw nothing but daylight, racing 26 yards untouched for the score.

That would be a common theme throughout the first half. Mark added a 48-yard scoring run in the second quarter, a burst through the middle where nary a finger was laid on him. He also had runs of 47 and 25 yards in the first half to help the Wildcats take a 21-10 lead.

Mark’s big day on the ground eliminated any need for Northwestern’s passing game, and that was a good thing for the Wildcats. Kain Colter was 10 for 10, but for just 63 yards. And Trevor Siemian, the passing specialist in the Wildcats’ two-quarterback system, was 1 for 7 for 4 yards.

Mark’s big 48-yard TD helped neutralize a brief bit of momentum for the Gophers.

When Max Shortell went out with an injured left hand late in the first quarter, Gray ripped off a 25-yard touchdown run at the start of the second to pull Minnesota to 14-10.

But David Nwabuisi made an acrobatic, one-handed interception off of a pass tipped by Quentin Williams to stall the Gophers. Mark was off to the races two plays later, and the Wildcats were on their way to a rebound victory after losing at Penn State last week.

It was another disappointing effort for the Gophers, who were starting to create some optimism on campus with a 4-0 start to the season. But a 31-13 thumping at Iowa two weeks ago brought them back down to earth, and they followed that up with a sloppy, mistake-prone performance coming out of their bye.

They fumbled the ball seven times, losing two, and committed nine penalties.

The turnovers were compounded by three bad snaps from center Zac Epping and some curious play-calling that stunted several drives. After calling time out and pulling their offense off the field on fourth-and-11 from Northwestern’s 36, they ran kicker Jordan Wettstein out for a 53-yard field-goal try. The Wildcats weren’t buying it from the start, and a fake run was thwarted easily to turn the ball over.

On third-and-13 from the Northwestern 46, they called a draw to Donnell Kirkwood that gained just 5 yards. And with no timeouts and the ball at their own 49 with just over a minute to play in the first half, the Gophers called a draw to Gray that went nowhere and took any chance of a late score out of the equation.

Wisconsin digs deep for a win on the road over Purdue 38-14

(AP) — Montee Ball ran for a career-high 247 yards and scored three touchdowns to help Wisconsin beat Purdue 38-14 on Saturday afternoon.

James White added 124 yards rushing for the Badgers (5-2, 2-1 3rd place in Leaders divsion behind Ohio St, Penn St – two teams that do NOT qualify for post-season), who outgained Purdue 645 yards to 252. The Badgers pounded out 467 yards rushing in the rain.

Ball moved past Texas Tech’s Taurean Henderson and now is alone in third place in NCAA history with 72 total career touchdowns.

Akeem Hunt ran for 85 yards and a touchdown for Purdue. The Boilermakers (3-3, 0-2), who were coming off a 44-13 loss to Michigan, travel to Ohio State next week.

The win gives Wisconsin a favorable position in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division, especially since Ohio State and Penn State cannot qualify for the conference title game because of NCAA rules violations.

There were plenty of empty seats at Ross-Ade Stadium, and that number grew as the rain and Wisconsin’s lead increased.

Purdue used three quarterbacks, and none were effective. Starter Caleb TerBush and backups Robert Marve and Rob Henry combined to miss on 20 of their 31 throws. They combined for 124 yards and were sacked five times. It took Purdue more than 17 minutes to get a first down in the second half.

Things started off well for the Boilermakers. Hunt returned the opening kickoff 44 yards, then TerBush hit Antavian Edison for 52 yards on the first play from scrimmage. TerBush’s quarterback sneak on the next play gave the Boilermakers a 7-0 lead 38 seconds into the game.

Wisconsin came back a few minutes later when Joel Stave hit Jacob Pedersen wide open for a 21-yard touchdown.

Ball scored from the 3 to give Wisconsin a 14-7 lead. A 30-yard field goal by Kyle French pushed the margin to 17-7 by halftime. The Badgers outgained Purdue 363 yards to 118 before the break, yet did not have firm control of the game.

Ball busted loose for a 67-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the second half to push Wisconsin’s lead to 24-7.

Beau Allen blocked a Purdue punt, and the Badgers took over at the Boilermakers’ 22. Ball scored again, this time from 3 yards out, to push Wisconsin’s lead to 31-7.

White scored from 14 yards out with 8:47 to play, and Wisconsin pushed its lead to 38-7.

Hunt finally gave the few remaining Purdue fans something to cheer about. His 81-yard touchdown run with 1:39 to play trimmed Wisconsin’s lead to 38-14.

 

Ohio State 52, Indiana 49

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