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
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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

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

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 Big Revenue

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

BIG Ten revenue jumps…

May 20, 2016

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BIGTEN-LARGE

Business is booming for the Big Ten or should we say CHA-CHING$$$

statefarm1According to tax records obtained by USA Today, the Big Ten had a significant revenue increase – nearly $110 million – during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 – WHEW! Overall, the conference brought in $448.8 million in total revenue, which divvies up to “roughly $32.4 million to each of its longest-standing 11 members.”

Not too shabby. By comparison, during the same time frame, the SEC brought in $527.4 million to distribute to its 14 members.

The introduction of the College Football Playoff also undoubtedly played a role in the increased revenue.

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From USA Today:

The Big Ten annually provides a figure for what it terms “Sports Revenue.” Based on the way the conference categorizes other revenue streams, “Sports Revenue” includes — but is not exclusively comprised of — TV revenue and revenue from football bowl games.

The conference reported about $317 million in “Sports Revenue” in fiscal 2014 and almost $397 million in 2015 — an $80 million difference. Based on reports from other conferences that approximate their bowl revenue increases from the CFP, it is likely that $50 million to $60 million of the Big Ten’s “Sports Revenue” increase is attributable to the TV rights fee increases that resulted from adding Maryland and Rutgers.

In addition,  the Big Ten is working toward a new TV deal. SportsBusiness Journal reported last month that the conference is nearing a $250 million per year agreement with Fox (which owns 51% of Big Ten Network) that would span six years.

The reported deal with Fox, which is said to have outbid ESPN by a significant margin, would cover just half of the league’s overall package. Whether ESPN gets back in the mix for the Big Ten’s remaining media rights (as John Skipper says it wants to) remains to be seen.

For more visit SportsBusiness Journal.

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BIG Ten Week 12

Posted on November 22, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 12… in a word W-O-W!

November 22, 2015

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Michigan State 17, Ohio State 14

THIS IS SPARTA!!!!

Going into this game, it wasn’t a secret: Ohio State had this one circled on its calendars as the one that truly mattered.

But so did Michigan State, as they knocked off top ranked conference foe, 17-14, Saturday afternoon.

As expected, things came down to one play a the end of the game… kicker Michael Geiger with 3 seconds remaining, the score tied and the early winter wind whipping and from 41-yards out… it’s G-O-O-D!!!

This win was even more unlikely than the stirring finish at Michigan last month, considering the Spartans survived without their best player — quarterback Connor Cook, who sat out the game with a shoulder injury.

Dantonio rotated backups Tyler O’Connor and Damion Terry with an offensive play-calling strategy borrowed from 1973. No mystery. No deception. Just simple, physical football with the tougher team at the point of attack persevering.

Ohio State’s offense only managed a meager 132 yards and five first downs Saturday. A refusal to open the playbook and take some shots down the field prevented Ezekiel Elliott, a Heisman contender, and quarterback J.T. Barrett much room to run all afternoon.

A driving rainstorm coupled with dropping temperatures didn’t help either, but once the heavens closed and the precipitation halted, nothing changed.

“I think people are still unsure of what we got and this is a statement game,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday after practice. “It’s a game we’ve been waiting for all season and it’s a game against what other people will recognize as good competition.”

Michigan State is now one victory next Saturday against Penn State away from winning its third Big Ten divisional title in the last five seasons.

But the probable elimination of Ohio State from defending its championship might also put the Big Ten at risk of not getting its champion in the playoff — if the choice is between the Spartans or Iowa, and a potential one-loss Notre Dame or one-loss Oklahoma.

“I’ve been down this road before, where you do good,” Urban Meyer said. “I just love the group of guys down there. And we have to do better.”

Big props to Michigan State. The Spartans deserved this win. No flukes. No controversies. Just an old-fashioned physical whipping that went against common sense.
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Iowa 40, Purdue 20

The Hawkeyes topped the Boilermakers on Saturday and, more importantly, locked up the Big Ten West and a spot in the conference title game.

C.J. Beathard had an efficient outing, going 12 of 20 for 213 yards and three scores. Senior tight end Henry Krieger Coble was his favorite target, hauling in four passes for 76 yards and a score. Jordan Canzeri rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown while LeShun Daniels added two scores of his own.

Boilermaker quarterback Austin Appleby threw for 259 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Markell Jones added 87 yards and a score. DeAngelo Yancey led all receivers with nine receptions for 117 yards.

The Hawkeyes will travel to Lincoln and square off against the Huskers on Black Friday. On Saturday they’ll get to see how things transpire in the East as they wait to find out who their opponent will be in Indy.

 

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Michigan 28, Penn State 16

The Wolverines were able to find the endzone in each of the game’s four quarters as Jim Harbaugh handed James Franklin his fourth loss of the season. Penn State’s offense barely surpassed the 200 total-yard mark and they could only manage six second-half points as they fell short in Happy Valley.

Jake Rudock completed 25 of 38 passes and connected with Jake Butt and Amara Darboh for touchdowns through the air. Jehu Chesson led the Wolverines pass-catchers with 69 receiving yards on the day. Tight end Jake Butt added 66 yards and a score. De’Veon Smith led the Michigan ground attack, though he could only manage 39 yards on 13 carries. Smith also added a fourth-quarter touchdown that would end up being the nail in the coffin for the Nits.

Jim Harbaugh wasn’t happy with the officiating; ripping his jacket off as if he were preparing for a Monday Night Raw appearance.

It was another typical performance for Christian Hackenberg. The junior continues to hold onto the football too long and and constantly misses wide open receivers. The Nittany Lion offensive line was awful yet again, so that certainly didn’t help things. Hackenberg ended the day 13 of 31 for 137 yards and a score. Freshman tailback Saquon Barkley got off to a good start with a 56-yard scamper on the second play of the game. Things didn’t go so well from there, as he could only manage 68 yards in the game.

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Northwestern 13, Wisconsin 7

The Badgers thought they had scored the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock, but the officials reviewed the play and ruled that Wisconsin wideout Jazz Peavy didn’t have possession; a call that many are questioning. The Badgers were then unable to find the endzone thanks in part to a Wildcat sack.

There wasn’t a lot of offense in this one. Wildcat quarterback Clayton Thorson threw for just 60 yards on 9 of 20 passing. Tailback Justin Jackson was the lone bright spot for the Northwestern offense, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown. For the Badgers, Joel Stave threw for 229 yards but also tossed a couple of costly interceptions. Wisconsin turned the ball over five times on the day and the Badgers’ running game had one of their worst outings ever.

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Minnesota 32, Illinois 23

The Minnesota ground game was too much for Illinois on Saturday. Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner only threw for 88 yards, but the rushing attack accounted for 255 yards and three scores. Freshman Shannon Brooks continued his solid season as he ran for 174 yards and all three of those scores, all the while averaging over 10 yards per carry. Leidner added another 64 on the ground.

Wes Lunt tossed two touchdown passes for the Illini and Josh Ferguson led the way with 105 yards rushing. Malik Turner led all pass-catchers with eleven receptions for 126 yards and a score.

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Indiana 47, Maryland 28

The Hoosiers got off to a sluggish start in College Park as they went down 21-3 in the first quarter. Kevin Wilson’s offense then went on to score three touchdowns in less than five minutes as the Hoosiers went into the half with a 30-21 lead. The IU defense buckled down in the second half, allowing a single touchdown to the Terps’ offense.

Nate Sudfeld and Simmie Cobbs Jr. were electric in the passing game. Sudfeld threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns while Cobbs caught nine passes for 192 yards. Sophomore tailback Devine Redding added 130 yards on the ground.

Maryland running back Brandon Ross entered the game with less than 300 yards rushing on the season, but the senior made the most of his last game in front of the Terps’ crowd. Ross rushed for 250 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries.

Rutgers 31, Army 21

 

And finally…

Welp, there’s certainly a very large elephant in the room as things did not go as planned this weekend. The East will be decided next Saturday as the Buckeyes, Spartans, and Wolverines all remain in the hunt with Michigan State controlling its own destiny. Iowa now sits atop the conference power rankings as they’ve already punched their ticket for the December 5th championship game in Indy.

Next week we will all be watching The Game as it goes down in Ann Arbor, the Spartans host Penn State, and the Hawkeyes travel to Lincoln to face the Huskers.

Let’s dust ourselves off. It’s rivalry week.

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BIG Ten Week 9

Posted on November 2, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Suspension, Movement, Emotions and Blow outs….

October 31, 2015

Let’s recap….

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Barrett Benched for BOOZ
Shortly after J.T. Barrett was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Ohio State announced that the quarterback would be suspended for the Buckeyes’ next game, Nov. 7, against Minnesota.

This was a first offense for Barrett, and since it was an alcohol violation, the school’s alcohol/substance abuse policy dictates that Barrett must enter a management program. Beyond that, no suspension is mandated by program policy.

This is an important distinction: Urban Meyer was not obligated to suspend J.T. Barrett (https://twitter.com/AWardESPN/status/660490132382969856), but did so, anyway.

Given the reaction by some fans – particularly fans of other programs – and some in the media, condemning Meyer for being too lenient, it’s worth looking at what other schools have done in similar situations.

Barrett will serve his time and hopefully learn from this incident. And Urban Meyer isn’t doing anything that other coaches have done when faced with similar situations.

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Michigan 29, Minnesota 26

It was another crazy finish for the Wolverines, but this time they came out on top as Minnesota failed to find the endzone on the game’s final play. Down by a field goal, the Gophs had the ball on the Michigan one-yard line with just two seconds left to play. New interim head coach Tracy Claeys elected to go for the win, but quarterback Mitch Leidner was stuffed on a quarterback sneak as time expired.

Jake Rudock had an up-and-down day before exiting the game with an apparent head injury late in the third quarter. The senior completed 13 of 21 passes for 140 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Rudock took a big hit just before he could slide down after a short scramble. Sophomore Wilton Speight took over at quarterback and hit Jehu Chesson for a 12-yard touchdown that would prove to be the game-winner. Amara Darboh led the Wolverine receivers with six reception for 73 yards. Rudock connected with Chesson for a 13-yard score in the second quarter and Jabrill Peppers scored his first career touchdown on a six-yard rush out of the wildcat.

The Gophers were able to move the ball against the nation’s top-ranked defense, putting up 461 yards of total offense. Mitch Leidner accounted for 354 of those yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman tailback Rodney Smith was able to find some success on the ground as he rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries.

After a long pass play, Minnesota had the ball inside the Wolverine one-yard line with 18 seconds left in the game. However, it seemed that Leidner wasn’t aware that the clock would be running as he let precious time tick away.

After spending a year in Minneapolis, the Little Brown Jug will head back to Ann Arbor.

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Iowa 31, Maryland 15

Akrum Wadley, LeShun Daniels, and the Hawkeye running game led the way as Kirk Ferentz moved to 8-0 on the season. Wadley tallied 67 yards rushing while Daniels added 60 yards of his own. Both backs also found the endzone. Junior quarterback C.J. Beathard completed 12 of 23 passes for 183 yards; the majority of those yards going to junior wideout Matt VandeBerg.

Cornerback Desmond King once again led the way as the Hawkeye defense forced four turnovers on the day. The junior recorded his seventh interception—tied for tops in the nation—and returned it for an 88-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Penn State 39, Illinois 0

While the defense has been the talk of the season for Penn State, the offense showed up on Saturday against the Illini. Christian Hackenberg completed 21 of 29 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. The junior quarterback was also on the receiving end of a throwback touchdown from tailback Nick Scott. Saquon Barkley continues to be the workhose for the Nittany Lions, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown. The hurdle is still an integral part of the true freshman’s repertoire.

Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton led the Penn State receivers. Godwin hauled in seven passes for 76 yards and a score while Hamilton added 54 yards on four catches. Barkley also caught three passes for 58 yards. The kicking game may have been the lone blemish for the Nits. Freshman kicker Joey Julius was benched after having two extra points blocked and booting a kickoff out of bounds.

The Illinois offense could only manage 167 yards of total offense against the Nittany Lion defense. Junior quarterback Wes Lunt threw for 129 yards and one interception. Tailbacks Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Cameron Tucker combined for just 56 yards on 17 carries.

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Wisconsin 48, Rutgers 10

Corey Clement’s return provided a spark for the Wisconsin running game as the Badgers dominated the Scarlet Knights in Madison. The junior tailback missed seven weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery but appeared to be close to 100% on Saturday. Clement played for three quarters and ended the day with 11 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Joel Stave connected on 13 of 25 passes for 217 yards with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Alex Erickson led all receivers with six receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown.

The Wisconsin defense held the Scarlet Knight offense in check, allowing just 165 yards of total offense. With wide receiver Leonte Carroo sidelined with an injury, quarterback Chris Laviano could only manage four completions for 31 yards and an interception. The lone touchdown for Rutgers came on a pick six by cornerback Blessuan Austin.

Purdue 55, Nebraska 45

Things haven’t been going so well for the Husks, and now many are questioning whether Mike Riley will last more than one season in Lincoln. Darrell Hazell’s Boilermakers gave their third-year head coach his first home conference win on Saturday, topping Nebraska in a 100-point shootout.

Freshman quarterback David Blough accounted for five touchdowns for the Boilermakers as he threw for 274 yards and added another 82 on the ground. Markell Jones rushed for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns while DeAngelo Yancey hauled in five passes for 111 yards and two scores; including an 83-yarder.

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong was sidelined with a foot injury, so the Huskers turned to junior Ryker Fyfe. Fyfe threw for 407 yards and four touchdowns but was also picked off four times, including three by Purdue’s Anthony Brown. Jordan Westerkamp and Brandon Reilly led the Nebraska pass-catchers as both wideouts found the endzone on the day.

And finally…

what did we learn this week? Nebraska is really bad and Mike Riley may be on some thin ice, Minnesota played some pretty good football after Jerry Kill’s surprising resignation, the Hawkeyes remain unbeaten, and Corey Clement is still good at running with the football in his hands.

As for next week? Cardale Jones and the Buckeyes will play host to the Gophs, Michigan takes on Rutgers, and the Spartans will head to Lincoln.

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BIG TEN Week 8

Posted on October 28, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Small week but lots of excitement….

October 24, 2015

Only a handful of games this week, and while there were some surprises on the national front, everything went about as expected within the BIG Ten.

Let’s recap….

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Michigan State 52, Indiana 26

Things didn’t start out well for the Hoosiers Saturday in East Lansing as senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld was picked off by Spartan safety Grayson Miller on the first play of the game. Sudfeld would settle down and put together a nice game against a banged-up Michigan State secondary, but it just wasn’t enough in the end. After being down just 21-20 at the half, the Hoosiers weren’t able to keep up in the final quarter.

The Sparty ground game struggled through much of the game but was able to get things going late in the second half. True freshman L.J. Scott continued to do L.J. Scott things, finding the endzone for the fourth week in a row. The Hubbard, Ohio native ended the day with eleven carries for 68 yards and the touchdown.

Senior quarterback Connor Cook had a career day as he completed 30 of 52 passes for 398 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge continues to be Cook’s go-to guy; the senior hauled in eight passes for 128 yards and a score which was especially confusing to ESPN’s Mike Patrick.

Sudfeld ended with 308 yards through the air and a trio of touchdowns. Wideout Simmie Cobbs Jr. caught five passes for 108 yards and a score. Junior running back Jordan Howard added 78 yards rushing and and found the endzone once.

 

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Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7
It was finally time for what many of us thought would happen from the start of the season — J.T. Barrett would lead the Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) offense out onto the field to start the game. Barrett got a lot of help from his teammates, but it was easily the Buckeyes’ most dominating performance of the season.

Rutgers entered the game riding high on the back of a huge road comeback win at Indiana in Kyle Flood’s return from suspension. The Scarlet Knights even had stud wide receiver Leonte Carroo back from an ankle injury (for a while). So they took the field with maximum swag on national television, after Flood proclaimed that it would be the country’s best atmosphere at kickoff.

But despite an early fumble, Barrett was brilliant, completing 14 of 18 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, and ran for 101 yards and two scores on 13 carries. Rutgers was just 2/12 on third down before Urban Meyer trotted all the backups out there. There was no trap. The line started slowly but got rolling as the game wore on.

Urban Meyer praised J.T. after the game:  “J.T. is a great leader, a great player and he made those around him better today.”

The Buckeyes have an open date next week and will return to action on Nov. 7 at the Horseshoe against Minnesota.

 

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Penn State 31, Maryland 30

Penn State’s game plan against the Terps seemed to revolve around Christian Hackenberg throwing the ball downfield. The junior threw for 315 yards despite only completing thirteen passes on the day. Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton led the Nittany Lion pass-catchers; Godwin caught four passes for 135 yards and a score while Hamilton added five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown of his own. Junior wideout Geno Lewis only had one catch on the day, but it was a nifty 27-yard score that gave Penn State the lead in the fourth quarter.

True freshman tailback Saquon Barkley came back down to earth on Saturday, rushing for just 65 yards and a score on 20 carries. The Penn State running game could only manage 48 yards on the day thanks to a number of negative plays.

Turnovers were the story of the day for new interim head coach Mike Locksley and the Terps. Junior quarterback Perry Hills notched 349 yards of total offense with a pair of touchdowns, but also had five turnovers on the day; three interceptions and two fumbles.

Northwestern 30, Nebraska 28

The Wildcats were able to bounce back in Lincoln after back-to-back losses to Michigan and Iowa. Mike Riley’s fourth-quarter struggles continued as the Huskers were unable to hold Northwestern’s offense late in the game.

Freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson led the way for Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats, putting up 303 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns. Tailback Justin Jackson added 40 yards on 14 carries and 55 yards receiving. Senior wideout Dan Vitale caught five passes for 55 yards including a 37-yard touchdown.

Tommy Armstrong led the Husker offense with 291 yards passing and a touchdown, but also threw a bad pick-six in the second quarter. Running back Terrell Newby struggled on the day, totaling just 52 yards on 16 carries. Jordan Westerkamp and Brandon Reilly led the way in the passing game with 92 and 83 yards respectively.

Riley has now lost five games in his inaugural season at Nebraska. In his seven seasons in Lincoln, Bo Pelini never lost more than four. The Wildcats are now bowl-eligible.

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Wisconsin 24, Illinois 13

Senior quarterback Joel Stave exited with concussion-like symptoms after being sacked in the first quarter, but the Badgers were still able to fend off the Illini. Junior Bart Houston—who had only thrown four passes in his first two seasons—filled in for Stave and completed 22 of 33 passes for 232 yards and two scores. Wideout Alex Erickson led the Badger rushing attack with 81 yards on just four carries while also accounting for 96 receiving yards and a score.

The Illini once again elected to go with their hideous “Ghost Gray” alternate uniforms to pay homage to Red Grange. The Galloping Ghost certainly would have been disgusted with the Illinois offense on Saturday as they could only manage 55 yards on the ground. Running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn was the lone ball-carrier for the banged-up Illini; the bulk of those 55 yards coming on a 36-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.

Conclusion…
So it was a pretty ho-hum week within the conference. Some of the Top 25 did go down so one would think some Big Ten teams could get a bit of a bump. Not much of a change in my conference power rankings. What about yours?

The Buckeyes and Spartans both have a bye next week. Bye weeks are pretty awful for the fans, but definitely a good opportunity for some guys to get healthy. Week nine will see Penn State hosting Illinois, Iowa taking on the Terps, and the Wolverines traveling to Minnesota.

By the way, how awesome would it be to party with these fellas?

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Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on October 2, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Conference play time… time to make a move!

October 3, 2015

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With non-conference play done for the season, it’s finally time to test each other and figure out who is the best in the Big Ten this season. These are the real games where every win and loss will determine who will be making that trip to Indianapolis in December, and that first step begins this weekend.

Conference upsets? Mmmmmmm… Let’s take a look at how things transpired.

There are three pivotal games in the Big Ten this weekend.

28 michigan2014  maryland2014 0

Coach Harbough has these guys believing in each other as well as the system as them steamrolled Maryland and shut them out at home.

The Wolverines were solid on both sides of the ball and senior QB Jake Rudock controlled the tempo and finished the contest going 16 of 32 for 180 yards with one touchdown.

The Michigan defense forced three turnovers as the Terps’ quarterback situation continues to look disastrous. Junior Caleb Rowe was picked off three times before being benched for the second straight week. Rowe has now thrown 12 interceptions on the season.

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The Wildcats pitched a shutout while only allowing just 173 yards to the Gophs’ offense. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner was held to just 72 yards passing and one interception on the day. Can you say defense?

The Wildcat offense was led by quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson. Thorson threw for 128 yards and added another 24 yards and two scores on the ground. Jackson rushed for 120 yards on twenty carries.

13 nebraska2014  illinois2014 14

Nebraska has had some major issues in the waning minutes of its games thus far, and that continued Saturday in Champaign. The Illini scored the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock; something that is becoming all too familiar to Husker fans. Talk about disappointment.

The Illini (4-1, 1-0 in Big Ten) defense stopped the Cornhuskers (2-3, 0-1) on a fourth-and-7 at their own 27-yard line with only 51 seconds to play to give Wes Lunt one last shot at winning the drive. At that point, on three straight plays, Lunt went to his favorite target, Geronimo Allison. Twice Allison caught the ball, only it was out of bounds. But the Nebraska secondary also interfered with Allison to move the ball to the 1.

Lunt finally hit Allison in bounds, low and just inside the end zone for the game winner with 10 seconds to play.

Lunt led the way for the Illini as the junior threw for 251 yards and a pair of scores, while Allison finished with eight passes for 91 yards and a score.

Tommy Armstrong struggled just about all day for Nebraska, completing just 10 of 31 passes for 105 yards and an interception. True freshman tailback Devine Ozigbo ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak in Big Ten openers, and was Illinois’ first victory against Nebraska since 1924.

Attendance: 40,138

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Upset? Naw… just slow, sloppy game. The Badgers held Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard to just 77 yards passing but the Hawkeye defense forced four turnovers in leading the way to the victory.

Jordan Canzeri led the way again for the Iowa offense, rushing for 125 yards on 26 carries. The lone touchdown of the contest came just before halftime as Beathard connected with tight end George Kittle for a one-yard score. The Hawkeye offense managed just 221 yards on the day and failed to put up any points in the second half.

For the Badgers, senior quarterback Joel Stave did not have his finest day. He threw for 234 yards with two interceptions while also losing a pair of fumbles.

This lose snapped Wisconsin’s ten-game home winning streak.

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Moral victory or did the Spartans play down to the Boilermakers and took their feet off of the gas pedal?  State was up 21-0 halftime and Purdue’s running back Markell Jones caused all kinds of fits for the Spartans. The true freshman rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Quarterback David Blough added 136 yards and a score through the air. Late in the fourth quarter with a chance to pull off one of the season’s biggest upsets, but they failed to convert on fourth down, allowing the Spartans to remain among the unbeatens.

Connor Cook threw for a meager 138 yards and a touchdown, but the Michigan State running game continues to lead the way on offense. True freshman L.J. Scott had the best game of his young career, rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries. Madre London added 97 yards on the ground while Cook chipped in another 48 yards.

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Army 14,  Penn State 20

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It was a bit of an ugly week for the conference as Ohio State and Michigan State both struggled but they snagged the ‘W’ – no one will care how they won in November. Northwestern and Iowa continue put together some impressive performances and the Hawkeyes should find themselves ranked this week. And Michigan’s defense continues to look like one of the top units in the country as Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines on the up and up.

Next week we’ll all be watching as the Buckeyes host Maryland amidst all the homecoming festivities. Indiana travels to Happy Valley for what could be an intriguing matchup. The game of the week will take place in Ann Arbor where Michigan will take on Northwestern.

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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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BIG Ten Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 8, 2015. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten week 1… improvements!

September 6, 2015

The Big Ten football season kicked off this weekend, and there were a lot of improvements, but it’s difficult to ignore the conference’s struggles from the 2014 campaign. While a 7-5 record may not sound especially awful, you have to consider the quality of the opponents. Let’s take a look at how things transpired…

UTAH 24, MICHIGAN 17

Things got started Thursday in Salt Lake City as head coach Jim Harbaugh made his highly-anticipated Michigan coaching debut on FoxSports1. As expected this was going to be a tough test for the Wolverines but despite the final score, they were able to keep it reasonable. Now on the other side of the ball, UM’s D was pretty tough as they held running back Devontae Booker to just 69 yards on 22 carries.

ALABAMA 35, WISCONSIN 17

The Badgers were able to hang around early against the Crimson Tide, but the Bama was just too much especially on the ground. Derrick Henry ran for 147 yards and three scores while averaging over eleven yards per carry. Kenyan Drake added another 77 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own. Robert Foster led the way for the Bama receivers, hauling in four passes for 50 yards and a score.

Joel Stave was a bright spot for Wisconsin as he threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and a late-game interception. The biggest issue for the Badgers was their lack of a running game.

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NORTHWESTERN 16, STANFORD 6

Upset? Sure according to the analysis but the Wildcats are forreal. And their defense came to play on Saturday, holding the Cardinal offense to 240 yards and forcing two turnovers. The Northwestern offense was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson and sophomore tailback Justin Jackson. While Thorson didn’t put up huge numbers – 105 yards passing and 68 rushing – he ran for a 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter and, most importantly, didn’t turn the ball over. Jackson added 134 yards on 28 carries.

TCU 23, MINNESOTA 17

The Gophers were looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Horned Frogs, but two costly first-half fumbles ruined that. Quarterback Mitch Leidner fumbled the ball on the Gophs’ second possession which would ultimately lead to a Trevone Boykin touchdown run. After a promising second-quarter drive, Minnesota running back Rodrick Williams Jr. fumbled at the TCU one-yard line; the Horned Frogs recovered in the endzone for a touchback.

BYU 33, NEBRASKA 28

The most heartbreaking loss of week one undoubtedly took place in Lincoln as Mike Riley’s Nebraska debut was spoiled by a BYU hail mary.

MICHIGAN STATE 37, WESTERN MICHIGAN 24

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IOWA 31, ILLINOIS STATE 14

The Hawkeyes kicked things off against a highly ranked FCS team and defending runner-up Illinois State Redbirds. Iowa’s defense shut down the Redbirds’ rushing attack, allowing a mere 35 yards on the ground. The Hawkeye offense was led by quarterback CJ Beathard and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. Beathard threw for 211 yards and one score while also adding two touchdowns on the ground. Daniels Jr., a Warren, OH native, rushed for 123 yards.

ILLINOIS 52, KENT STATE 3

After Friday night’s scheduled showdown was postponed due to lightning, the Illini faithful had to wait a day to dominated the Golden Flashes. The start of the Bill Cubit era featured a much-improved, opportunistic defense that forced four turnovers while holding the Kent State offense to just 59 yards rushing.

On the other side of the ball, Junior quarterback Wes Lunt tossed four touchdown passes and senior tailback Josh Ferguson rushed for 76 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. When the game got out of hand and some of the younger players began to see the field, true freshman running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn added 43 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own.

INDIANA 48, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 47

After suspending nine players for the season opener, the Hoosiers were barely able to fend off the Salukis of Southern Illinois – surviving only after a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Indiana defense gave up a whopping 659 yards as the Hoosiers found themselves down 32-21 at the half.

Offensively, the Hoosiers looked to be in mid-season form. Senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 351 yards and a score. Running back Jordan Howard, a transfer from UAB, rushed for 145 yards and three scores in his Hoosier debut. While the suspensions definitely played a part in their performance, head coach Kevin Wilson has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

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TEMPLE 27, PENN STATE 10

MARYLAND 50, RICHMOND 21

RUTGERS 63, NORFOLK STATE 13

Bottom line? The Big Ten needs to perform better, especially in its more prominent non-conference matchups. There is still a lot of football left – things worked out pretty well after last season’s rough start, wouldn’t you say?

 

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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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