BIG Ten Week 10 Recap

Posted on November 8, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Simply put crazy… intense… and statements!

November 7, 2015

Week ten didn’t see too much craziness until the latter portion of the day, but one of the conference’s unbeatens didn’t make it out unscathed. Mike Riley’s inaugural season at Nebraska has seen a number of heartbreaking defeats, but the tables were turned on Saturday night.

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Illinois 48, Purdue 14

WEST LAFAYETTE – It was homecoming weekend at Purdue and all week there was a certain energy and the team claimed they had a good practice week. And to top it off, the Boilermakers may be in a position to win back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time during coach Darrell Hazell’s three seasons.

Well, that’s all in the past and Saturday’s game proved just that as the Fighting Illini came in a dominated from start to finish as they compiled 595 yards of offense, including 382 rushing yards.

Wes Lunt threw three first-half touchdown passes, and Illinois snapped its three-game losing streak, getting 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Ke’Shawn Vaughn and 133 from Josh Ferguson, who returned to action from a shoulder injury.

Illinois (5-4, 2-3), which had scored 33 total points in consecutive losses to Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State, drove 76, 58 and 72 yards for touchdowns during the opening 30 minutes, running 44 plays for 295 yards and 17 first downs before halftime.

Lunt completed 19 of 33 passes for 169 yards and the three TDs.

Purdue gained only 25 yards in the first quarter on homecoming and finished the opening half with 39 plays for 105 yards. For the day, Purdue gained 263 yards.

“I thought we’d execute better in all phases,” Hazell said. “We did not. We never got into any offensive rhythm, especially early. On defense, we gave up too many big plays. Our energy level had to be higher.”

 

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Nebraska 39, Michigan State 38

So that actually happened, and Michigan State is no longer one of the unbeatens. Interested to see everyone’s thoughts on the call that everybody is talking about it, but boy that was a weird one. Was he forced out of bounds?

MichState-Nebraska-BADCALL

The Huskers found themselves up 10-3 after the first quarter thanks to Tommy Armstrong connecting with wideout Jordan Westerkamp for a 38-yard score. The Spartans were able to find the endzone twice in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 17-13 lead. After exchanging blows in the third quarter, Mike Riley’s squad was down by 12 with just over four minutes left to play. Armstrong then rallied the Husks for two scores, including the game-winning 30-yard touchdown strike with just 17 seconds left on the clock.

Armstrong totaled four touchdowns on the night and accounted for 339 yards of total offense. Despite battling an injury, Westerkamp was Armstrong’s favorite target on the day, hauling in nine passes for 143 yards and a score. Senior tailback Imani Cross rushed for 98 yards and a score

Connor Cook led the Spartans with 335 yards passing and four touchdowns. Aaron Burbridge led all receivers with ten receptions for 164 yards and a score while fellow wideout Macgarrett Kings Jr. found the endzone twice. Sophomore Gerald Holmes added 117 yards rushing and a score.

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Iowa 35, Indiana 27

The Hawkeyes were able to take care of the Hoosiers despite a sluggish start. Iowa trailed 17-14 with less than a minute to play in the first half, but a seven-yard touchdown scamper by C.J. Beathard put them back on top and they never relinquished the lead. The game paid homage to Veteran’s Day with some patriotic helmets, and former quarterback Ricky Stanzi had to have been proud.

Beathard and the backfield duo of Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels led the way for the Hawkeye offense. Beathard threw for 233 yards and a touchdown while adding 38 yards and another score with his legs. Wadley rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on just ten carries. Daniels added 78 yards and a pair of scores.

Hoosiers’ Quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 180 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Hawkeyes remain unbeaten and look to continue their climb up the College Football Playoff rankings.

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Michigan 49, Rutgers 16

The Scarlet Knights were no match for Jake Rudock and the Wolverines Saturday in Ann Arbor. The senior signal-caller had arguably his best game of the season, completing 18 of 25 passes for 337 yards and two scores while also adding a nifty four-yard touchdown run. Rudock hadn’t thrown for more than 200 yards since his Wolverine debut against Utah.

Deveon Smith saw the bulk of the carries for the Michigan offense, ending the day with 15 carries for 73 yards and a score. Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson each hauled in a touchdown pass and Jake Butt topped the century mark with 102 yards on four receptions. Jabrill Peppers—who continues to be utilized in all facets of the game—found the endzone again on a nice little 18-yard swing pass.

With Leonte Carroo being held out again, the Rutgers passing game was only able to put up 97 yards and zero scores. Sophomore running back Robert Martin led the way on the ground with 81 yards on ten carries; the bulk of those yards coming on a 54-yarder. The Wolverines held the Scarlet Knights to 225 yards of total offense.

 

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Northwestern 23, Penn State 21

Ohio State 24, Minnesota 14

Wisconsin 31, Maryland 24

And finally….

Next week the Buckeyes travel to Champaign to face an Illinois squad that looked pretty darn good this week. The Hoosiers will host the Wolverines, the Spartans travel to Maryland, and the Hawkeyes and Gophers face off for a 100-pound pig trophy. And of course ,Tuesday night…. the BCS picks – yawn!!!!

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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.

0 minnesota2014  northwestern2014 27

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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10 iowa2014    Wisc-helmet 6

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.

21purdue2014  michiganstate201424

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.

34ohiostate2014  indiana-helmet 27

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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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”

BIGTen-Helmet

OFFENSE: Wes Lunt, Illinois
DEFENSE: Drew Ott, Iowa
SPECIAL TEAMS: N/A
FRESHMEN: N/A

 

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2014 Big Ten – Week 1

Posted on September 1, 2014. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 1 is in the books…

August 31, 2014

Eastern Illinois 20, Minnesota 42

Rutgers 41, Washington State 38
Whew… first Big Ten victory!

Jacksonville State 7, Michigan State 45
Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… Takeaways… yup 11 of ’em

Penn State 26, UCF 24
Whew game of the week from Ireland

Youngstown State 17, Illinois 28
A victory nonetheless 1-0 to start the season off

After a shaky start (give the guy a break, he hadn’t played in two years), the Rochester rocket finished with 285 yards and four touchdowns. And his teammates promise he will get better. Somewhere, Nathan Scheelhaase was smiling, knowing his old spot is in good hands with Mr. Wes Lunt

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Indiana State 10, Indiana 28
defense — helped Indiana get by Indiana State

Northern Iowa 23, Iowa 31
Work in progress but a win is a win!

Appalachian State 14, Michigan 52
250 yards of rushing later.., the Wolverines cruise past App State

Ohio State 34, Navy 17
   …a game of two halves but in the end… the ‘i’ was dotted 1-0

Western Michigan 34, Purdue 43
Got enough points to win… next?

Florida Atlantic 7, Nebraska 55
Abdullah and Armstrong Jr – nuff said!!!

California 31, Northwestern 24
Ut oh… 0-1 for the ‘Cats

James Madison 7, Maryland 52
Big first win but a major injury could hurt long-term

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKERS 4 the Week”

BIGTen-Helmet

OFFENSE: Ameer Abdullah, Neb.
DEFENSE: Johnathan Aiken, RU
SPECIAL TEAMS: Sam Ficken, PSU
FRESHMEN: QB Barrett, OSU & WR Hamilton, PSU

 

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