Big Ten Conference News and Notes

10:01 AM, Oct 14, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini were idle over the weekend, giving them ample time to prepare for this Saturday's conference clash against visiting Wisconsin. At 3-2 (0-1 Big Ten), Illinois is hoping to claim its first win over a ranked opponent this season.

INDIANA: A week after logging their first-ever win over Penn State, the Hoosiers were taken to task by Michigan State on Saturday afternoon, falling to the host Spartans in a 42-28 final. The loss evened Indiana's overall and conference records at 3-3 and 1-1, respectively. The Hoosiers generated 351 yards of total offense, with the bulk coming via the pass (259). The run accounted for only 92 yards, but did produce a pair of TDs. MSU rolled up 473 total yards, including 238 on the ground. For IU, Tevin Coleman ran for 79 yards, although 64 of them came on a TD run just over a minute into the contest. Nate Sudfeld had a lackluster outing, completing 14-of-30 passes for 137 yards with no TDs. Tre Roberson also saw action under center, and he was much more efficient in hitting 11-of-17 passes for 122 yards, two TDs and an INT. Cody Latimer and Shane Wynn combined for 11 catches, 125 yards and a score. Wynn scored the first rushing TD of his career, becoming the first player in Indiana history to score a TD receiving, rushing, and on both a kickoff and punt return. Mark Murphy paced the Indiana defense with 11 tackles. Next up for the Hoosiers is this Saturday's visit to Michigan.

IOWA: The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) got a much-needed breather over the weekend, affording them some extra time to game plan for this Saturday's conference showdown at undefeated Ohio State. Iowa had a four-game win streak come to an end in a 26-14 home setback versus Michigan State on Oct. 5. The Hawkeyes have won both of their road bouts this season, although making it three-in-a-row won't be easy as Columbus is as tough a place to steal a victory as there is in the country.

MICHIGAN: After falling behind Penn State in the first half, the visiting Wolverines went on a tear after intermission to grab the lead, but the Nittany Lions came back late to force overtime. It took four extra sessions (most in either schools' storied history) for the home team to finally earn the 43-40 victory, sending Michigan to its first defeat of the season. Not surprisingly, the final stats were nearly identical for both teams (389 yards for Michigan, 390 yards for Penn State), although the Wolverines held the ball for nearly 13 minutes more, but were just 4-of-18 on third-down conversion attempts and reached the red zone only three times, scoring twice (one TD). Devin Gardner threw for 240 yards, with three TDs and two INTs, and he was also instrumental in the ground game, amassing a career-high 121 yards on 24 carries. Fitzgerald Toussaint was stymied to the tune of 27 net yards on 27 totes (1.0 ypc). Jeremy Gallon finished with seven catches for 95 yards and a TD, while Devin Funchess turned his four grabs into 112 yards and two scores. James Ross III paced the UM defense with 10 tackles, and Frank Clark was credited with two of the team's four sacks, while also getting in on the scoring with a 24-yard return of a fumble (one of his two recoveries in the game) at the beginning of the third quarter. The Maize and Blue will try to get back on track this Saturday when the Indiana Hoosiers come to Ann Arbor.

MICHIGAN STATE: The Michigan State defense entered Saturday's fray with high- flying Indiana allowing just 13.4 points and 203.8 yards per game, but while the Hoosiers scored four TDs and churned out 351 yards, they were little threat to the Spartans who prevailed at home in a 42-28 final. Jeremy Langford scored four TDs (three rushing, one receiving) and finished the day with a career-high 109 yards on the ground. Delton Williams was also effective out of the backfield, logging a career-best 92 yards on 12 carries. Connor Cook went 22-of-31 for 235 yards with two TDs and an INT, and Tony Lippett (six rec., 64 yards) was the leading pass catcher for the Spartans, who tallied 473 total yards in averaging 6.1 yards per offensive play. The MSU defense gave up 259 yards passing, but just 92 yards on the ground, and got a club-best eight tackles from Denicos Allen. The Spartans take aim at their third straight win when they put their perfect conference (2-0) and home record (4-0) on the line this Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers.

MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers got their first break in the action over the weekend, allowing them some extra time to work out a strategy for this Saturday's road test against Northwestern. Minnesota opened the season with four straight victories, but has dropped its last two (both in conference), and will likely be without coach Jerry Kill for the foreseeable future as he seeks treatment for the seizures that have plagued him with greater frequency this season.

NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers came within 39 seconds of posting their first shutout since 2009, but still it was a dominating performance against the host Purdue Boilermakers this past Saturday as Nebraska rolled to a 44-7 victory. It was the first road game for the Huskers, who improved to 5-1 on the year and 2-0 in conference. The visitors rolled up 251 yards on the ground, 435 in all, and got solid individual efforts from Ameer Abdullah (20 carries, 126 yards, one TD), Imani Cross (16 carries, 56 yards, two TDs), Ron Kellogg III (10-of-13, 141 yards, one TD) and Quincy Enunwa (four rec., 72 yards, one TD). Starting QB Tommy Armstrong really struggled in going just 6-of-18 for 43 yards, and he was picked off three times. The Nebraska defense was on point from jump street, allowing just 32 net rushing yards and only 216 total yards, while coming up with five sacks and two turnovers. The Boilermakers failed to reach the red zone, were just 3-of-14 on third-down conversion attempts, and held possession of the football for only 22:44. The Cornhuskers are idle this week, and they'll play next at Minnesota on Oct. 26.

NORTHWESTERN: The Wildcats scored the first points of the game in Saturday's conference clash with Wisconsin, but the offense couldn't get on track and the visiting team fell in a 35-6 final. Northwestern entered the contest having scored no fewer than 30 points in seven straight games, which was the second- longest streak in the country. It was also the first time the 'Cats were held without a TD since 2006. NU was limited to just 44 net rushing yards, 241 in all, and they held the ball for only 21:45, converted a paltry 2-of-17 third- down attempts, and punted 11 times. Trevor Siemian completed only 13-of-34 passes for 163 yards, although Rashad Lawrence and Christian Jones both had four catches for a combined 116 yards. Chi Chi Ariguzo and Damien Proby logged 11 tackles apiece, and the 'Cats came up with three takeaways and three sacks. Northwestern opened the season at 4-0, but has dropped its first two Big Ten bouts. Next up for coach Pat Fitzgerald's squad is this Saturday's home clash with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

OHIO STATE: The undefeated Buckeyes enjoyed their first bye of the season over the weekend, giving them sufficient time to prepare for this Saturday's home tilt against Iowa. Ohio State has not lost a game with Urban Meyer at the helm, as it owns the nation's longest active winning streak at 18 games.

PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions were seemingly in control of Saturday's home game against undefeated Michigan, leading 21-10 at halftime, but the Wolverines came storming back to take the lead. Not content to simply roll over and play dead, Penn State fought back and tied the game late to force overtime. After four extra sessions, the hometown Nittany Lions finally earned a 43-40 victory in what became the longest game in either schools' storied history. It was also PSU's fourth straight win over the Wolverines, although the Lions still trail in the all-time series, 10-7. Christian Hackenberg, who scored his first career rushing TD to send the game into overtime, finished the night 23-of-44 for 305 yards, three TDs and two INTs. Brandon Felder was the team's top receiver with six grabs for 97 yards and two TDs, while Jesse James (six rec., 67 yards, one TD) and Allen Robinson (five rec., 84 yards) both had productive outings as well. Bill Belton paced the Penn State ground attack with 85 yards on 27 carries, and it was his two-yard TD run in the fourth extra frame that gave the Lions the hard-fought victory. The PSU defense was credited with 11 TFL, and C.J. Olaniyan was in all three of the team's sacks. The Nittany Lions are idle this week, next returning to action at Ohio State on Oct. 26.

PURDUE: The 600th home game in Purdue football history was certainly not one that Boilermaker backers are going to want to remember, as their team was trounced by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 44-7. Purdue was nearly shut out, scoring its lone TD of the game with only 39 second remaining in regulation. Freshman Danny Etling made his first career start under center for the Boilermakers, and he went just 14-of-35 for 184 yards with a TD and an INT. DeAngelo Yancey, another freshman, was the high man among Purdue's pass catchers, hauling in five balls for a career-high 146 yards and a TD. It was Yancey's second straight 100-yard receiving effort, marking the first time a PU receiver has done that since Keith Smith posted four in a row back in 2009. Akeem Hunt paced the club's rushing attack, what there was of one, with 57 yards on 10 carries. As for the PU defense, Anthony Brown led the way with nine tackles, eight of which were unassisted. The Boilermakers did manage to come up with three interceptions, but allowed 435 total yards to the Huskers. Purdue hits the road for the first time in nearly a month when it plays at Michigan State this Saturday.

WISCONSIN: The Badgers spotted visiting Northwestern a 3-0 lead, but took control of the game from there and wound up winning rather easily, 35-6. In four home games, Wisconsin has outscored the opposition a staggering 134-10, and coach Gary Andersen's squad improved to 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Big Ten. Melvin Gordon ran for 172 yards and a TD, James White added 101 yards and a score (the 37th of his career), Joel Stave went 17-of-28 for 241 yards, three TDs and two INTs, and Jared Abbrederis turned his two catches into 74 yards and a score for the Badgers, who churned out 527 yards of total offense, compared to only 241 for the Wildcats. Chris Borland spearheaded the UW defensive effort with 10 tackles, and he had one of the team's seven sacks, recorded by seven different players, marking the most since 2003. The Wildcats, who were just 2-of-17 on third-down conversion attempts and held the ball for a mere 21:45, had scored at least 30 points in their previous seven games, and they were held without a TD for the first time since 2006. Wisconsin heads back out on the road this Saturday to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.

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