Big Ten Conference News and Notes

11:02 AM, Oct 21, 2013   |    comments
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ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini fell behind Wisconsin 21-0 in the first quarter of Saturday's conference clash in Champaign, but fought back to trail only 28-17 at the half. Basically the same scoring occurred after intermission, with the Badgers putting up 28 more to Illinois' 15, thus saddling the home team with a 56-32 loss. Nathan Scheelhaase completed 20-of-27 passes for 249 yards, while Reilly O'Toole was a perfect 5-of-5 for 69 yards and a TD. Steve Hull was the Illini's leading receiver with six grabs for 105 yards. Three others had at least 50 receiving yards, helping offset a rushing attack that produced only 72 net years. In contrast, Wisconsin helped itself to 289 yards on the ground, and scored TDs on all seven of its trips to the red zone. As a result of their fierce ground attack, the Badgers held a near 10-minute advantage in time of possession. Zane Petty (14) and Earnest Thomas III (11) both logged double-digit tackles for the Illini, who failed to come up with a turnover and managed only a single sack. Next up for Illinois is a Homecoming matchup against Michigan State this Saturday.

INDIANA: Despite a career-best 338 yards and four TDs from Tre Roberson, the Hoosiers came out on the short end of a wild 63-47 decision at Michigan over the weekend. The 47 points and 572 yards were the most Indiana has put up in 62 all-time meetings with Michigan. Roberson threw for 288 yards, three TDs and one INT, while rushing for 50 yards and a score, and receivers Kofi Hughes (six rec., 138 yards, one TD), Cody Latimer (five rec., 96 yards, one TD) and Shane Wynn (four rec., 52 yards, two TDs) were the primary beneficiaries of both Roberson's and Nate Sudfeld's (122 yards, one TD, one INT) exploits. Tevin Coleman paced the IU rushing attack with 78 yards and a score on 11 totes. Defensively, the Hoosiers surrendered a whopping 751 yards to the Wolverines -- 248 on the ground and 503 through the air -- and were on the field nearly twice as long as their offensive counterparts (38:34 to 21:26). Greg Heban posted a game-high 12 tackles, 10 of which were solo efforts, and Indiana recorded two turnovers and a pair of sacks. The Hoosiers are idle this week, next returning to action on Nov. 2 when they host Minnesota in a Homecoming affair.

IOWA: The Hawkeyes had the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes on the ropes early in Saturday's Big Ten bout in Columbus, leading 17-10 at halftime. But from there, the home team would score 24 points to the visitor's seven, thus prevailing 34-24 as a result. It was the 19th consecutive win for OSU. Despite a 10-minute disadvantage in time of possession, Iowa generated 375 yards of total offense, including 245 through the air, and the passing attack accounted for three TDs. Jake Rudock completed 19-of-34 attempts, hitting Jake Duzey six times for 138 yards and a score. Damon Bullock and Mark Weisman each carried the ball 10 times, and finished with 56 and 52 yards, respectively, but neither found the end zone. Ohio State generated just shy of 500 yards in the game, but it wasn't for a lack of effort on the part of Iowa defenders Desmond King (12), James Morris (12) and Anthony Hitchens (11), each of whom recorded double-digit tackles on the day. The Hawkeyes allowed a 100-yard rusher for the first time this season, as both Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller surpassed that mark for the Buckeyes. Iowa kicks off a two-game homestand this Saturday against Northwestern.

MICHIGAN: Records fell like the autumn leaves in Saturday's matchup between the Wolverines and visiting Indiana Hoosiers, as the home team bounced back from its first loss of the season to claim a wild 63-47 triumph. Michigan amassed a school-record 751 yards of total offense, with Devin Gardner going 21-of-29 for a record 503 yards, while also rushing for an another 81 yards, In all, he accounted for five TDs (three rushing, two passing), and he fell just one yard shy of setting a new Big Ten mark for total offense. Jeremy Gallon (14 rec., 369 yards, two TDs) also had a monster day in setting new school and conference records for receiving yards in a single game. Fitz Toussaint scored four times as part of his 32-carry, 151-yard rushing effort. The 47 points and 572 yards were the most Indiana has ever put up in 62 all- time meetings with Michigan, but the Maize and Blue got solid efforts from a few defensive players, not the least of which were Ramon Taylor (nine tackles, four PBU) and Thomas Gordon (two INTs). Michigan gets a breather this week, giving it some additional time to prepare for a Nov. 2 trip to East Lansing to battle in-state rival Michigan State.

MICHIGAN STATE: The nation's top-ranked defense was on display once again, as the Spartans blanked visiting Purdue over the weekend, 14-0. The shutout was the first for Michigan State over a Big Ten foe since a 34-0 rout of Northwestern back in 1993. The Boilermakers managed just 226 yards of total offense, including a mere 66 yards on the ground, and they converted only 5- of-15 third-down opportunities while failing to reach the red zone. Denicos Allen returned a fumble 45 yards for a TD to open the scoring, and Max Bullough led the Spartans with 10 tackles, and he had one of the team's five sacks on the day. Offensively, it was Jeremy Langford that proved most effective as he turned 24 carries into 131 yards. As for Connor Cook, he finished the game 13-of-25 for 107 yards, and Tony Lippert, who accounted for the Spartans' lone offensive TD with a fourth-quarter scoring pass, was the high man on the receiving end with five catches for 49 yards. MSU, which has won 35 of its last 46 games dating back to the start of the 2010 season, pays a visit to Illinois this Saturday.

MINNESOTA: With their head coach out on medical leave, the Golden Gophers dug deep to earn their first conference win of the season as they knocked off Northwestern on the road this past Saturday, 20-17. Minnesota was outgained, 328-299, but used a pair of second-half turnovers to pick up the hard-fought victory. James Manuel returned an INT 24 yards for a TD near the end of the third quarter, and the UM defense held Northwestern to 94 yards on the ground, while coming up with three total takeaways and three sacks. Antonio Johnson paced the unit with 11 tackles, which was more than twice as many as his closest teammate. From an offensive standpoint, David Cobb gained 103 yards on 20 carries, while Philip Nelson threw for just 112 yards and a TD in completing 8-of-11 passes. Derrick Engel only had two catches, but tallied 42 yards and a score for the Gophers, who return home this Saturday to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers were idle over the weekend, affording them some additional time to prepare for this week's conference clash with Minnesota in Minneapolis. Nebraska, which opened the season with a five-game homestand, is 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten.

NORTHWESTERN: Despite a defensive effort that limited visiting Minnesota to 123 passing yards, the Wildcats came out on the short end of a 20-17 final on Saturday. Northwestern, which has lost three in a row following a 4-0 start to the season, finished with 328 yards of total offense, but only 94 were gained on the ground as Stephen Buckley was the top producer with a career-best 58 yards on nine carries. He scored his first career TD, and Trevor Siemian wound up going 25-of-46 (both being career highs) for 234 yards, with eight completions going to Tony Jones who finished with 84 yards and a score. NU held possession of the ball for less than 25 minutes, but scored on all three of its visits to the red zone to continue its league-leading rating in that department. Both Nick VanHoose (11) and Damien Proby (10) logged double-digit stops in the game, and the 'Cats were credited with 10 TFL, three sacks, but no takeaways -- the latter ending the team's run of 10 straight games with at least one interception. Northwestern will try to put the brakes on its current slide when it plays at Iowa this Saturday.

OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes won their 19th straight game on Saturday, as they slipped past the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes, 34-24. Ohio State trailed at the half (17-10), but took control from there to keep their head coach, Urban Meyer, perfect in his tenure at the school. OSU had a pair of 100-yard rushers in Carlos Hyde (24 carries, 149 yards, two TDs) and Braxton Miller (18 carries, 102 yards), marking the first time Iowa had allowed anyone to surpass the century mark this season. Miller was also highly effective in the passing game, going 22-of-27 for 222 yards with two TDs and no INTs. Devin Smith caught a game-high seven balls for 72 yards and a score. On defense, Ryan Shazier recorded nine tackles and Curtis Grant had eight, but the Buckeyes, who were on the field for only 25 minutes, came up with only one turnover and failed to log a sack. Ohio State will play its second straight home game this Saturday versus Penn State.

PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions enjoyed a bye this past weekend, a week after upsetting the Michigan Wolverines in four overtimes. Penn State will try to secure its fifth win of the season and move to 2-1 in conference when it plays at undefeated Ohio State this Saturday.

PURDUE: The Boilermakers played very well on defense in Saturday's tilt at Michigan State, but failed to muster much in the way of offensive production as they dropped a 14-0 decision to fall to 1-6 on the year and 0-3 in the Big Ten. Purdue, which has lost five straight since beating FCS foe Indiana State in week two, finished with just 226 total yards against the league's top defense, with only 66 coming on the ground. Danny Etling had an off day in completing just 14-of-25 passes for 160 yards with no TDs and an INT, and he was sacked five times. Cameron Posey had a game-high 50 receiving yards, while Akeem Hunt paced the PU rushing attack with 43 yards on nine carries. The Boilermakers are idle this week, giving them some extra time to game plan for a Nov. 2 visit from the Ohio State Buckeyes.

WISCONSIN: Melvin Gordon rushed for 142 yards and three TDs to lead the Badgers to a 56-32 rout of Illinois on Saturday. Gordon went over 1,000 yards for the season on a 13-yard scoring run in the third quarter, but he wasn't the only effective runner for Wisconsin, which also got 98 yards and two scores from James White. The Badgers have now had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the past nine seasons. Joel Stave was efficient in converting 16-of-21 passes for 189 yards with two TDs and no INTs, hitting Jared Abbrederis eight times for 106 yards, As for the UW defense, it allowed 319 yards through the air, but only 72 on the ground. Marcus Trotter paced the Badgers with nine tackles, but the team failed to pick off any of the 34 passes launched by the Illini, but did manage to pounce on a pair of fumbles while logging two sacks. Wisconsin is idle this week, next returning to action at Iowa on Nov. 2.

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