|This story originally published on CollegeFootballNews.com|
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota
Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin
Big Ten Roundup Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4
Big Ten Game of the Week
Indiana 34 ... Illinois 32
Indiana's Austin Starr connected on a 33-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to close out a wild game. Illinois held a 25-7 lead early in the second quarter on two Isaiah Williams to Kyle Hudson touchdown passes, but Indiana answered with 24 straight points helped by two Josiah Sears touchdown runs and a 98-yard Marcus Thigpen kickoff return for a score. The two offenses slowed down late in the game with Starr's field goal the only points of the fourth quarter. Kellen Lewis completed five passes for 60 yards on the final drive including an 11-yard pass to Nick Polk to get into better range.
Big Ten Player of the Week
Penn State RB Tony Hunt ran 31 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns and caught a pass for a 15-yard score in the 28-27 overtime win over Minnesota.
|Ohio St.||2||0||66||23||6||0||197||56||Won 6||4||0||2||0|
|Penn St.||2||1||67||62||4||2||155||122||Won 2||3||0||1||2|
|Michigan St.||0||2||33||54||3||3||187||154||Lost 3||2||2||1||1|
Illinois … Just when it seemed like Illinois was going to get a little momentum with Indiana this week and Central Michigan to follow ... crash. The offense moved the ball well with big plays from the passing game early and a good performance from Pierre Thomas and the ground attack, but there was nothing happening in the second half and the defense couldn't come up with a game-saving stop late. Illinois isn't good enough to beat anyone when going one-of-11 on third downs.
Indiana … Finally, the Indiana offense woke up. It took a game against Illinois to do it, but the attack was able to crank out 389 yards and Kellen Lewis showed how clutch he could be leading the way to the game-winning scoring drive. The defense is going to be a nightmare all season long, so it'll be about how Lewis can lead the way in a shootout week in and week out. Marcus Thigpen once again established himself as the nation's best kickoff returner. Now the coaching staff has to find more ways to get him into the open field on offense.
Iowa … Iowa got over the Ohio State loss in a big hurry with a hot start against Purdue to end any thoughts of this being a letdown week. Drew Tate was efficient and effective and Damian Sims was fantastic in place of Albert Young. Purdue's offense has been fantastic, but it didn't get rolling until the second half. As long as Tate plays like he did against the Boilermakers and as long as the defense can keep getting off to solid starts, Iowa has a shot to run the table. This win will look better and better as the year goes on.
Michigan … It might not seem like it, but Michigan State is a dangerous team that came into the rivalry game fired up to turn its season around. Whatever. The Michigan machine keeps on rolling with Chad Henne looking like another Tom Brady, Mike Hart running as well as any back in the country, and Mario Manningham scoring touchdown after touchdown. The D never let MSU get into the game. Now comes the nationally televised, ABC Saturday night showcase game against Penn State. It's Michigan's time to turn things up to 11 and show that it really does belong in the national title discussion.
Michigan State … Michigan State is saying all the right things and trying hard, but its star, QB Drew Stanton, is hurting with injured ribs, and the team doesn't appear to be playing with any confidence. It didn't help itself against Michigan with 11 penalties, two turnovers, and no defense whatsoever early on. Somehow, the team has to find something it can get excited about and try to find a little of the same explosion they showed before the Notre Dame fourth quarter. A bowl game is still possible and would make the season a success, but can the Spartans focus and get back on track? Not until the Northwestern game.
Minnesota … Minnesota got hosed; plain and simple. The fourth down pass interference call against Trumaine Banks in overtime against Penn State was brutal, and the D could never get the momentum back. The running game wasn't working, but Bryan Cupito picked a great time to come up with his best performance of the year spreading finding Matt Spaeth late and Logan Payne all game long. Unfortunately, barring a few big upsets, a bowl game is likely out of the picture. The D simply isn't playing well enough to win the tough road games ahead, and the offense is far too inconsistent.
Northwestern … Where's Tyrell Sutton? The Wisconsin defense did a good job of closing down the run and the game got out of reach in the second half, but Sutton needs the ball in his hands more than ten times. Whether it's with the pass or getting forced the ball in the ground game, Sutton is the team's best weapon, not the quarterbacks, and he has to be used. Andrew Brewer ran well, but he didn't show enough passing the ball to keep Mike Kafka on the bench once he's healthy.
Ohio State … Yeah, yeah, yeah, Ohio State doesn't put up a bazillion points a game under Jim Tressel, but how is it that Troy Smith is lights out, Ted Ginn comes up with a fantastic game, and yet the game was still close into the fourth quarter. Bowling Green should've been knocked out far earlier. Obviously, the Buckeyes were able to turn up the pressure when needed, but it would be nice to see a 55-7 romp at some point.
Penn State … Penn State took advantage of the new life from an overtime, fourth down pass interference call against Minnesota to punch it in and come away with a tough win. All the momentum was on the Gophers' side after the way the overtime had started and the way regulation ended, but the Nittany Lions still got the job done. Tony Hunt has established himself as a steady runner able to take the offense out of Anthony Morelli's hands, while the passing game finally got a little bit of something going with Derrick Williams. Now the team has to use this tough win to play its best game of the year against Michigan to stay in the Big Ten title hunt.
Purdue … The Purdue defense got its doors blown off for the second week in a row allowing the Iowa game to get way too far out of hand way too early. The offense was fine once the Hawkeyes let their guard down a bit, but the D has to do more to keep the team in the game. The line didn't generate nearly enough pressure on Drew Tate and got pushed around way too much in the running game. If things aren't appreciably better next week at Northwestern, there will be plenty of reasons to worry with Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State coming up.
Wisconsin … The Badgers had the Northwestern game in hand midway through the second quarter when the defense turned up the pressure and everything on offense started to click. P.J. Hill once again had a fantastic game showing off his breakaway speed along with his power against the beleaguered NU front, and John Stocco had a steady, nearly mistake-free game helping the Badgers crank out 527 yards of total offense. The offense did what it was supposed to do over the last few weeks against awful teams, and now it'll have to keep things going against a Minnesota team looking to get over the tough loss to Penn State.
12:00 Iowa 47 ... Purdue 17
CFN Prediction: Iowa 38-31 Iowa -10.5
12:00 Wisconsin 41 ... Northwestern 9
CFN Prediction: Wisconsin 40-17 UW -21
12:00 Indiana 34 ... at Illinois 32
CFN Prediction: Illinois 31-20 Illinois -7
12:00 Penn State 28 ... at Minnesota 27 OT
CFN Prediction: Minnesota 23-21 PSU -3
3:30 Ohio State 35 ... Bowling Green 7
CFN Prediction: Ohio State 48-10 OSU -34.5
4:30 Michigan 31 ... Michigan State 13
CFN Prediction: Michigan 34-27 Mich. -17
Past Big Ten Games of the Week
Aug. 31 - Northwestern 21 ... Miami University 3
Sept. 9 - Purdue 38 ... Miami University 31 OT
Sept. 16 - Southern Illinois 35 ... Indiana 28
Sept. 23 - Notre Dame 40 ... Michigan State 37
Sept. 30 - Illinois 30 ... Michigan State 20
Oct. 7 - Indiana 34 ... Illinois 32
Past Big Ten Players of the Week
Sept. 3 - Northwestern QB Mike Kafka
Sept. 9 - Michigan State WR Matt Trannon
Sept. 16 - Michigan WR Mario Manningham
Sept. 23 - Michigan WR Mario Manningham
Sept. 30 - Troy Smith, QB Ohio State
Oct. 7 - Tony Hunt, RB Penn State