|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
Week 5 | Week 6
Big Ten Game of the Week
Indiana 31 ... Iowa 28
Indiana stunned Iowa with three Kellen Lewis touchdown passes to James Hardy with a 20-yard strike to finish off the scoring midway through the fourth quarter. Iowa had chances including a late drive getting to the Indiana 41, but got stopped on a Will Meyers interception allowing the offense to run out the clock. Damian Sims ran for two one-yard scoring runs for the Hawkeyes and got up 21-7 in the first half on a 25-yard Herb Grigsby touchdown run, but the defense couldn't hold as the Hoosiers went on a 24-7 run over the final 34 minutes starting with a two-yard Lewis scoring run.
Big Ten Player of the Week
Indiana WR James Hardy caught eight passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-28 win over Iowa.
|Ohio St.||3||0||104||30||7||0||235||63||Won 7||4||0||3||0|
|Penn St.||2||2||77||79||4||3||165||139||Lost 1||3||1||1||2|
|Michigan St.||0||3||40||92||3||4||194||192||Lost 4||2||3||1||1|
Illinois … Ugh. Just when it seems Illinois was going to make a big run for a possible bowl bid after beating Michigan State, it loses to Indiana and Ohio at home in back-to-back weeks on last second field goals. Much will be made out of the late fumble that allowed Ohio to get the field goal shot at the end, but the Illini shouldn't have been in that position in the first place. The running game was solid, and Juice Williams had a nice game, but five turnovers and the inability to stop Kalvin McRae proved too much to overcome. Now it's on to a three-game stretch against Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State that might make a bad slide far worse.
Indiana … Talk about your monster comebacks, Indiana has won two straight in the Big Ten with Kellen Lewis and the passing game rolling as well as it has all season long. James Hardy broke out against Iowa with his three touchdown passes, while Demetrius McCray ran the ball extremely well showing off just how much offensive pop the team has for the future. Just as important was the play of the defense that came up with the huge late stop and held up relatively well in the second half despite giving up plenty of yards and too many big drives. IU isn't going to beat Ohio State, but if it plays like this, it can beat Michigan State and have shots against Minnesota and Purdue later on.
Iowa … Inexcusable. Did Iowa lack focus against Indiana with the big game against Michigan coming up? Injuries have been an issue, but the defense should've been far stronger against a Hoosier offense that found a way to make every big play, and a defense that somehow held up despite getting run on and thrown over all game long. There's no reason the Hawkeyes should only score seven points over the final 39 minutes of the game against a defense this soft. If Iowa can't handle the Hoosier D, what's it going to do against Michigan?
Michigan … How did Michigan overcome the loss of Mario Manningham? Chad Henne. Henne didn't make mistakes, didn't force things, and once again showed off his next level arm with a perfect strike to Adrian Arrington for a score. Mike Hart might be the toughest pound-for-pound player in the country; he always pounds over the first tackler. This might not be the smoothest of wins, but considering all the upsets all over the place, 7-0 is impressive. A win over Iowa next week would mean smooth sailing until Ohio State.
Michigan State … Michigan State doesn't have many weapons with RB Javon Ringer and WR Matt Trannon out, but if Drew Stanton is really an elite quarterback, he has to make everyone around him better, and he's not doing that. Ohio State did what it wanted to on the flat Spartans, and now the season has the potential to really nosedive into the tank if there's not a big improvement next week at Northwestern. The next four games (NU, at Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota) are all very, very winnable. If MSU can't win three of the four going into the Penn State game, or at least come close, then it really might be time to declare the John L. Smith era over.
Minnesota … Minnesota can't impose its will anymore with the running game, so if Bryan Cupito and the passing game isn't always sharp, getting wins over teams like Wisconsin will be tough. Maybe it was the hangover effect from the Penn State loss, but the Gophers' head wasn't in the game early against the Badgers with misfires, turnovers, dropped passes, and other breakdowns. The offense needed to start throwing the ball all over the field in the second half to try to get back in the game, but the defense needed to do its part and come up with a stop. A bowl game is all but gone now.
Northwestern … The Wildcats have to find a way to get the ground game going. Andrew Brewer was fine throwing the short passes against Purdue, but he wasn't able to loosen up the back seven and had no room to move with the safeties cheating up. Tyrell Sutton had one big run, but he only had ten carries and wasn't established enough early on. Brewer running the ball was no match to keep up with the Purdue passing attack. This might be a young team, but at this point in the season, it should start being more effective on both sides of the ball.
Ohio State … Ohio State is a machine. Michigan State never had a chance with the way the Buckeyes were playing on both sides of the ball. The offense was balanced and nearly flawless with Troy Smith coming up with yet another fantastic game, and Ted Ginn, for the second game in a row, started to show off the explosiveness and ability that brought him so much hype. Quinn Pitcock doesn't get a ton of national exposure, but he might be playing better than any defensive tackle in America. Everything's working; there's no touching this team until the Michigan game.
Penn State … Penn State doesn't have the overall firepower to beat the better teams, but the defense is starting to play up to the high level set over the last few years. Even though Michigan got its rushing yards, and finished with 312 overall, it was a struggle to move the ball consistently with the linebackers making plays all over the place. Now the question is whether or not there's a quarterback ready to run the offense. Paul Cianciolo struggled outside of the one big play for a score, which was all Tony Hunt, and Daryll Clark and Anthony Morelli each will be watched this week before seeing any time against Illinois. It'll be Hunt, Hunt and more Hunt while hoping for the defense to be even better.
Purdue … It took a little while to get revved up against Northwestern, but Purdue did a great job of moving the chains on third downs and getting the passing game going. Curtis Painter had time to find his receivers, and he made the Wildcats pay time and again. The defense came up with its best performance of the season keeping Northwestern from ever getting into a groove. The run defense will have to be even stronger next week against Wisconsin, while Painter will have to continue to be sharp to loosen up the tight Badger D.
Wisconsin … Slowly, the passing game has started to thrive with Travis Beckum becoming a reliable go-to target and John Stocco getting more and more comfortable with his receivers. The offensive line dominated Minnesota early on giving P.J. Hill good holes to run through, but Hill made plenty of big plays on his own. As long as the offense remains balances and effective on third downs, and as long as the run defense keeps swarming around the ball like it did against the Gophers, the Badgers have a legitimate shot of winning out.
12:00 Indiana 31 ... Iowa 28
CFN Prediction: Iowa 38-17 Iowa -17.5
12:00 Purdue 31 ... at
CFN Prediction: Purdue 31-20 PU -7
12:00 Wisconsin 48 ... Minnesota 12
CFN Prediction: Wisconsin 31-20 UW -9.5
3:30 Ohio St 38 ... at Michigan State 7
CFN Prediction: Ohio State 34-16 OSU -15.5
7:00 Ohio 20 ... at Illinois 17
CFN Prediction: Illinois 24-17
8:00 Michigan 17 ... at Penn State 10
CFN Prediction: Michigan 27-16 UM -7
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
Oct. 14 - Indiana 31 ... Iowa 28
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 - Ohio State QB Troy Smith,
Oct. 7 - Penn State RB Tony Hunt
Oct. 14 - Indiana WR James Hardy