Big Ten Roundup - Week Eight Standings & More

Click on each team for game recaps, thoughts, schedules and more. Scroll down for the games, results, players of the week, and the conference roundup.

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 | Week 7

Big Ten Game of the Week
Michigan State 41 ... Northwestern 38
Michigan State staged the greatest comeback in D-I history rallying from down 38-3 midway through the third quarter. Down 3-0, the Wildcats cranked out a 38-point run with three touchdown passes from C.J. Bacher and a halfback option scoring pass to Shaun Herbert. Herbert's second scoring grab of the day on a five-yard pass with 9:54 to play in the third quarter appeared to be more than enough for the win, but MSU's Drew Stanton went nuts throwing two touchdown passes, including a brilliant nine-yard on-the-run strike to T.J. Williams,  and ran for a 12-yard score. The special teams got into the act with a 33-yard blocked punt for a touchdown from Ashton Henderson. Northwestern still had a shot to run out the clock, but Bacher was intercepted by Travis Key with just over three minutes to play leading to a 28-yard game-winning kick from Brett Swenson.

Big Ten Player of the Week
Michigan State QB Drew Stanton completed 27 of 37 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns with an interception and ran nine times for 37 yards and a touchdown in the 41-38 win over Northwestern.
Conference
Overall
Home
Away
 
W
L
PF
PA
W
L
PF
PA
Streak
W
L
W
L
Michigan
5
0
123
56
8
0
238
101
Won 8
5
0
3
0
Ohio St.
4
0
148
33
8
0
279
66
Won 8
5
0
3
0
Wisconsin
4
1
178
68
7
1
261
92
Won 4
4
0
3
1
Penn St.
3
2
103
91
5
3
191
151
Won 1
4
1
1
2
Purdue
2
2
78
102
5
3
235
231
Lost 1
4
1
1
2
Indiana
2
2
85
156
4
4
183
248
Lost 1
2
3
2
1
Iowa
2
3
122
113
5
3
210
150
Lost 2
3
1
2
2
Michigan St.
1
3
81
130
4
4
235
230
Won 1
2
3
2
1
Illinois
1
3
74
104
2
6
154
205
Lost 3
1
4
1
2
Minnesota
0
4
74
131
3
5
207
182
Won 1
2
2
1
3
Northwestern
0
4
64
146
2
6
137
220
Lost 5
1
3
1
3

Conference Roundup
Illinois … A more experienced team would've beaten Penn State. The Illini moved the ball well and did a great job defensively, but it struggled with bad field position and couldn't turn drives into touchdowns. Field goals were nice early on, but the offense had to come up with some big plays on the road in a hostile environment, and didn't. Juice Williams had a rough outing getting pressured from all sides, and the passing game never clicked on third downs. Now things get tougher with Wisconsin and Ohio State up next, so it'll be all about trying to improve from week to week.
Indiana … There's no shame in getting crushed by Ohio State, but it would've been nice if IU could've carried the momentum from the early part of the game to make the game more competitive for at least a half. The offensive line had no hope of slowing down the Ohio State defense and pass rush, while the Hoosier defense couldn't stop anything the Buckeyes wanted to do. If Kellen Lewis and the passing game aren't humming, IU can't beat the better teams, much less the nation's top team.
Iowa … Iowa has proven to be merely average over the last few weeks failing to make the next step up in overall play, but the real problem has been Drew Tate. The senior hasn't been able to use his experience and talent to carry the team and make everyone around him better as one of the year's bigger disappointments. While he hasn't been bad, he hasn't taken his game to another level, and couldn't come up with any key plays to make the loss to Michigan more of a battle. Granted, he was under a heavy pass rush and didn't get much help from the running game, but a quarterback of his caliber needs to be one of the best players on the field, and he wasn't.
Michigan … Michigan's defense is playing at another level. There are some that are statistically better, but the Wolverines showed against Iowa just how tough it is with a combination of a killer pass rush and strong run defense to make life impossible fro Drew Tate. Mike Hart had another Heisman caliber game and needs to be thrown into the discussion. Chad Henne has picked up his game since the loss of Mario Manningham, but Hart is the workhorse who carries the attack. Now it's smooth sailing until Ohio State with Northwestern, Ball State and Indiana up next.
Michigan State … Could anyone but Michigan State be so nutty and so crazy to be as low as could possibly be with the season appearing to be more than just over after getting down early against Northwestern, and then come up with the greatest comeback ever? MSU's heart has been questioned over the last few weeks, but that wasn't a problem this week as the team took the momentum, and a brilliant fourth quarter from Drew Stanton, to get the year back on track and, possibly, save John L. Smith's job. Now the Spartans have to use this momentum to get through a relatively light next three games against Indiana, Purdue, and Minnesota and get in the hunt for a decent bowl.
Minnesota … There's having a bad season, and there's almost losing to a D-IAA team like North Dakota State. Sure, the Bison might be one of the lower league's best, but that's no excuse for the Gophers to only gain 99 yards rushing and have so many problems on both sides of the ball. Everyone has to remember that this is a young team that was expected to struggle this season. A good performance at Ohio State next week would change everything and quiet down all those who want head coach Glen Mason canned.
Northwestern … How could a painful season get even worse? Northwestern found a way in the brutal loss to Michigan State with a complete, total team collapse over the final 25 minutes. It's a shame that the team finally got a great passing game from a quarterback with C.J. Bacher throwing for 245 yards, and got the best game yet this season out of Tyrell Sutton, but couldn't close. To make things worse, top tackler Nick Roach, arguably the one player the team couldn't afford to lose, got carried off hurt. Now comes road games at Michigan and Iowa followed up by a date with Ohio State that should keep thing spiraling downward.
Ohio State … It took Ohio State a little while to wake up against Indiana, and then it looked like a number one team is supposed to with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball. The defense held IU to seven rushing yards, while the offense had perfect balance with 270 yards rushing and 270 yards receiving. It's now to the point where Troy Smith can come up with a sluggish game and still throw four touchdown passes along with a couple of highlight reel plays. DB Antonio Smith had a huge game with 12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and four tackles for loss.
Penn State
… Yuck. Penn State got the homecoming win over Illinois, but it was hardly a thing of beauty with the offense coming up with an awful day and the defense giving up way too many yards. To be fair, it was a strange week of practice with Anthony Morelli still trying to overcome problems from the concussion suffered against Michigan, but that's no excuse for Tony Hunt and the running game to not get going. Purdue's offense wasn't able to get going against Wisconsin this week, but the Nittany Lions will allow big points next week against the Nittany Lions unless there isn't an improvement on both sides of the ball.
Purdue … Purdue figured out where it stands in the Big Ten world after the loss to Wisconsin. The offense couldn't get anything going, the defense got rolled over, and the team got beaten up on both sides of the ball. This is a tough Badger team that might be the third best in the league, but the Boilermaker offense should be able to put up yards on anyone. All the wrinkles and all the attempts at coming up with something quirky on offense didn't work. Now the team needs to gear it up for Penn State to get back in the hunt for a top five league finish.
Wisconsin … The Badgers have to be seen as the real deal after keeping the high-octane Purdue offense under wraps. The secondary, untested all season long, held firm keeping Curtis Painter and the Boilermaker passing game from effectively producing. With the defense playing so well, the coaching staff was able to take a few chances on offense. P.J. Hill was P.J. Hill, and John Stocco did a nice job of not forcing anything and completing his midrange to deep throws. 11-1 is still an achievable dream if the team continues to improve like it has over the last three weeks.
 

12:00 Ohio State 44 ... Indiana 3
CFN Prediction: OSU 38-7   OSU -31.5

12:00 Wisconsin 24 .. at Purdue 3
CFN Prediction: Wisconsin 38-20   UW -6

12:00 Michigan State 41 ... at Northwestern 38
CFN Prediction: MSU 27-17   MSU -6.5

12:00 Penn State 26 ... Illinois 12
CFN Prediction: Penn State 31-10  PSU -17.5

3:30 Michigan 20 ... Iowa 6
CFN Prediction: Michigan 27-10  UM -13.5

3:30  Minnesota 10 ... North Dakota State 9
CFN Prediction: Minnesota 31-7

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
Oct. 21 - Michigan State 41 ... Northwestern 38

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
Oct. 21 - Michigan State QB Drew Stanton


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