|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 | Week 8
Big Ten Game of the Week
Wisconsin 30 ... Illinois 24
Wisconsin got down 21-3 after Pierre Thomas ran for two scores and Trayon Bellamy picked off a John Stocco pass for a 41-yard score. The Badger offense showed a spark of life late in the first half with an 11-play, 76-yard drive capped off by a one-yard Lance Smith scoring run, and then owned the second half outscoring the Illini 20-0. With P.J. Hill out with a neck injury, Stocco took over throwing two touchdown passes and Taylor Mehlhaff hit two of his three field goals in the second half. Illinois had two late chances, but couldn't get their drives within scoring range.
Big Ten Player of the Week
Indiana QB Kellen Lewis completed 16 of 26 passes for 261 yards and five touchdowns with an interception and ran 14 times for 75 yards and a touchdowns. WR James Hardy caught six passes for 83 yards and four scores in the 46-21 win over Michigan State.
|Ohio St.||5||0||192||33||9||0||323||66||Won 9||6||0||3||0|
|Penn St.||4||2||115||91||6||3||203||151||Won 2||4||1||2||2|
|Michigan St.||1||4||102||176||4||5||256||276||Lost 1||2||3||2||2|
Illinois … A veteran team beats Wisconsin. Juice Williams gave the Badgers fits with his mobility, but he was just off with some key passes and didn't get too much help from his receivers. The defense did a nice job keeping the UW running game from dominating the game, the there was enough aggressiveness in the linebacking corps to make some big plays. The young team needs to learn how to close; that will come in time.
Indiana … That's twice in three games Indiana's offense has blown up. Forget about the loss to Ohio State, everyone's going to have problems with the nation's number one team, IU is rolling winning three of its last four with Kellen Lewis and James Hardy forming the Big Ten's most dangerous tandem. Most shocking has been the defense, which kept Michigan State to only 215 yards. Now a bowl game is possible with Minnesota, Michigan and Purdue left to play needing just one more win. How much do the losses to Southern Illinois and Connecticut hurt now?
Iowa … Iowa didn't quite come up with an explosive, complete performance against Northern Illinois, but it showed it could win without Drew Tate at the helm and got Jake Christensen, the future of the program, some critical work. The linebackers did a great job of keeping Garrett Wolfe in check, and now they'll need to keep up the pressure against Northwestern's struggling spread offense. Now that bowl eligibility is there, it's time to make a big push for a New Year's Day spot over the last three weeks.
Michigan … Much will be made about how average the Michigan offense has looked and how long it seems to take to get things cranked up, but when the defense is playing as well as it is, there's no reason to take too many big chances. The running of Mike Hart was steady against Northwestern to make up for the lack of downfield passing from Chad Henne. To hold the Wildcat spread to -13 rushing yards is more impressive than it'll get credit for.
Michigan State … Good to see MSU could build on the momentum of the win over Northwestern ... yuck. Indiana blew the doors off the Spartans as Drew Stanton had a lousy game and there was no running attack to rely on. Not getting any offense against Indiana is not a positive, and now a bowl bid might be next to impossible with Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State left to play and needing to win two more games. If the secondary plays like it has over the last few weeks, MSU won't win another game.
Minnesota … Head coach Glen Mason might be under fire, but getting blown out by Ohio State is nothing to be ashamed of. However, there's no margin for error after the way the last few weeks have gone. Suddenly, Indiana isn't a layup and requires the team's full focus. Michigan State and Iowa are winnable games if the Gophers can find some sort of a running game again. QB Bryan Cupito is too experienced to be playing as poorly as he has over the last three games; he needs to be a difference maker and not a liability.
Northwestern … Even though the Wildcats weren't good against Michigan, at least they held tough against the nation's number two team. The defense was strong enough to keep the Wolverines from bombing away, while the offense was able to crank up a few passing yards. To win, there has to be some semblance of a running game; -13 yards isn't going to get it done. The problems from the six-game losing streak aren't going to get any better with Iowa and Ohio State up next.
Ohio State … It's all working right now for the Buckeyes. Minnesota wasn't even in the stadium and the Buckeyes were rolling. While Troy Smith got hit a bit, he's still getting plenty of time to make plays and more than enough time to find his third and fourth options. With everything working well, now it's time to start working on some new things and giving Michigan some things to think about. Even more deep passes wouldn't be bad, more running from Smith, and a few different blitzes would be nice. Of course, that's if the Buckeyes feel like getting creative instead of just winning every game in a blowout.
Penn State … The Penn State defense has slowly started to play up to the level of recent seasons coming up with its best game of the year in the shutout win over Purdue. Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny destroyed the Boilermakers flying all over the field to combine for 21 tackles. Fine, so Anthony Morelli continues to struggle with his accuracy, but he got some big plays and was helped by Tony Hunt carrying the offense. Wisconsin's P.J. Hill and Michigan's Mike Hart will win the First Team All-Big Ten running back honors, but Hunt has to at least be in the team photo.
Purdue … What happened to the pop? What happened to the downfield passing game? Where's the offensive balance? Purdue has gone into the tank over the last two weeks against Wisconsin and Penn State with no production against the run, and no consistency to the offense to help things out. Jaycen Taylor and Kory Sheets have to start getting more involved in the offense and have to combine for at least 20 carries a game. If Purdue loses to Michigan State next week, then it'll really be time to worry.
Wisconsin … It took the offense a little while to wake up against Illinois, and then the line started to give John Stocco time and the game quickly turned around. However, the line didn't get the running game going in the final few minutes and allowed Illinois to get a few late chances to pull out the upset. The defense had a hard time dealing with the mobility of Juice Williams early on, but tightened up late. The key will be P.J. Hill's health; this is a different team with him in the game.
12:00 Michigan 17 ... Northwestern 3
12:00 Wisconsin 30 ... Illinois 24
12:00 Indiana 46 ... Michigan State 21
12:00 Penn State 12 ... at Purdue 0
12:00 Iowa 24 ... Northern Illinois 14
3:30 Ohio State 44 ... Minnesota 0
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
Oct. 28 - Wisconsin 30 ... Illinois 24
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
Oct. 28 - Indiana QB Kellen Lewis and WR James Hardy