|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 | Week 9
Big Ten Game of the Week
Michigan 34 ... Ball State 26
Michigan needed the full sixty minutes to put Ball State away after a fourth down Cardinal pass in the final minutes fell incomplete in the end zone. The Cardinals jumped out to a stunning early lead with a safety and a 35-yard interception return for a score from Erik Keys, but then the Wolverine offensive line took over leading the way to 40-yard Brandon Minor scoring run and a one-yard Mike Hart run on the way to a 31-12 lead midway through the third quarter. Just when it seemed like Michigan could coast, Nate Davis and Dante Love hooked up for a 54-yard score. A two-yard Larry Bostic scoring run got the Cardinals to within eight midway through the fourth.
Big Ten Player of the Week
Minnesota QB Bryan Cupito completed 22 of 33 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns in the 63-26 win over Indiana.
|Ohio State||6||0||209||43||10||0||340||76||Won 10||6||0||4||0|
|Penn St.||4||3||118||104||6||4||206||164||Lost 1||4||1||2||3|
|Michigan St.||1||5||117||193||4||6||271||293||Lost 2||2||4||2||2|
Illinois … Illinois might be 2-8 and on a five-game losing streak, but there's a lot to be excited about after coming up with a third straight strong defensive performance against a big name team. Only this wasn't just keeping any team in check; Illinois shut down Ohio State after the first drive of the game. Juice Williams wasn't able to get loose and do any of his magic, but he got hot late and started to get some momentum. Now the team needs to learn how to close and get a win. Purdue and Northwestern are very, very beatable.
Indiana … Indiana's always going to have problems here and there against teams that come out sharp offensively, but to look for the silver lining in the blowout loss at Minnesota, Kellen Lewis and the passing game threw for a ton of yards and showed off its explosion yet again. Lewis made too many forced throws and wasn't nearly the poised, calm player he's been throughout the year, but he ran well and cranked out a ton of yards. Can the offense come up with a big game against Michigan next week? If Lewis gets time, maybe. To get to a bowl, the Hoosiers will have to beat either the Wolverines or Purdue.
Iowa … Disastrous. Absolutely disastrous. Iowa has no business losing at home to lowly Northwestern as part of a four-game Big Ten losing streak. There were too many mistakes, too many defensive breakdowns, and not any big plays down the field as the Wildcat defense let Drew Tate complete the short passes and then came up with the pop. Now that any hope of going to a New Year's Day game is gone, it's all about finishing strong needing to rebound in a hurry to beat Wisconsin and turn things around. A nine-win season is still possible.
Michigan … Michigan ran for 359 yards against Ball State and had few problems moving the ball, but the team gave up way too many big plays on both sides of the ball. 507 yards are nice, but the attack has to be more efficient and there has to be more pop to the passing game after Chad Henne only threw for 155 yards. That will likely change when Mario Manningham returns, but if the secondary struggles at Indiana as much as it did this week, Kellen Lewis and James Hardy could go nuts and pull off the shocker.
Michigan State … How did Michigan State respond after the news of John L. Smith's firing? It came up with a not-that-bad performance against Purdue with Drew Stanton looking a bit like the old Drew Stanton running well and making some nice plays on the move, but there wasn't enough pop to passing game and little help on the ground. As horrendous as the last seven weeks have been, MSU still has a shot to go to a bowl by beating Minnesota and Penn State. The team isn't playing well enough to have a shot against either of the two, so Stanton has to start bombing away and has to finally, finally, carry the team and close out his career with something positive.
Minnesota … Check out Minnesota showing some heart. To be fair, the Gophers didn't actually lose the game to North Dakota State two weeks ago, and there's no real shame in getting blasted by Wisconsin and Ohio State. Bryan Cupito got time to work, and he ripped apart the Indiana secondary making big play after big play to make it a laugher. Used to winning on the ground, the Gophers should stick with the plan and continue to bomb away over the next two weeks against Michigan State and Iowa, two very winnable games, in the attempt to get bowl eligible. Soon enough, Minnesota fans will realize Glen Mason has a young team he's trying to work with.
Northwestern … Who would've ever guessed that Northwestern could've beaten a team like Iowa by being more physical on the lines? The defense pitched a near-perfect game keeping Drew Tate and the Iowa offense under wraps almost all game long, while the offense came up with a perfectly balanced attack showing exactly what it's supposed to do when all the parts are humming. Tyrell Sutton was due to break out, while C.J. Bacher showed that he really could be the quarterback of the future. Now the Wildcats have to keep up the momentum to survive at home against Ohio State next week.
Ohio State … Forget about the Illinois game chalking it up to one lazy, down performance in an otherwise brilliant season. However, this can't be a start of a trend. If the Buckeyes struggle at Northwestern next week, then it's time to seriously worry about what the offense will do against Michigan. This was the first time all year the offensive line was lousy getting no room for Antonio Pittman to move. Illinois might be playing better lately on defense, but there's no excuse for a team as powerful as OSU to only gain 224 yards and only 144 after the first drive of the game.
Penn State … The Penn State lines got manhandled by the Wisconsin lines, while the running game couldn't handle the speed of the Badger linebackers. Anthony Morelli might not had had a great game, but he erred on the side of not making mistakes and didn't force his passes. The play calling left a lot to be desired failing to account for all the Badger blitzing, but things should be much easier and smoother next week against Temple. Paul Posluzny became the school's all-time leading tackler after making 14 stops this week.
Purdue … After all the bad games, the four losses in five weeks, and the disaster that was 2005, getting bowl eligible is nothing to dismiss. The Boilermakers fought its way through Michigan State with the big interception late from Justin Scott and just enough offense to come away with the win. There's still an outside shot of finishing with ten wins by winning out against Illinois, Indiana, Hawaii and the bowl game, but that might be asking a lot unless the offense starts to crank things up. There's no way the Boilermakers can hang with Hawaii right now, and they might have problems with the Hoosiers.
Wisconsin … he Badger defense was unbelievable against Penn State. It got consistent pressure on Anthony Morelli, and swarmed all over Tony Hunt all game long. Even better was the play of the offensive line in the running game allowing P.J. Hill to pound the ball over and over again up the middle. On the down side, there were a few too many free shots on QB John Stocco getting him knocked out with a shoulder problem. As long as UW's D can hold Iowa to 1.9 yards per carry like it did against Penn State, it'll beat Iowa next week no matter who's at quarterback.
12:00 Michigan 34 ... Ball State 26
12:00 Minnesota 63 ... Indiana 26
12:00 Wisconsin 13 ... Penn State 3
12:10 Northwestern 21 ... at Iowa 7
3:30 Purdue 17 ... at Michigan State 15
3:30 Ohio State 17 ... at Illinois 10
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
Nov. 4 - Michigan 34 ... Ball State 26
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
Nov. 4 - Minnesota QB Bryan Cupito