Around the Penn State Schedule

FOS goes around the Penn State schedule in our weekly feature, looking at the high points and the low points for all the teams the Lions face during 2005. What did all the Big Ten teams do, and where do the Lions find themselves in the conference and national picture?

BIG TEN STANDINGS

TeamConf W-LOverall W-L
Penn State
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Iowa
Indiana
Michigan State
Northwestern
Ohio State
Michigan
Purdue
Illinois
3-0
2-1
2-1
2-1
1-1
1-1
1-1
1-1
1-2
0-2
0-3
6-0
5-1
5-1
4-2
4-1
4-1
3-2
3-2
3-3
2-3
2-4

South Florida Bulls (3-2)

WinsLosses
Florida A&M, 37-3
Central Florida, 31-14
Louisville, 45-14
Penn State, 13-23
Miami (FL), 7-27
Next Up: at Pittsburgh

Following a loss last week to Miami (Florida), the South Florida Bulls had a bye week as they prepare for an October 15 Big East matchup with the Pitt Panthers. Pitt improved to 2-4 this weekend with their first Big East victory over Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bearcats (2-3)

WinsLosses
Eastern Michigan, 28-26
Western Carolina, 7-3
Penn State, 24-42
Miami (OH), 44-16
Pittsburgh, 20-38
Next Up: Connecticut

Despite scoring a pair of late touchdowns to make their Penn State loss more respectable, the Bearcats brought the 99th ranked scoring offense in the nation into Heinz field to take on the Pitt Panthers who have had problems of their own this season.

Bradley Glatthaar scored for the fifth consecutive game, but qb Dustin Grutza completed just nine passes on the day. Pitt had its first 100 yard rushing performance of the season, as freshman Rashad Jennings picked up 102 yards on 11 carries and scored his first touchdown.

Central Michigan Chippewas (3-3)

WinsLosses
Miami Ohio, 38-37
Akron, 31-17
Army, 14-10
Indiana, 13-20
Penn State, 3-40
Eastern Michigan, 20-23
Next Up: Ohio

Chippewa quarterback Kent Smith spoiled homecoming for Army with a two yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to give Central Michigan the victory. Despite sluggish performances in the rain by both teams, Smith went 15 for 19, picking up 92 yards through the air and an additional 76 yards on the ground. Down 10-7, Smith directed the Chips on a 14 play, 76 yard drive that ran more than seven minutes off the clock and culminated in the winning score.

Aided by a personal foul call, Army drove the ball to the Central Michigan 23 in the closing moments, but a desparation 4th down pass fell incomplete.

Northwestern Wildcats (3-2)

WinsLosses
Ohio, 38-14
Northern Illinois, 38-37
Wisconsin, 51-48
Arizona State, 21-52
Penn State, 29-34
Next Up: at Purdue

The Wildcats set a new school record with 674 yards of total offense, scoring on seven consecutive posessions and piling up 51 points. They needed every one of those points in handing the Wisconsin Badgers their first loss of the year.

Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez completed 26 of 36 for 361 yards. Tim McGarigle recorded two sacks among his 25 tackles. Freshman tailback Tyrell Sutton emerged as a star for the Wildcats, picking up 244 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-1)

WinsLosses
Tulsa, 41-10
Colorado State, 56-24
Florida Atlantic, 46-7
Purdue, 42-35 (2OT)
Michigan, 23-20
Penn State, 14-44
Next Up: Wisconsin

One week removed from a demolition at the hands of the Nittany Lions, the Golden Gophers charged into Ann Arbor and claimed the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 1986. For the Wolverines, the loss drops them to 3-3 for the first time since 1990, while the Gophers moved into a tie for second place in the Big Ten with Wisconsin.

Michigan placekicker Garrett Rivas missed on a 42 yard attempt late in the third quarter, and failed again from 34 yards with 8:27 remaining. Laurence Maroney ran for 129 yards, and Gary Russell added 128, complimenting qb Bryan Cupito, who left the game with a concussion midway through the fourth quarter after going 11 of 23 for 139 yards.

Minnesota hosts a battle of 5-1 teams next week as the Wisconsin Badgers invade the Metrodome.

Ohio State Buckeyes (3-2)

WinsLosses
Miami Ohio, 34-14
San Diego State, 27-6
Iowa, 31-6
Texas, 22-25
Penn State, 10-17
Next Up: Michigan State

The path to the Big Ten championship no longer passes through Columbus. In a defensive struggle that lived up to an incredible week of pregame hype, the Nittany Lion defense pitched a second half shutout, as Penn State held on for a hard fought 17-10 victory that was not decided until Tamba Hali's big hit on Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith jarred the ball loose on the final Ohio State drive. Scott Paxson came off his blocker to fall on the ball and seal the victory for the Nittany Lions.

In capturing the win, Penn State extended its winning streak to 8 games, and equalled its Big Ten win total for the previous two years combined with a third conference win. Paul Pozluszny recorded 14 tackles to lead the Lion defense, and drew comparisons to Shane Conlan from head coach Paterno following the game.

The Nittany Lion offense, playing conservative with a lead for much of the game, managed just 195 yards of offense, but the Penn State defense stood up every time the Buckeyes threatened, holding Ohio State to 230 total yards in front of a roaring and raucous Beaver Stadium crowd of more than 109,000.

The win, in combination with Wisconsin's loss at Northwestern thrust Penn State to the top of the Big Ten standings, a perch unfamiliar to the Lions in recent seasons. For Ohio State, the road gets no easier, as the Buckeyes visit Michigan State next weekend. The Nittany Lions also take to the road, facing Michigan in the Big House.

Michigan Wolverines (3-3)

WinsLosses
Northern Illinois, 33-17
Eastern Michigan, 55-0
Michigan State, 34-31 (OT)
Notre Dame, 10-17
Wisconsin, 23-20
Minnesota, 20-23
Next Up: Penn State

For the second time in three Big Ten contests, the Michigan Wolverines found themselves on the losing end of a 23-20 score. Following the lead of Michigan State, the Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrated the victory by planting their flag in the turf in the middle of the Big House, and captured the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 1986.

Minnesota placekicker Jason Giannini booted a 30 yard field goal with 1 second remaining to lift the Gophers to their fifth victory on the season, and climb into a tie for second place in the Big Ten. The Wolverines led 13-10 at the half, but the game was tied on Minnesota's first posession of the second half. Steve Breaston returned the ensuing kickoff for a 95 yard score to put Michigan up 20-13, but Minnesota tied the game on a 13-play drive midway through the 4th quarter.

Michigan kicker Garrett Rivas had two chances to break the tie, failing from 42 yards and 34 yards to set up an opportunity for the Gophers to win the game.

The struggling Wolverines host Penn State next week.

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-4)

WinsLosses
Rutgers, 33-30
San Jose State, 40-19
California, 20-35
Michigan State, 14-61
Iowa, 7-35
Indiana, 13-36
Next Up: Penn State (Oct. 22)

Illinois quarterback Tim Brasic rolled up 230 yards through the air on a 22 of 39 performance, but fumbled and threw an interception to set up two Indiana scores. The Illini have now dropped four straight after opening the season 2-0 under first year head coach Ron Zook. The Illini have also lost ten straight Big Ten road games.

Illinois has a bye week next week to regroup before an October 22 meeting with undefeated Penn State.

Purdue Boilermakers (2-3)

WinsLosses
Akron, 49-24
Arizona, 31-24
Minnesota, 35-42
Notre Dame, 28-49
Iowa, 17-34
Next Up: Northwestern

Brandon Kirsch set a new career high, passing for 353 yards for the Boilermakers in the losing effort, but threw a key interception that shifted the momentum to the Hawkeyes. Kirsch led Purdue to the Iowa 11 early in the 4th period, trailing 23-17, but his pass into the end zone was picked off by Edmond Miles. Iowa then drove 80 yards to take a 29-17 lead and put the game out of reach, sending Purdue to its worst start in the nine year Joe Tiller era.

For the third consecutive game, the Boiler defense was lit up for more than 500 yards as Iowa rolled up 535 yards of offense. Purdue takes on another offense happy team next week as they host the Northwestern Wildcats.

Wisconsin Badgers (5-1)

WinsLosses
Bowling Green, 56-42
Temple, 65-0
North Carolina, 14-5
Michigan, 23-20
Indiana, 41-24
Northwestern, 48-51
Next Up: at Minnesota

The vaunted Wisconsin rushing game met worthy competition as Northwestern freshman running back galloped for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Following a relatively sedate first half, which saw the Badgers head for the locker room posessing a 17-10 lead, the Wildcats erupted for 28 third quarter points, and scored touchdowns on their first six posessions of the second half. The Badgers answered, in a seesaw game that seemed destined for a time to be decided by the last team with the ball, as at one point, the two teams combined to score on seven consecutive posessions.

The loss was the first on the year for Badger head coach Barry Alvarez, who will retire from coaching at the end of the season, but will remain as Wisconsin's athletic director. "We were OK at the half," commented Alverez after the game. "They didn't have the ball much, and I didn't think there were any major things we had to correct. ... I would have been pleased to play like we did in the first half."

Michigan State Spartans (4-1)

WinsLosses
Kent State, 49-14
Hawaii, 42-14
Notre Dame, 44-41
Illinois, 61-14
Michigan, 31-34
Next Up: Ohio State

Following a loss last week to in-state rival Michigan, the Michigan State Spartans had a bye week, and stayed home to prepare for a visit from the Ohio State Buckeyes next Saturday.

Other Big Ten Games

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2)

WinsLosses
Ball State, 56-0
Northern Iowa, 45-21
Illinois, 35-7
Purdue, 34-17
Iowa State, 3-23
Ohio State, 6-31
Next Up: Indiana

Before the 2005 season kicked off, this matchup was pointed to as one of those games that would have a major impact on the Big Ten title. Instead, the 3-2 Hawkeyes took on the 2-2 Boilers in a battle for pride and respectability, and the Hawkeyes came out on top. Iowa quarterback Drew Tate threw three touchdown passes, and accounted for 357 yards through the air.

Purdue signal caller Brandon Kirsch tossed for 353 yards, but threw a costly interception in the Iowa end zone early in the 4th quarter. The Hawkeyes followed the interception with an 80 yard drive to claim a 29-17 lead.

The Hawkeyes take on the Indiana Hoosiers next week in the "Battle of Big Ten Teams Not On Penn State's Schedule."

Indiana Hoosiers (4-1)

WinsLosses
Central Michigan, 20-13
Nicholls State, 35-31
Kentucky, 38-14
Illinois, 36-13
Wisconsin, 41-24
Next Up: at Iowa

Quarterback Blake Powers threw four touchdown passes, in a 22 of 35 performance. The sophomore also extended his school record to four straight games with at least three touchdown passes. Powers has thrown 18 touchdowns through five games to break Antwaan Randle El's single season school record of 17.

Wideout James Hardy accounted for 118 yards on ten receptions, and tailback Chris Taylor rushed for 132 yards and 1 TD.


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