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Monday, September 24, 2007

9/24/07 - Weekend Recaps

Illinois 27 Indiana 14
Illinois jumped out to an early 13-0 lead on the road Saturday and fought off the Hoosiers to conclude a very important win in their Big Ten opener. The Illini were led by RB Rashad Mendenhall who rushed for 214 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. Mendenhall also caught three passes for 18 yards and scored a receiving touchdown. QB Juice Williams still showed a lot of inconsistency, but Mendenhall's running and ball control ended up winning this game for Illinois. Saturday was only the second time in the Ron Zook tenure in which the Illini turned the ball over less than their opponent. Indiana QB Kellen Lewis had a strong performance and finished with 263 yards through the air on 26 of 51 passing with 2 TDs, but the Hoosiers were never able to get anything going on the ground. Illinois hosts Penn State this week, while Indiana looks to bounce back from this loss with a win at Iowa.
Player of the Game: Illinois RB Rashad Mendenhall

Michigan State 31 Notre Dame 14
Michigan State did allow Notre Dame's first two offensive touchdowns of the season, but the Spartans used 4 TD passes from QB Brian Hoyer to improve to 4-0 on the year. MSU RB Javon Ringer also pitched in as well with 144 yards on 26 carries. The Spartans looked a bit shaky at times in South Bend, and they will certainly need to improve on defense, especially against the run to compete with the Big Ten's best. Hoyer finished the day with 135 yards and 4 TD passes, but will need to improve on the 11 of 24 passing. The Spartans did what they had to do to win, but it starts to get a lot tougher beginning this Saturday at Wisconsin.
Player of the Game: Michigan State QB Brian Hoyer

Michigan 14 Penn State 9
After a very rough non-conference schedule, things got back to normal in Ann Arbor with Michigan defeating Penn State for the 8th straight time on Saturday. The Wolverines used defense and a heavy dose of RB Mike Hart to wear down and eventually beat the Nittany Lions. Hart ran the ball 44 times and finished with 153 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. Michigan freshman QB Ryan Mallet stayed composed and did not try to force any throws en route to improving his starting record to 2-0. It should be an interesting to see how Lloyd Carr handles his QB situation with Chad Henne expected to be back soon. Penn State was led in rushing by RB Rodney Kinlaw who finished with 69 yards on just 12 carries, and may have taken the starting job away from Austin Scott. Scott continued to struggle hanging onto the ball and can no longer be counted on in close games.
Player of the Game: Michigan RB Mike Hart

Ohio State 58 Northwestern 7
This game was over before it really even got a chance to start after two early touchdown passes from Buckeye QB Todd Boeckman to WR Brian Robiskie. Ohio State completely dominated this game in every aspect from start to finish. Northwestern's only points came on a 99-yard kickoff return by Sam Simmons at the start of the 3rd quarter. Other than that, nothing went right for the Wildcats. Boeckman finished with 179 yards and 4TDs on 11 of 14 passing. Robiskie caught 3 passes, all for touchdowns, and ended with 89 yards receiving. Buckeye RB Chris Wells rushed for 100 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. Granted this was Northwestern they were playing, but Ohio State seems to clicking on all cylinders right now. The defense is about as good as it gets, and this offensive explosion should only help the confidence of their young playmakers. After this weekend, the Buckeyes clearly look like the best team in the league right now.
Player of the Game: Ohio State WR Brian Robiskie

Wisconsin 17 Iowa 13
As ugly as this game started, it certainly got interesting late in the 1st half. Iowa took a 10-7 lead into the locker room at halftime after a one-handed touchdown grab by Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. The Hawkeyes were playing undermanned at receiver all game, and it sounds like they will be all year, after the injuries to WR Andy Brodell and TE Tony Moeaki. The Wisconsin defense held Iowa down for most of the game, and didn't let the Hawkeyes get anything going with their ground game. Iowa's defense looked very strong for most of the contest, but the Badger O-Line eventually wore them down, and RB P.J. Hill took over in the 4th quarter. Hill finished the game with 113 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Wisconsin doesn't make it look very pretty, but they just keep winning, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 13 games. Iowa should be an interesting team to follow this season. Their offense is going to continue to struggle, but with a very strong defense, the Hawkeyes should find themselves in just about every game.
Player of the Game: Wisconsin RB P.J. Hill

Purdue 45 Minnesota 31
Purdue started the game with a Desmond Tardy 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and never looked back. Minnesota has had more than enough problems this year stopping the pass, and few teams throw it around better than the Boilermakers. Purdue QB Curtis Painter had a field day passing for 338 yards and 3 TDs on 33 of 48 passing. WR Dorien Bryant finished with 12 catches, 150 yards and 2 TDs. The Boilermakers also got 111 yards on the ground from RB Kory Sheet's 21 carries. It was an all around offensive effort for Purdue as they took advantage of a hapless Gopher defense. Minnesota should be able to continue putting up some points, but as shown in their first 4 contests, the defense will most likely give all those points back and then some. Purdue heads home this Saturday to take on Notre Dame before a huge home matchup with Ohio State.
Player of the Game: Purdue WR Dorien Bryant