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Monday, October 1, 2007

10/1/07 - Weekend Recaps

Illinois 27 Penn State 20
Illinois head coach Ron Zook got his first big conference win as the Fighting Illini topped Penn State 27-20 on Saturday. The Illini now find themselves in strange territory, on top of the Big Ten. They are 2-0 in conference with a giant home game against Wisconsin coming up this week. Freshman WR Arrelious Benn had a breakout game for Illinois, catching six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, and also returned a kick-off 90 yards for a score. RB Rashad Mendenhall added 76 yards on the ground and a touchdown on 18 carries. If Juice Williams can find a way to become a little more efficient, and cut down on his interceptions, this Illini team would get a whole lot scarier. As for Penn State, they drop to a disappointing 0-2 in conference play after another weak performance by QB Anthony Morelli, who finished 21-38 with 298 yards and 3 interceptions. The Nittany Lions host Iowa this week in a very winnable game, but they may want to start thinking about a change at quarterback.
Player of the Game: Illinois WR Arrelious Benn

Michigan 28 Northwestern 16
Nobody should have been surprised with Michigan's troubles again with a spread offense. Northwestern controlled most of the first half, and actually ended the game with more yards than the Wolverines, 417 total yards to Michigan's 380, but the Wolverine defense tightened up in the second half and capitalized on five Northwestern turnovers. Wildcat QB C.J. Bacher had a game he'd like to forget, passing 22 of 42 for 289 yards with three interceptions. Michigan QB Chad Henne returned to the lineup and threw for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns on 18 of 27 passing. Workhorse Mike Hart carried the ball 30 times and finished with 106 yards and 1 TD. Michigan now returns home to face Eastern Michigan with a chance to tune up and get Henne some more work before the rest of the Big Ten season. Northwestern falls to 0-2 in conference play and it doesn't get any easier next week with a trip to East Lansing and a date with Michigan State.
Player of the Game: Michigan WR Mario Manningham caught 10 passes for 123 yards and 2 TDs

Indiana 38 Iowa 20
Maybe the most shocking result on Saturday was Indians triumph over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. It's not too surprising that Indiana won, but this game was never really close. The Hoosiers never really got the ground game going, and they didn't need to as QB Kellen Lewis had his way picking apart a depleted Iowa secondary. Lewis finished with 322 yards through the air and 3 TDs on 19 of 26 passing. WR James Hardy continued to torment the Hawkeyes, he caught four passes for 113 yards and a score. Now after a win over Minnesota this weekend at home, Indiana will be one win away from becoming bowl eligible. Meanwhile, Iowa has now dropped seven straight Big Ten contests dating back to last year, and all is not well for Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes. They will try to get things back on track this weekend at Penn State.
Player of the Game: Indiana QB Kellen Lewis

Purdue 33 Notre Dame 19
Purdue continued to roll and kept Notre Dame without a scratch in the win column for the 5th straight week. The Boilermakers got off to an early lead and led at halftime 23-0 thanks to the running of Kory Sheets, who finished the day with 141 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. But there has to be some concern with the Purdue defense after they allowed Notre Dame to sneak back into the game in the 2nd half. Irish QB Jimmy Clausen got his first touchdown pass of his career before being knocked out of the game in the 2nd half. All in the all, the Boilermakers improve to 5-0 on the year with back-to-back showdowns with Ohio State and Michigan looming.
Player of the Game: Purdue RB Kory Sheets

Wisconsin 37 Michigan State 34
So about that hard-nosed, defensive struggle we were suppose to have in Madison...someone apparently forgot to tell the two defenses on the field, because an offensive shoot-out broke out. Both offenses in this game combined for a total of 71 points and 1,025 yards of total offense and Wisconsin still somehow found a way to win. The Badgers extended the nation's longest winning streak to 14 games. Wisconsin was led again by the running of P.J. Hill, who ran 29 times for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. QB Tyler Donovan looked much improved from last week throwing for 247 yards and 2 TDs on 17 of 24 passing. The Spartans were led by RB Javon Ringer who had a huge day. Ringer ran for 145 yards on just 10 carries, and also caught 7 passes for 88 yards. QB Brian Hoyer completed 22 of his 36 passes for 323 yards and 2 TDs. Michigan State hosts Northwestern this week with a good chance to get back in the column, while Wisconsin heads to Chaimpaign to face 2-0 Illinois. The Badgers continue to win, but you have to think it's only a matter of time before the breaks start going against them and they drop a few of these tight games.
Player of the Game: Wisconsin RB P.J. Hill

Ohio State 30 Minnesota 7
Ohio State continues to roll, and the Buckeye defense continues to dominate any offense it faces. Minnesota may be a bad team, but the Gopher offense has been very impressive thus far, and they could not get anything going against Ohio State. The Buckeyes offense was led by RB Chris Wells who finished the night with 116 yards and 2 TDs on 24 carries. QB Todd Boeckman continued to do an excellent job of managing the game and threw for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 of 29 passing. Of course it always helps to have a receiver like Brian Robiskie. Robiskie caught five passes for 99 yards and a score. Ohio State will get its first big test in the Big Ten this weekend when they travel to Purdue. Minnesota has three straight winnable games coming up at Indiana and Northwestern, then a home game against North Dakota State.
Player of the Game: Ohio State RB Chris Wells