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Monday, October 29, 2007

Week 9 Weekend Recaps

Iowa 34 Michigan State 27 2OT
After trailing to Michigan State 17-3 at halftime, the Hawkeyes came out of the locker room and suddenly found their running game. Relying mostly on the rushing of RB Albert Young, Iowa came all the way back to take a 20-17 lead in the 4th quarter. The Spartan's kicker Brent Swenson connected on a 29-yard FG with 4 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime. After both teams scored in the first OT, the Hawkeyes scored first in the 2nd OT on a 1-yard TD run by RB Javon Pugh, and then held Michigan State out of the endzone for the thrilling victory. Young finished the game with 179 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries. Iowa won despite gaining just 53 yards passing and losing the time of possession battle 36:26 to 23:34. With the improbable win and games remaining at Northwestern and home against Minnesota and Western Michigan, the Hawkeyes have played their way back into bowl contention. The Spartans will attempt to rebound from this disappointment as they face-off with instate rival Michigan next week at home.
Player of the Game: Iowa RB Albert Young

Wisconsin 33 Indiana 3
The Badgers defense looked a lot more like last year's version holding the Hoosiers to just 258 total yards and forcing five Indiana turnovers en route to an easy victory on Saturday. Depending on the severity of Wisconsin RB P.J. Hill's injury (Hill left the game after scoring on a 1-yard run), nothing but positives can be taken from this game for the Badgers. Back-up RB Lance Smith carried the ball 15 times for 79 yards and 2 TDs as the Badger O-Line dominated the line of scrimmage against Indiana. Wisconsin has looked very improved in their last two wins and now head to Columbus for a showdown with the #1 Buckeyes. Meanwhile, Indiana has now lost three straight games and are still searching for their 6th win and bowl eligibility. That could come next week when the Hoosiers host a Ball State that gave Illinois a bit of a scare on Saturday.
Players of the Game: The Wisconsin secondary held Indiana WR James Hardy to just 17 yards on 4 catches and also intercepted Kellen Lewis twice.

Purdue 35 Northwestern 17
Northwestern led Purdue 17-14 heading into the fourth quarter, but 21 unanswered 4th quarter points by the Boilermakers put the game away. Purdue used their running game to control the ball and eventually blow past the Wildcats. The Boilers got 157 yards on 20 carries from RB Jaycen Taylor, who also rushed for 2 TDs on the day. WR Dorien Bryant finished with 7 catches for 65 yards and scored the go ahead touchdown in the 4th quarter. Up next for Purdue is an away game at Penn State. Northwestern will need to improve the run defense in a hurry as Albert Young and the Iowa Hawkeyes come to Evanston this Saturday.
Player of the Game: Purdue RB Jaycen Taylor

Illinois 28 Ball State 17
It wasn't the prettiest, but Illinois took care of business at home to most likely lock up a bowl bid with their victory over Ball State. The Illini ground game was firing on all cylinders again after a couple of lackluster performances at Iowa and against Michigan. Illinois rushed for a total of 324 yards with RB Rashard Mendenhall getting the bulk of the carries. Mendenhall ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. QB Juice Williams carried the ball 17 times for 99 yards and also rushed for 2 TDs. Up next for Illinois are back-to-back road games with Minnesota and Ohio State before finishing the season at home against Northwestern. If the Illini can win two of those final three games, they should expect an invitation to a New Year's Day bowl game.
Player of the Game: Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall

Michigan 34 Minnesota 10
Michigan starting QB Chad Henne and RB Mike Hart both sat out and it didn't matter as the Wolverines dominated and completely shut down Minnesota's offense. Freshman QB Ryan Mallet was effective enough throwing for 233 yards and a score. Most of Mallet's yards came thanks to WR Mario Manningham's monster day. Manningham caught 5 passes for a total of 162 yards and a touchdown. Michigan RB Brandon Minor filled in nicely for the injured Hart with 157 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. The Wolverines now enter a touch stretch with games at Michigan State and Wisconsin before the hated Buckeyes come to the Big House on November 17th. The disappointment continues for Minnesota, and the Gophers have a tough task ahead as they try to get their first conference victory. Minnesota hosts Illinois this Saturday, and finishes the season at Iowa and against Wisconsin in the Dome.
Player of the Game: Michigan WR Mario Manningham

Ohio State 37 Penn State 17
Everyone's attention was turned to Happy Valley on Saturday night waiting to see if Ohio State would be the next upset victim in this crazy college football season, and the Buckeyes provided a big statement to the nation that they intend to stay on top. We all know how great the defense is, but it was the Ohio State offense that was impressive in their decisive victory at Penn State. The Buckeyes outgained PSU 453 to 263 and dominated the Nittany Lions the way a number one team is expected to. QB Todd Boeckman had one of his best games of the year completing 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. OSU RB Beanie Wells added 133 yards on 25 carries. Penn State's passing game was disappointing in the loss as Anthony Morelli threw for only 111 yards on 12 of 21 passing and an interception. The Nittany Lions cannot afford a hangover next week at home against Purdue, before their final two games on the road at Temple and at Michigan State. The "experts" may have a problem with Ohio State being atop the BCS Standings right now, but if the Buckeyes can win out against Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan, they will certainly deserve another shot at the National Title.
Player of the Game: Ohio State QB Todd Boeckman