Penn State 26 Purdue 19
Purdue WR Dorien Bryant took the opening kickoff all the way for a touchdown to give the Boilermaker’s an early lead, but that would be the only time Purdue found the endzone against a tough Penn State defense. The Nittany Lion defense gave up four field goals, but kept the Purdue offense out of the endzone for the first time all season. Penn State LB Dan Connor recorded 11 tackles to become the school’s all-time leader. Lion RB Evan Royster rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries to lead the PSU offense. Up next for Penn State are back-to-back road games against Temple and Michigan State.
Player of the Game: Penn State LB Dan Connor
Iowa 28 Northwestern 17
For the second straight week the Iowa Hawkeyes looked dead on offense for most of the first half, but somehow found a rhythm and came back to win. Northwestern jumped out to an early 14-0 lead behind the running of Tyrell Sutton. After not completing a pass for the entire 1st quarter, Iowa QB Jake Christensen connected with WR Trey Stross for an Iowa TD just before half. The Hawkeyes carried that momentum into the 2nd half and outscored the Wildcats 21-3 after halftime. Christensen ended the game with 299 yards and a touchdown on 21 of 36 passing. Iowa WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos caught 8 passes for 119 yards in the win. Iowa now looks primed for a bowl bid with home games against Minnesota and Western Michigan to finish the year. Northwestern finishes with Indiana at home and Illinois on the road. Even if the Wildcats split those games and finish 6-6, it probably won’t be enough in this year’s Big Ten for them to reach a bowl.
Player of the Game: Iowa QB Jake Christensen
Ohio State 38 Wisconsin 17
Even without RB P.J. Hill, the Badgers gave Ohio State a much closer game than the final score makes it seem. This game was actually tied at 17-17 late in the 3rd quarter before Ohio State followed the running of Beanie Wells to run away with a win. Wells finished the game with 169 yards and 3 TD’s on 21 carries. OSU QB Todd Boeckman also played well, but most importantly did not make any mistakes. Boeckman threw for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns on 17 of 28 passing. The Buckeyes have another tough home game next week against Illinois before the showdown at Michigan. Wisconsin will try to get everyone healthy for their tilt with Michigan next week before finishing the season at Minnesota.
Player of the Game: Ohio State RB Chris “Beanie” Wells
Indiana 38 Ball State 20
After failing in their first 3 tries, Indiana finally gets their sixth win and are now officially bowl eligible. The Hoosiers proved to have too much firepower for Ball State to keep up with. QB Kellen Lewis threw for 354 yards and 4 touchdowns on 22 of 35 passing, and also added 52 yards on the ground. IU WR James Hardy caught 8 passes for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Hoosier’s past Ball State. Indiana got their 6th win, but to assure a bowl game they will need to win on of their last 2 games, at Northwestern or against Purdue at home.
Player of the Game: Indiana QB Kellen Lewis
Michigan 28 Michigan State 24
Michigan dominated for most of the 1st half and took a 14-3 lead into the locker room, but it was the Spartans who came out and took control of the 2nd half and eventually took a 10-point lead. Spartan RB Javon Ringer rushed for 128 yards on 15 carries and helped MSU get the momentum and the lead late in the 2nd half. With Michigan’s Rose Bowl hopes on the line, senior QB Chad Henne stepped up and lead the Wolverines to an improbably come from behind win on the road. Henne connected with WR Mario Manningham for 2 of his 4 touchdowns and finished the game with 221 yards on 18 of 33 passing. Michigan RB Mike Hart also returned from injury to rush for 110 yards on 15 carries, most of which came in the first half. The Wolverines now travel to Wisconsin, and even with a loss to the Badgers; can still win the Big Ten with a win over Ohio State on November 17th. Michigan State’s once promising season looks all but lost, and the Spartans will almost certainly have to win out in order to receive a bowl bid.
Player of the Game: Michigan QB Chad Henne
Illinois 44 Minnesota 17
Illinois dominated Minnesota in every aspect of the game from the opening whistle. Minnesota’s QB Adam Weber was intercepted on the Gopher’s first play from scrimmage, and it was all Illini from there. Minnesota’s defense was once again shredding by the run as Illinois racked up 448 total yards on the ground. Illini RB Rashard Mendenhall rushed 17 times for 201 yards and 2 TDs. QB Juice Williams added 133 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Illinois now heads to Columbus to take a shot at #1 Ohio State, before wrapping up the season at home against Northwestern. The Illini appear to be in the driver’s seat to still reach a New Year’s Day bowl. Minnesota travels to Iowa next week, then home to finish the season against Wisconsin.
Player of the Game: Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall