Big Ten Recap Week Nine

By poguemahone on October 31, 2010 at 1:00p

Two monumental games - one of which determined the fate of the Big Ten title race, the other of which determined the course of the rest of the season for two of the Big Ten's youngest teams - were the centerpieces of yesterday's action. These two games followed a very meh start to the day, in which Northwestern and Indiana duked it out while Illinois laid the wood to Purdue.

Illinois 44, Purdue 10

Were I still not at least a bit bitter about Purdue Harbor even today, I would feel a bit sorry for Purdue. This is a team that is on its fourth quarterback, without its best wide receiver and down a couple running backs, which still has to play four games to close out this dismal season. Illinois was merciless, racing out to a 37-0 lead before letting off the gas to start the fourth quarter. Nathan Scheelhaase had easily his best day as a passer on the season, completing 16 of 20 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another 118 on the ground. Mikel LeShoure was bottled up by the Purdue D, but the secondary was too much of a sieve for the Boilers to even have a hope of slowing down the Illini attack. Ron Zook's team continues to impress, and is now one win away from bowl eligibility, with teams like Minnesota, Northwestern and Fresno State remaining on the schedule. First up, though, are the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor next week. Purdue, meanwhile, gets Wisconsin at home.

Northwestern 20, Indiana 17

Northwestern is 6-2 - with a loss to the aforementioned awful Purdue team - following this closer-than-expected win against the Indiana Hoosiers. Even as a bowl eligible team, though, the Wildcats are worried: QB Dan Persa left the game after throwing his second touchdown pass, with what appeared to be a concussion. He had gone 18/28 for 216 yards up to that point. His backup, Evan Watkins, didn't have to do much with the game largely out of reach. A late Indiana score and a failed onside kick resulted in a 20-17 final. Both teams will be tested against next week, with the Hoosiers hosting Iowa and NW traveling to Penn State.

Iowa 37, Michigan State 6

The first half started poorly and ended worse for Mark Dantonio's Spartans. After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive to the Hawkeyes, Kirk Cousins threw a pick six, which featured an awesome lateral from safety Tyler Sash to cornerback Micah Hyde. A second interception in the second quarter gave the Hawkeyes ideal field position, and Ricky Stanzi threw his second touchdown of the day on a 32-yard strike to a wide open Adam Robinson. Yet another touchdown pushed the lead to 30-0, and the game was over before the half. Wow. Iowa is scary. Ricky Stanzi didn't get much work after an 8/10, 144 yard, two-touchdown opening half, finishing 11/15 for 190 yards and three touchdowns, the third coming on a 22-yard toss to Marvin McNutt in the third. Adam Robinson added 69 yards on 20 carries, and the touchdown that closed the 1st half. Thus, one of the dominos has fallen for the Buckeyes in the title race; we needed a Michigan State loss here, preferably and ugly one, and got it. Now we just need to take care of Iowa, and that's looking like the tallest task of the season right now. Michigan State gets Minnesota at home next week, and Iowa travels to Indiana.

Penn State 41, Michigan 31

Leave it up to Michigan's defense to make Penn State's offense look not just competent, but downright deadly for a game. This year may end up being the swan song for both coaches in this game. The Rich Rod era, if it is truly over, was cut abruptly short by a defense that just couldn't stop anybody ever. It's a situation diametrically opposed to that of JoePa, who built his program on defense and has enjoyed unmatched longevity as a result. If you're a Michigan fan, you can put it on attrition, on GERG, on former DC Tim Schafer, but in the end, some responsibility has to fall at Rich Rod's feet. When walk-on Matt McGloin toasts your defense for 250 yards and a touchdown, things are simply ugly and aren't going to improve any time soon. The offense, on the other hand, seems fine, as Denard Robinson threw for nearly 200 yards and rushed for 191 and three touchdowns. It was another Heisman effort, but not enough to overcome the defense's shortcomings. The dejected Wolverines host Illinois (who have housed Michigan in both of the last two seasons) next week, while Penn State faces another potent spread offense in Northwestern, who may or may not have Dan Persa.


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Buckeye_Mafia's picture

DickRod is a defensive mastermind being able to make Penn. St. Look like an offensive Juggernaut. LOL. Gotta love him as the Wolverine head coach. Wonder how much longer the honeymoon will last with that steaming piece of poo at the helm.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Matt's picture

I don't see DickRod getting fired this year.  I believe Michigan will win one more game -- and I hope it comes against Wisconsin, and not against us.  Dave Brandon is the new AD at Michigan.  DickRod's hiring was not Brandon's mistake, so Brandon can afford to be circumspect about DickRod and take his time.  If DickRod does not last at Michigan, Brandon's choice for the new HC spot will be his most important at Michigan, and I don't see Brandon's corporate-ness allowing him to rush that decision.

DickRod has accomplished the primary objective for which he was brought to Michigan -- he dramatically altered the Michigan offense into something that is light-years different than Carr's offense.  But poor defensive recruiting by DickRod coupled with obscene attrition on the defense and a bare recruit cupboard left by Carr has left Michigan with a worthless defense. 

Bottom line, I think Michigan wins one more game, becomes bowl-eligible, destroys whatever pasty they play in the Meinke Car Awful Bowl game, and the Michigan faithful get energized for next season.  They are likely two more seasons away from a solid defense, however.

Johnny Ginter's picture

i've always said that michigan has to go at least 7-5 this season for RR to save his job, and i still think that holds true. they can still get there, but i don't see michigan tolerating another second half collapse. winning against purdue and purdue alone would be no real accomplishment, and frankly i don't understand the mentaility that says dave brandon is somehow going to be MORE patient with a dude he didn't hire than with a guy he actually would've. if i'm dave brandon i've had several candidates in mind since i've become AD in the event the football team doesn't show any real improvement.

let me put it this way: if i'm a michigan fan and i see the wolverines fielding a deadly offense with one of the most explosive players in college football and the team STILL can't even get above a .500 record, someone had damn well better get fired.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

RichRod has NEVER put a Top 25 defense on the field. Even in the horrid Little Least conference. He is light years away from having a defense that could stop a retarded kid from licking a door-knob.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

poguemahone's picture

You're wrong there, dude. He had the 7th overall total D in 2007 and 15th or 16th overall in 2005

holystiffarm's picture

+1 "defense that could stop a retarded kid from licking a door-knob".  rotflmao!!!

Matt's picture

$5 says Troy Smith wins the Houndie.

BuckeyeChief's picture

I'll agree he should win!

"2014 National with it!!!"

Buckeye Black's picture

It is pretty amazing what happened to their offense after they opened it up.  3 points the whole game handing it off to Gore, then they explode for 21 when Smith is allowed to pass.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

While I want Troy to win it Lil' Animal and Malcolm Jenkins had amazing games.....

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

It is nice to see Troy get a W.  189 pasing yards, no int's, ran for a score.  Good game for him all around.

Bucksfan's picture

Troy Smith>Tim Tebow

DarthSweaterVest's picture

I will absolutely become a Niners fan if Troy becomes the starting QB

Powers's picture

How does LSU jump us in the BCS and they didnt even play!!?? really is eSECpn

JakeBuckeye's picture

Yes, because ESPN totally controls the rankings.


The only way ESPN controls the polls is through the AP poll and that's not even included in the BCS formula.

JakeBuckeye's picture

We still sit at number 11 in the BCS standings.

LSU jumps us on a bye week, Nebraska jumps us after a win against Missouri (but Oklahoma stays ahead of us?)

This is a (bleep) joke.

Here I innocently thought this weekend opened up a window of hope for us. My innocence once again fails me. Even if we win, we're going absolutley nowhere.

slippy's picture

How is it a joke?  We played one of the worst teams in FBS.  Our best win lost to freaking Virginia.  Our SOS sucks right now.  We've played one team ranked in the BCS and they beat us by 13.


Oh and guess what - there's still 5 weeks left in the season.  The BCS ranking right now mean precisely dick.

Buckeye Black's picture

Yeah, if the computers could actually see the teams play, LSU and Oklahoma would never be ranked ahead of Ohio State.  I don't know how Oklahoma is ahead with Texas and Florida State losing, Miami losing must have really hurt in the computer formula.

Johnny Ginter's picture

it does, because as of now the computers have to decide if our best win was against miami or illinois, which is uuuhhhh bad. really bad.