Big Ten Recap Week 10

By poguemahone on November 7, 2010 at 9:30a

It was supposed to be a fairly pedestrian set of noon games, none of which had major implications for the Big Ten title race barring massive, massive upsets. But those upsets looked very possible in the early going, with the Upset Watch seismometer measuring a few early rumblings in West Lafayette, followed by an apocalyptic, potentially season-redefining temblor in Bloomington over the course of the day's initial three hours. In the end, both Iowa and Wisconsin emerged from their road dates against the Big Ten's cellar dwellers unscathed, while Michigan and Illinois played arguably the game of the year so far in Ann Arbor.

Michigan State 31, Minnesota 8

It was a giant group therapy session in East Lansing yesterday, as the Michigan State team, coaches and fans sought an easy rebound from the crushing defeat at Iowa the week before. Minnesota was more than happy to oblige. Edwin Baker made the bulk of the progress for everyone, running for four touchdowns and 179 yards on 27 carries. Kirk Cousins was a shaky-but-not-disastrous 9/20 for 131 yards and a pick. Minnesota remains on the warpath Trail of Tears for 1-11, while Sparty is 9-1 on the season and heading into their bye week. 

Wisconsin 34, Purdue 13

This game was 10-6 Purdue after a half, with the Badgers looking generally out of sorts and Purdue apparently rallying to save their season with their fourth-string quarterback. But alas, it was not to be. The Badgers, who probably need to lose if Ohio State wants to make a BCS bowl game without beating Iowa, meant business in the second half, racking up three straight touchdowns, then forced a pick six to seal the deal with 8 minutes left. John Clay was banged up, so Montee Ball picked up the slack and ran for two second-half scores and 127 yards on 21 carries. Scott Tolzien wasn't asked to do much, completing 13 passes on just 19 attempts for 130 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Badgers get Indiana at home next week, while Purdue hosts Michigan.

Iowa 18, Indiana 13

This was very nearly the most shocking upset in Big Ten play since, well, Ohio State's collapse at Purdue last October. Indiana led 13-12 with just over three minutes to play, having forced four field goals in five red zone trips for the Hawkeyes. But when Iowa got the ball back, QB Ricky Stanzi hit Marvin McNutt over the middle for a 52-yard catch-and-run TD to go ahead 18-13 with 2:50 left, before failing on the ensuing two-point attempt. Indiana got the ball back and actually drove all the way to the Hawkeye 18 before Ben Chappell threw three straight incompletions. Facing fourth-and-10, Chappell seemingly hit wideout Damarlo Belcher for the game-winning touchdown, but it was ruled incomplete. The ruling was upheld following review, allowing the Hawkeyes to escape Bloomington with a far-closer-than-expected win. The Hawkeyes get another trip against a similarly feisty Northwestern squad next week, and the Wildcats have actually beaten the Hawkeyes in three of the last four seasons.

Michigan 67, Illinois 65

Where to start with a game like this? Well, Denard Robinson started it appropriately, throwing a 75-yard touchdown to Roy Roundtree on the first play from scrimmage. The Illini's Derek Dimke then hit two field goals given short fields by Michigan mistakes, and the first quarter ended at a hum-drum, typical Big Ten score of 7-6. Then, the 2nd quarter happened. The teams traded 6 touchdowns over the course of 13 minutes. Denard Robinson hit Roundtree for another score and Junior Hemingway for another, that one coming on a comeback route in which Hemingway broke a tackle, danced around a couple more and raced up the sideline for six. Nathan Scheelhaase wasn't bad himself, throwing for a touchdown and rushing for another in the frantic scoring outburst, also tossing an option pitch to tailback Jason Ford, who took it 62 yards for a score of his own. The teams then traded field goals to close the half, heading to the locker rooms with a 31-31 tie on the scoreboard.

The scoring subsided in the 3rd quarter, with Michigan adding a Mike Shaw touchdown for a tenuous 7-point lead. At some point late in the third Denard Robinson sustained an injury, throwing Tate Forcier into a tie ball game. Forcier fumbled on his first play, giving the Illini yet another short field and yet another touchdown to make it 45-38. The Force rebounded and tied the game with a scoring toss to (surprise, surprise) Roy Roundtree, the final score in regulation. 

It wouldn't take a genius to figure out this game would go into multiple overtimes, since neither defense was going to stop either offense. The teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtimes, and in the third were forced by rule to take 2-pt conversions following the inevitable scores. Michigan scored on a 1-yard Mike Shaw run in the third overtime, and the 2-point conversion on a pass to Junior Hemingway was successful. The Michigan defense could not, of course, hold the Illini out of the end zone, but on the 2-pt conversion attempt, a rare Michigan blitz got through, nearly getting a sack and forcing true freshman Scheelhaase to make an errant toss that flew out of bounds. More good news for Rich Rod, as his job is safe, for now. The Wolverines are bowl eligible and travel to Purdue next week. The hard part of the season is over for Illinois, who close the season against Minnesota, Northwestern and Fresno State, and still have a very realistic shot at 8 wins despite this heartbreaking loss. 

Penn State 35, Northwestern 21

Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats seemed to be playing spoiler in the first half to the 400 Wins for JoePa Party against Penn State in Happy Valley, rolling out to a 21-0 lead with little resistance. It was thusly that Penn State was offered the chance of choking big time at home against another conference opponent in front of a booing, embarrassed home crowd, but this time, they politely declined. Matt McGloin directed a timely drive to close the half with a touchdown to make it 21-7. The Nits opened the second half with another scoring drive to close the gap to 21-14, and the comeback was on. The NW offense flailed, the PSU offense flourished, and before NW knew what hit them, it was 35-21. Matt McGloin threw for four touchdowns and 225 yards, a week after ripping through Michigan for 250 yards and a score. It'll be a bit of a step up for him next week, as he goes from facing the country's 117th and 99th ranked pass defenses (Michigan and NW, respectively) to the 5th, and that'll come on the road in Columbus. Northwestern, meanwhile is already bowl eligible and hosts Iowa next week.


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buckeyedude's picture

I guess UM's defense is steadily improving. Bo would be proud.



Buckeye_Mafia's picture

We should be able to hang 60+ on those hapless skunk-weasels.

"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

The Michigan-Illini game was decided on awful personal foul penalties in the third overtime that had no business being called.  Both Illini defenders laid off of Forcier after they went out of bounds.  It was Forcier who leveled some Michigan sidelines person.  Maybe Michigan still scores, but it was a ridiculous call by the refs.

original buckeye's picture

Yep, that was ridiculous--Forcier leveling the fan on the sideline must have convinced the idiot ref that was a late hit.  It was not.  A similar bad call happed when the refs called a late hit on a Robinson run, when the replay clearly showed the Illinois player hit Robinson before his knee was down.  Sadly, this type of poor officiating is nothing new for the Big Ten.

RBuck's picture

Off topic but this from Rivals Nov. 5:



Ohio State could be celebrating National Signing Day in grand fashion if it closes as strongly as expected. There is a good chance Doran Grant, Aundrey Walker and Jabari Gorman will follow Conner Crowell to Columbus, after Crowell made his announcement Friday. And many more big names still are considering OSU.

Long live the southend.

Matt's picture

FYI, ESPN Gameday will be at the Horseshoe for the Penn State game this Saturday.

jfunk's picture

Is the slate for next week so lame that the Bucks vs. the Nittany Cry-ons are the best they can do? Don't get me wrong, I love the Bucks but come on.

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

tomcollins's picture

The games next week suck big time.  Alabama - Miss St. is the only game between ranked opponents.  Florida - South Carolina decides the SEC East and is probably the most meaningful game, but that's a CBS game, and unless the game is huge, ESPN is not gonna want to go there.  Seems like a no-brainer to come to Columbus.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Wow, that's pretty lame for the rest of the country. But I guess as Tom Collins pointed out, this weekend kind of sucks.

Bucksfan's picture

I pity the opponents remaining on the Buckeyes' schedule.  It will be 3 straight bloodbaths.  Iowa carries with it a danger, but they're immensely inconsistent.

Go Buckeyes!  And Go Hoosiers!

P.S. Sugar Bowl berth against Alabama?

Matt's picture

LSU will get the Sugar Bowl Berth, unless Auburn loses to the SEC east champion in the SEC title game, in which case the SEC East champ will get the berth and Auburn would be an at large selection.

I'm not sure what team you've been watching all year, but all of our remaining opponents can play with this Ohio State team.  Our defense is banged up and depleted.  Penn State is playing inspired football.  Iowa will be a tough out at home.  And Michigan can light up the scoreboard -- look at what they did to a team whose defense held our Buckeye relatively in check.  Keep drinking the koolaid if you must, but I am expecting three battles in a row.

tomcollins's picture

Nothing says inspired football like falling behind 21-0 on the Northwestern Mildcats at home.

Matt's picture

Agreed, so long as the game ended when the score was 21-0.  But it turns out that teams usually play the entire game, and so PSU came back from 21 down to win with a walk-on quarterback and roll up 500 yards in the process.  Royster is also playing well now.  Hence, inspired football. 

tomcollins's picture

Again, it's easy to play inspired football against awful opponents.  I guess you missed the Illinois game where they played not so inspired football.  2 weeks against terrible opponents and you think they are the New England Patriots.

Matt's picture

I didn't miss the Illinois game, and in fact that game is entirely the point.  Penn State has been depleted on defense and was struggling on offense.  Bolden continues to play erratically after his concussion.  After struggling early PSU is hitting their stride at the perfect time in the season and there are zero expectations for PSU to win coming into the Horseshoe.  Ohio State is faced with a classic trap game of looking ahead to Iowa.  It is the perfect spoiler situation and PSU would love to get revenge for last year.  I'm not saying Penn State is a world beater or tops in the Big 10, but if this season has shown us anything it has shown us that parity has returned to the Big 10 and the majority of the conference can beat any team in the conference on any given Saturday.  We were a Demario Belcher butterfingers catch away from Indiana beating Iowa, the same team that destroyed MSU, who in turn soundly beat Wisconsin, who embarrassed us in Madison.  If you want to go on living some ficition where OSU's path to winning out is predetermined, have at it, but you'll have to ignore the facts in the process.

tomcollins's picture


I still think we are dogs against Iowa.  I'm definitely not delusional.

I just think you weighing way too much into Penn State beating some pretty bad teams.  Getting 21 points down against Northwestern is not something good teams do.  Yeah, they fought back, but they should have never been in that spot.  Penn State's "offense back in the stride" barely got more YPP than national average against Michigan's defense.  The same Michigan defense that is probably one of the 10 worst in college football.  That's not getting back in the stride.  In fact, if you look at how PSU has done on offense throughout the season, their offense has actually dropped off after the first half, and only had a very average game.  Pay attention to the "score" rating.  That's how well Penn State did compared to what you'd expect an "average" offense to do.

Their defense has improved after a slight dropoff against Minnesota and Illinois, but really they are nothing special on defense.

Yes, a loss is of course possible.  Yes, we are probably only about 80% to win and an upset is possible, especially if we are looking at Iowa.  But the result *should* be about a 14 point win.  We could lose the game with bad luck, but the chance of getting outplayed like we were against Wisconsin is extremely low.

Buckeye Black's picture

Yards aren't as important as points, and PSU is starting to put points on the board.

poguemahone's picture

Sure, but against what defenses? Michigan and Northwestern? Against defenses roughly on par with Ohio State's, they've totaled 6 points in two games (and 19 in 3 if you count Illinois, but I'm not so sure how close they are to elite after yesterday's game)

tomcollins's picture

Not when it comes to predicting the future.  Points are VERY related to variance.  A few turnovers, a few lucky plays, and you have a huge swing in points.  PSU is putting points on the board because their opponents are giving them the ball with not much room to go.  You also get a lot of points when there are a lot of possessions in games (typical in games with high scoring offenses or poor defenses or passing teams).  YPP is the best predictor of future success, and PSU has been quite poor in that.

Bucksfan's picture

TC, Ohio State is going to make Iowa look like they shouldn't even be playing football.  It seems like you're overthinking all of it.  It's still a Ferentz-coached team, and they are not as good as they were last year.  They smacked Michigan State, but shot themselves in the foot against Wisconsin, and barely eeked out a win against lowly Indiana.  They're inconsistent.  Ohio State is probably the most consistent team in the conference.

Just like last year, Ohio State's rushing attack is peaking at the right time...late October into November.  You cannot beat this Ohio State team if it's running the ball well.  In fact, it can be argued that if they had given it off to Boom in the 1st half like they did in the 3rd quarter, the game may have turned out differently.  Instead, they panicked and tried to pass their way back into the game right off the bat, which was a mistake.

It's sad that this squad is probably going to miss out on the national title, and perhaps even the Rose Bowl, but it's a team that could crush an SEC team if given the opportunity.

JakeBuckeye's picture

You cannot beat this Ohio State team if it's running the ball well.

I remember running the ball well against Wisconsin...

Bucksfan's picture

In fact, it can be argued that if they had given it off to Boom in the 1st half like they did in the 3rd quarter, the game may have turned out differently.  Instead, they panicked and tried to pass their way back into the game right off the bat, which was a mistake.

This was my next sentence.  Boom Herron didn't touch the ball until 13 minutes were left in the 1st half.

tomcollins's picture

17 point favorites against PSU.  17 point favorites have won roughly 88% of games in the last 10 years.  Not worried about Joe "Poopy" Pa"nts".

Bucksfan's picture

No, no...I meant Buckeyes as an at-large.  Right, forgot about yesterday's loss.

tomcollins's picture

I also agree there's no chance it's 3 bloodbaths.  Probably against PSU.  Iowa might be, if Iowa is the one doing it.  However, after yesterday, I think we have a good shot to win, but it's still a tossup.  Michigan, don't get convinced that their offense is that dangerous.  D-Rob went down hurt again.  Illinois's offense is one of the worst in the country and put up 51 points on them.  We just need our defense to stop them once or twice, because we are scoring every time we get the ball.  Both Tate and Denard are very mistake prone and even our depleted defense will eat them alive.

Powers's picture

Gholston getting the start for the Jets today

Buckrific's picture

I swear if you watch the celebration after the Michigan game you can see Barwis crying.  He clearly wipes his eyes then hugs somebody.  My wife and I watched it a couple of times.  Nothing exudes toughness like your Strength and Conditioning guy crying!!!!!!!!

ERIC OSU's picture

For my fellow OSU hoop fans: Exhibition game at the half

OSU:55 Walsh:30

Buford 14, Lighty 9, Sully 7, Craft 7

I've been listening to the game on the radio and the most praise has gone to Aaron Craft for his performance at the point.

BuckeyeChief's picture


"2014 National with it!!!"

ERIC OSU's picture

Final; OSU:102 Walsh:56

Sully is going to be a force this year, we actually have an insider scoring presence! Jared went for 22 and 10.  Lighty finished with 19, Buford with 16...

Listening to the game, Ron and Paul seemed to be favoring the starting five of Craft,Diebs,Lighty,Buford,Sully...

Deshaun could start and is a pure scorer...I liked what I heard from Siebert: knocking down jumpers...Lauderdale will always be a defensive factor, he made consequtive free throws today!!!! Paul & Ron said he got rid of that horrible hitch in his free throw stroke.

The one thing to learn for this years squad, WE HAVE A BENCH!!!! and DEPTH!!!!!

lol, Thad had all 5 freshman (lenzelle still inj) in the game in the 2nd and they seemed to play well against walsh

warriordan's picture

"game of the year", no! A Big Ten game of the year would be an epic defensive battle not a turnover fillled game where both defenses decided to pillow fight.

matti's picture

just found it on espn. gameday will be live in c-bus to watch the curbstomping of the crazy poopy pants old coach and his team. not the best hate week of the year but not bad....

Buckeye Black's picture

Over at BSD, they are really expecting a win.  Penn State fans are so naive, it is too bad they can't field a decent team so both of us could be ranked.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I joined last night. Boy, its bad over there. I'm not "trolling", I'm actually just observing, and its pretty bad over there.

Johnny Ginter's picture

yeah dude, don't even bother. it's "hate" week, so PSU fans in general are going to get really really pumped up and rabid in the hopes that said pumped upness will help them win (it won't). i could go on a long, long rant about my general feelings toward PSU's fans but really it's a lot more fun to revel in the schadenfreude after we beat them for like the 7th time in 10 years


JakeBuckeye's picture

Hahah, they really hate us. A lot. Even more sad is their hate for Terrelle.

I agree, and cheers to schadenfreude. Saturday is going to be a grand day.

JakeBuckeye's picture

These ESPN bowl projections make my brain hurt. They have Wisconsin going to the Orange Bowl and Michigan State going to the Rose Bowl. The kicker is that they have us going to a higher bowl (Captial One) than Iowa (Outback.) That would mean we would have beaten Iowa.

What ESPN is saying is that Ohio State is going to be the short straw in a three way tie between Sparty and Wisky. How they think a BCS bowl with an at-large bid would take Sparty or Wisconsin over the $$$$$$ that is the Ohio State University is beyond me.

On another note, my God please don't let us go to the Orange Bowl. I'd rather die then have to watch my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes play in that awful bowl game.

BucksfanXC's picture

I just looked at those and the Andrea writer has the Rose Bowl taking Stanford with Oregon in the NC game, which can't happen since the Rose is required to take a non-AQ team if a Pac10 or Big10 champ is in the NC game. So unless she thinks Orego loses the conference and still goes to the NC game, she's wrong.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

tomcollins's picture

This is incorrect since TCU would be the non-AQ automatic qualifier in her case.

Pac-10 is free to take whoever they want if it's Oregon vs. TCU.  Stanford is a lock in that case.


The idea that Boise is a better draw than Wisconsin is more likely to be wrong, and Wisconsin goes to Sugar in her case. Orange takes an SEC team (likely LSU or Alabama).  Boise gets left out.

tomcollins's picture

Bowls can take anyone they want in the conference, within some small amount of reason.  We could go over Iowa even being behind them in the schedule.  We are a bigger draw than Iowa, so we get a better pick.

I'm pretty sure they are projecting us to lose to Iowa (reasonable since we will be underdogs).