Big Ten Recap Week 13

By poguemahone on November 28, 2010 at 1:00p

Michigan State 28, Penn State 22

Big ups to Michigan State for taking care of business in a game surprisingly few thought they would pull out. It's doubtful they'll make a more attractive option for an at-large bid than the Buckeyes - and thank goodness too - but it's still nice to see Mark Dantonio roll up 11 wins at a place where that seemed almost impossible just a few short years ago. Kirk Cousins was efficient, completing 17 of his 22 passes for 152 yards and 2 scores, while Edwin Baker rolled up 110 yards and chipped in another touchdown on 27 carries. Matt McGloin - whose personal failures are always a pleasure - went 23/43 for two touchdowns and a pick, tossing one of those touchdowns late to close the gap to six points. Michigan State easily recovered the onside to seal the win. The Nittany Lions finish one game above .500 on the season, but hey, the Legendary Joe Paterno is back next season! Good luck with that, Nits, as well as that 2011 recruiting class, which is currently smaller than Thad's last roundball haul.

Purdue 31, Indiana 34

By far the best conference game of the day came between two cellar-dweller rivals playing for nothing more than pride and bragging rights. Down 31-28 late in the fourth, the Hoosiers took the ball all the way to the Boilermaker eight yard line. The potential game-winning touchdown was too high on 3rd down, so Indiana's kicker was brought on to tie the game at 31. In overtime, Boiler QB Rob Henry threw an interception to IU linebacker Jeff Thomas on Purdue's first offensive possession. On IU's possession, Mitch Ewald's kick split the uprights and sent Danny Hope's team to 4-8 on the season, a worse overall record than his first season in West Lafayette. Neither team will make a bowl game, but Bill Lynch has this win as a feather in his cap when he meets with the AD for a post-season evaluation. (Ed. note: Shows how much I know: Indiana is reportedly getting ready to can Bill Lynch)

Wisconsin 70 , Northwestern 23 

The Badger offensive machine rolled again on Saturday as Bret Bielema's team scored 70 or more points for the third time this season. Montee Ball got first dibs on the end zone, scoring the Badgers' first two touchdowns of the day in the 1st quarter. Then Scott Tolzien took over, tossing four touchdowns in the second quarter and completing 14 of 19 passes 190 yards in just over one half of serious action. For the second straight week, the Badgers were able to coast through the entire second half, effortlessly putting up 21 points (7 of which came on a late pick six). It was an impressive display for the Badgers, who are hoping to impress voters enough to keep the Buckeyes at bay in the BCS standings so that they can head to their first Rose Bowl since Ron Dayne was on campus. With the head-to-head win over Ohio State, I think it's fair to say the Badgers have already earned their shot at the Rose Bowl (to perhaps play the TCU Horned Frogs?)

Minnesota 27, Iowa 23

As much fun as it was to throttle Michigan for the umpteenth straight time yesterday, watching Iowa and Miami - the closest approximations Ohio State has to quality wins on the season - go down to more or less hapless foes in their final regular season games was really a downer. The 'Canes lost at home, in overtime, to a mediocre USF team whose starting quarterback finished 4/12 passing. For this performance, Miami fired their coachIowa managed to outdo them. After letting the 2-9 Gophers build a 17-7 lead, the Hawkeyes stormed back to cut the deficit to three in the fourth quarter. They grabbed their first lead of the game on a Ricky Stanzi touchdown pass to Marvin McNutt to make it 24-20 with 11 minutes left. If you've watched Iowa this year, you know what comes next, even against arguably the worst team on the schedule: a defensive collapse. After forcing a punt on the Gophers' first possession following the go-ahead touchdown, the Hawkeye offense failed to bleed the clock. After the inevitable punt, Adam Weber passes of 40 and 19 yards put the Gophers at the Iowa 18. Four plays and two minutes later, Duane Bennett took the rock straight up the gut of the Iowa defense for a six-yard, go-ahead touchdown. Iowa's Marcus Coker - otherwise promising up to this point in the season - fumbled on the ensuing possession, and the defense couldn't keep the Gophers from running out the clock. Iowa is a 7-5 football team, despite returning the majority of personnel from an 11-2 squad the won the Orange Bowl in convincing fashion. The only good news that may come out of this is that the Minnesota AD could in fact be stupid enough to remove the interim tag from their head coach to save themselves the embarrassment of getting turned down by Brady Hoke, thus rendering them irrelevant for the next five years. It's unlikely, but as West Virginia football fans know, anything can happen.

Every Big Ten conference member is done with their regular season save Illinois, who'll take on Fresno State in Fresno next week.


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Matt's picture

Bielema's tactics have to raise an eyebrow among the Big 10 coaching fraternity.  I know reasonable minds can disagree on the issue, but I suspect that other Big 10 coaches are taking note at Bielema's tendency to not pull off the gas when he has a game clearly in hand.  The Badgers won't always have this stud offensive line and running back stable they now boast and when Wisky gets a bit down, I would not be surprised to see the upper echelon teams in the Big 10 pille on Wisconsin in retribution for Coach Rob Riggle's methods.  In contrast, one need to look no further than Jim Tressel, with his team at 1st and goal against OSU's archrival and for the score that would have surprassed the all-time Ohio State margin of victory against Michigan (besting 1968's 50-14 margin), turning to Hazell and saying "Take a knee?  Take a knee."  I would not be surprised to see Bielema get his come-uppance from Tressel or Paterno or Ferentz or the other like-minded Big 10 coaches that favor class over posting eye-popping numbers.

sawesome's picture

I will say that I saw part of this game, hoping that NWU would do us a favor...and I guess my reaction was similar.  But in the 2d half, Northwestern really folded defensively.  I'm pretty sure my 30-year-old 135# body could have scored touchdowns on those guys.

I'm reminded of one of our trouncings, too, where Tressel said something to the effect that he wasn't going to stop his kids from playing in the 3d quarter.  And for what it's worth, Wisconsin didn't score in the 4th quarter.

I'm not real fond of Bielema, but at least in this case I think it's more of NW's defense folding than him trying to run up the score all that much.  Still, 70 points is ludicrous.

And besides, NW gave up SEVEN turnovers, which is equally ludicrous.  All things being equal, this was not Bielema's least classy win.

luckynewman13's picture

I didn't watch the end of the Wiscy game and when I saw the score I was really ticked at Bielema too, but then I looked at the facts of the game...and from what I can tell Wisconsin rested their starters plenty, and from what I hear they only through 1 pass the entire second half (correct me if I'm wrong), methinks Northwestern just didn't have their hearts in it after losing Persa and short of taking a knee every play in the second half, I really don't know what Bieliema could have done.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Effing Iowa man. Seriously? Minnesota? Wow.

"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

NW Buckeye's picture

MSU winning should have come as no surprise. Those who thought Penn State would win were crazy to stick with their predictions once JoPa announced he was staying. The lack of comitted recruits tells you that he no longer has a good connection with the potential players. And if that is the case he probably doesn't motivate his team like he used to. Just knowing that he is coming back for another year was probably enough to deflate the troops a little. Had he announced his retirement, however, PSU would most likely have played more inspired and had a better chance to win. Imagine how the current players must feel knowing that he is coming back. It is one thing to be inspired by a vibrant head coach, another thing entirely to try to be motivated by a figurehead. Too bad he did not retire when he could have been on a high. His quest now seems to be for an ever elusive Holy Grail. This is not the way we should have to remember JoPa.

Ignatius Hoya's picture


Should have posted this yesterday, but there is not a better picture of November:




Hoya Saxa!