B1G Recap: Oh, Wisconsin

By Nicholas Jervey on September 15, 2013 at 6:00a
Iowa and happiness? No, still feels weird.

In absolute terms, Week 3 was devastating for the Big Ten's claim to being one of the top conferences. But viewed through the prism of sweet relativism, it went better than expected.

The Big Ten is 2-4 against major conference opponents. For an elite conference, that plus a couple of poor showings against mid-majors would be disappointing. But for a conference with an advanced inferiority complex like the Big Ten, that's not so bad. Think of it this way: it's better to be pecked in the face than to be pecked in the groin.

Well, enough of the quiet depression and Midwestern stoicism (except in Wisconsin, where people are still screaming about the Arizona State game). Onto the recap.

Arizona State 32, #20 Wisconsin 30 (2-1*)

This is a game Wisconsin absolutely should not have won. They won it anyway, and then the referees stole it from them.

Wisconsin held ASU to field goals, prevented two point conversions, and scrapped for points to take a slim lead into the fourth quarter. Worn out, on the brink of collapse all night long, Wisconsin finally succumbed to Arizona State’s high-octane offense, giving up a 32-24 lead.

But Wisconsin scored a touchdown, the capper in Melvin Gordon's fantastic night, and the Badgers got the ball back with enough time for a final drive. Joel Stave got them into range for a game-winning field goal, and then this happened.

The referees missed a delay of game penalty on the defense, failed to stop the clock while they dithered, and stopped Wisconsin from spiking the ball before time ran out. If there's an occasion in which referee error had a more definite effect on the outcome of a game, it eludes me.

After such a cruel loss, surely no one would be mean-spirited enough to suggest that Wisconsin deserved to lose that way, would they?

There are no words.

Iowa 27 (2-1), Iowa State 21

Iowa’s depressing season brightened in a big way by winning the Cy-Hawk trophy for the first time since 2010.

Iowa secured a 13-0 halftime lead and extended it to 27-7 before two last gasp touchdown throws from Iowa State closed the gap. The Hawkeyes recovered an onside kick and killed the clock from there.

Mark Weisman is the conference's sturdiest workhorse, carrying the ball 65 times in the last two weeks. He looks like Iowa’s version of Le’Veon Bell, a running back forced to carry his team beyond all reasonable expectations. Could Weisman be the one to break the hex on beleaguered Iowa running backs?

The Hawkeyes play Western Michigan next week, and will either finish its non-conference schedule on a promising note or validate every negative feeling about Iowa's coaching staff.

#11 Michigan 28 (3-0), Akron 24

The courageous underdogs from Michigan laughed in the face of danger. “37 point favorites?” they said. “Those stat-loving geeks in Las Vegas don't know how tough those Akron Zips are.” Indeed, the scrappers from Ann Arbor ignored the laughable point spread and handed those Akron bullies a devastating four point defeat.

The fireworks began after Michigan took a 7-3 lead into halftime. Feeling sorry for those Akron lunks, Devin Gardner courteously allowed the Zips to take the lead with an interception sidearmed right to the defender. Michigan’s generosity knew no bounds: two more picks and one fumble kept Akron in the game as the teams traded leads.

When Fitzgerald Touissant gave Michigan its final lead with 2:49 remaining, the Wolverines even allowed Akron to taste near-victory. But winners can only be so kind, and on the final play from the Michigan 4 the Wolverines buckled down and forced an incompletion through the end zone.

Though observers may no longer view Michigan as the class of the Big Ten with Gardner's penchant for costly turnovers, the Michigan Man has no need for garish victory, not when he has finally gotten even with Jim Tressel after a decade of boorishness.

The distinguished scholars from Michigan enjoy their not-at-all-there-by-default top 10 slot next week against Connecticut.

Central Florida 34, Penn State 31 (2-1)

Blake Bortles threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns as an impressive Central Florida team survived a comeback by Penn State.

Central Florida steamrolled a previously stingy Penn State defense en route to a 28-10 halftime lead. Christian Hackenberg and Allen Robinson played well to cut the lead to three with 2:57 left, but the Knights ran out the clock.

The credit should go to Central Florida for the win rather than to Penn State for losing. The balance and consistency of UCF’s offense and the way it systematically took Beaver Stadium out of the game make the Knights Louisville's top contender to Louisville in the American Athletic Conference.

Penn State regroups next week against Kent State.

#19 Washington 34, Illinois 24 (2-1)

Ryan Lankford couldn't help Illinois against Washington.

In part two of the Big Ten/Pac-12 extravaganza, Washington clawed past Illinois at Soldier Field.

Though Illinois was outgained nearly 2:1 on the game, Washington penalties kept the Illini close until three third quarter touchdowns by the Huskies put the game out of reach.

Concerning for Illinois was its inability to stop the run: 273 yards rushing for Washington at six yards per carry. Scheelhaase showed flashes of his younger erratic self, and Illinois could not generate much rushing offense.

The question after Illinois’s two opening wins was whether they could prove themselves against a quality opponent. Though the underlying numbers were unsatisfying, staying within ten points against Washington shows that Illinois is much further along than last year. 4-8 or 5-7 would be a reasonable expectation now.

Illinois has a bye next week before facing Miami of Ohio on September 28th.

Michigan State (3-0) 55, Youngstown State 17

Off...ense? Two weeks of ineptitude came to an end as Michigan State’s offense broke free for 547 yards against Youngstown State.

The Spartans exploded in the first quarter for three offensive touchdowns, one more than they had scored after two weeks. Four passing touchdowns from Connor Cook earned Mark Dantonio’s approval as the starting quarterback, and it only took Michigan State until mid-September to decide. Next time, couldn’t they string it out into October?

With its quarterbacking issues settled, Michigan State plays at Notre Dame next week in the conference’s toughest game.

Minnesota (3-0) 29, Western Illinois 12

No matter how he manages his health, Jerry Kill has suffered seizures in each of his first three seasons at Minnesota. Though he’s reassured his team as to his health, at some point his health will prevent him from coaching a major program.

Jerry Kill was stretchered off the field following halftime with the Golden Gophers trailing 12-7. Minnesota rallied after that thanks to touchdown runs by David Cobb and Rodrick Williams.

Minnesota still doesn’t look good, even against two of the worst FBS teams and an FCS team. Nevertheless, it’s halfway to bowl eligibility for the second straight season. They will try to improve to 4-0 next week against San Jose State.

Indiana (2-1) 42, Bowling Green 10

Nate Sudfield threw for 335 yards and Cody Latimer had a career-high 137 receiving yards as Indiana looked solid in a bounceback game. After Bowling Green took an early lead on a blocked field goal return and its own field goal, the Hoosiers responded with 35 unanswered points.

Indiana fans should take this game positively. The Hoosiers kept Bowling Green to 4.7 yards per play and no offensive touchdowns after being gashed by an inferior Navy team last week.

Indiana plays Missouri next week in what is sadly one of the conference’s spotlight games.

#16 UCLA 41, #23 Nebraska 21 (2-1)

After getting out to a 21-3 lead, Nebraska melted down as UCLA scored the last 38 points of the game. Though its defense started out strong, Nebraska ended up allowing over 500 yards and forcing only one turnover against UCLA and Brett Hundley.

The ever-efficient Taylor Martinez was the silver lining for Nebraska, going 21-35 for 203 yards and three touchdowns, but this game is a huge disappointment for the Cornhuskers. Fans won’t be happy with the offense either, as dissension could lead to offensive coordinator Tim Beck's head being on the chopping block.

After shaming the conference with its collapse, the Cornhuskers will attempt to redeem themselves against San Diego State next week.

#21 Notre Dame 31, Purdue (1-2) 24

Teams can react to high profile losses in two ways: they can play angry or act disinterested. Notre Dame chose apathy, and it almost cost them against Purdue.

Purdue led for most of the game until Notre Dame broke the game open in the early fourth quarter. Notre Dame’s DaVaris Daniels caught touchdown passes of 9 and 81 and Bennett Jackson returned an interception 34 yards to give the Irish an insurmountable 31-17 lead. Purdue’s Rob Henry threw for a touchdown pass to make the game closer, but Notre Dame ran out the clock after that.

The Boilermakers looked like the Big Ten’s worst team before this performance, but at least they've shown signs that they will give a fight. The schedule doesn’t get any better for Purdue as they must travel to Wisconsin next week. After the Arizona State game, the Badgers will be the angriest team in the country.

#17 Northwestern 38 (3-0), Western Michigan 17

On the legs of Trayvon Green and Kain Colter, Northwestern powered to a win over Western Michigan.

After a stultifying first quarter, Northwestern’s 24 point second quarter was more than enough to coast on. Green had 158 yards rushing and Colter had 106 while Trevor Siemian added 99 yards passing to lead the Wildcats. The defense smothered any threat, limiting Western Michigan to a pedestrian 4.4 yards per play.

Northwestern's offense was one-dimensional, but besides Ohio State it’s the only Big Ten team to not be in jeopardy at any point in its first three games. Northwestern will finish its perfect non-conference schedule against Maine next week.

Though they're not part of the Big Ten proper, in the interest of making Maryland and Rutgers fans feel at home we'll cover their games.

Maryland 32 (3-0), Connecticut 21

Though Maryland outgained Connecticut, it was the defense that would put the game away with an interception return and safety to put the Terrapins up 29-21 in the fourth quarter.

Stefon Diggs had five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in a win over Connecticut. Randy Edsall would take Maryland to 4-0 with a win against West Virginia next week.

Rutgers (2-1) 28, Eastern Michigan 10

Though Eastern Michigan outplayed and outgained Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights took advantage of big plays to beat the Eagles. A 99-yard kick return by Quron Pratt gave Rutgers a 14-3 lead, and Paul James’ second and third touchdown runs in the fourth quarter salted the game away.

Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed playing for Rutgers in 2010, was in attendance as his #52 was retired at halftime. Considering what he’s done for Rutgers then and since, there’s nobody more deserving for the first retired number in the program’s 144 year history.

Rutgers hosts Arkansas next week in its toughest non-conference game.

As you can see, next week's schedule is a snoozefest across the country. If you're looking for close and/or good games, I recommend Michigan State at Notre Dame, Indiana against Missouri, and Rutgers against Arkansas. May I also suggest your annual fall cleaning?


Comments Show All Comments

Baroclinicity's picture

Penn State regroups next week against Kent State.

Lucky for them it's not Akron...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

buckeyedude's picture

The funny thing about Karma, is it usually comes around to bite you in the ass(I'm looking at you Jen Beliema).
How totally classless. Enjoy the SEC and Arkansas. You hicks are a perfect fit down there. (Actually, I apologize to the hicks down there. That's an insult)
Minus Ohio State's win, this was a bad weekend for the B1G.



causeicouldntgo43's picture

Her comment makes me think there was a lot more to the Bert to Arkansas story than was portrayed. Maybe they wanted him out of there more than he wanted out of there......

MN Buckeye's picture

I know a lot of WI fans, and I do not know of any that wanted Bert to stay. He was arrogant and entitled, and he wore out his welcome long ago. His hiring is the main mark against the beloved Barry Alvarez.

MN Buckeye's picture

Sorry, hit save twice.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Jen Beliema. There are no words..

Mama said, trash is as trash does.

BoFuquel's picture

I'm lovin" it. I do wish Pee Ewe could'a beat The Whore Of South Bend. Other than that I don't want The Li'l Eleven to ever win a game. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

BeijingBucks's picture

Time to bring back Ramzy's B1G playa haters ball.  Hate! Hate! Hate!
i couldn't enjoy any game other than the Bucks.  Wisky game was on right after the Bucks when I was on a high... I lasted 5 mins. Zzzzzzz

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

buckeyedude's picture

I'm the same way, Beijing. I'm totally, emotionally spent after a Buckeye game, in most cases. I would have liked to watch the Wisky game, but knew I'd never make it through. And truth be told, given the way the game ended, I am really glad I didn't waste my time.
I slept VERY WELL last night.



buckeyepastor's picture

That Wisconsin ending was bizarre.  I've never seen a QB simply set the ball down without taking a knee.   I get that he "gave himself up" so as to say it isn't a fumble, but why, again, was the clock to stop?  What a disaster for Wisconsin.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

yrro's picture

Still, can't believe the refs just pissed away 13 seconds of clock there.

wibuckeye's picture

I saw this on twitter, I thought it was pretty funny.
@RedditCFB: "I have decided to pursue my dream of being a PAC 12 referee." - Stevie Wonder


toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

You can also become a Big Ten ref and screw little teams like Akron when they play Michigan.

lsjSnail's picture

He DID take a knee. idk why people keep saying this.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Correct. I'm guessing most people are just going off what the idiot announcers were shouting.

BTBuckeye's picture

Wisconsin....What an epic finish!!!!

B10 is so pathetic.

The Butler's picture

@jenbielema #bittermuch?

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.


topgun67's picture

Low class woman....  Wait til arkansas gets few beatings from top tier SEC 

Nkohl13's picture

... and middle tier SEC... and bottom tier SEC

Hovenaut's picture

She clearly has low standards.

Haybucks's picture

Bitter that Wiscy fans didn't care if she and Bert left.  One big win for Wiscy fans.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

CUBS's picture

About what I expected. Im not sure how this is a poor reflection on the B1G. UCLA is a very good team, ASU is also a very good team. Michigan didn't care and it almost cost them but they still won. UCF is a better team than PSU so that loss is not a surprise. For the most part, yesterday happened as it should have. Amazing how Nebrasksa just laid over and died after that Martinez pick six. The pollsters won't be impressed with the Cal win but I think they should be. I refuse to turn on ESPN or look at their website except for NFL specific coverage today, Im sure there is some sort of story about this and how the B1G is horrible. Itd be an interesting statistical analysis to see how often ESPN has had a top story regarding the B1G's horrid performance on Saturday, its almost like they forget Tennessee and Kentucky are SEC teams.

topgun67's picture

It is poor reflection.  Perception is reality.  Until the day we the big ten beats sec in the championship the country looks at big ten as a non factor...

I love osu, but i don't think we are there yet...espec on defense.  
But there is time....
harp35's picture

Always wondered what kind of women would marry Bert, have my answer now.

captain obvious's picture

Jen Bielema

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

BuckeyeChief's picture

So your husband quit on the team and you call it karma when they lose? wow!

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

2014nationalchamps's picture

First of all, I hate Wiscy. With that said, ASU refs totally stole that game away. If that happend to OSU, I would be rioting right now. Refs absolutely blew that game. It wasnt even questionable.
And for Mrs Bert, how bout you do what's best and just STFU. Bert has got be be livid that his skanky wife would bring that type of attention to him. Wisconsin gave him(a nobody at the time) a start to his career with a very good program that was already built by Alvarez.  Now he's going to have a bullseye on him this whole season. Good luck getting more than 5 wins.#karma

O-H-I-O  for life

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

And for Mrs Bert, how bout you do what's best and just STFU. Bert has got be be livid that his skanky wife would bring that type of attention to him. Wisconsin gave him(a nobody at the time) a start to his career with a very good program that was already built by Alvarez.  Now he's going to have a bullseye on him this whole season. Good luck getting more than 5 wins.

Mr. Bielema has a history for saying similar inane and classless things on twitter. His wife is just following in hubby's bumbling footsteps.
No doubt he rewarded her with by dripping his sweat in her eyes for a few minutes.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

GOD I can't believe how well the Zips played against TSUN only to be betrayed by their horrendous kicker and really really bad play calling in the last 20 seconds!  Having said that - I think we can all chuckle knowing that yet another September Heisman winner has been debunked, and the arrogance/ego level of a certain fan base has been deflated just a wee bit!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

13THandSummit's picture

Horrendous kicker? He hit a 40+ yard kick, went off the post with another, and missed a 50+ yard kick. I've seen a lot worse (PSU).

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Betrayed by the zebras, too. You should see some of the comments about that before dumping on the poor Zips. A lot of fans up in Detroit are saying the same thing I did.

raki's picture

awesome Jen bilema, this might be the last win of the season for your husband. Then the karma would strike back at your husband with vengeance. [slur deleted by Eleven Warriors staff]

doodah_man's picture

Am I missing something? Doesn't there need to be a throwing motion to effectively stop the clock and retain possession? Don't you need to be "under center"? I don't think that laying the ball on the ground cuts it? I would call this a change of possession (since Arizona recovered), which would then stop the clock, with possession going to AZ?

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Nicholas Jervey's picture

Wisconsin's plan was to center the ball, then to spike the ball and kick a field goal. By rule Stave only had to simulate a knee to be ruled as down, which he did (actually, he did manage to kneel down on the play). The awkwardness of the kneel down led Arizona State to jump on the ball, which caused the referees to panic and make the game end in the cluster-failure you saw in the video.

Ceci n'est pas une signature.

toad1204's picture

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

doodah_man's picture

I really want to believe this for the B1G etc. ect. But he did not "simulate a knee". The play started, he made a move to the left, then he bent over and placed the ball on the ground. The fact that his knee bent in the process wasn't a simulated knee. If you want to down the ball, make the move, don't just put the ball on the ground. I have never seen a move like this before and he lost the benefit of the doubt as a result. Wisky wasn't robbed, they screwed the pooch I think.

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

toad1204's picture

Too bad the clock could not make an appearance in this pic a well.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

thatlillefty's picture

Why doesn't Nebraska just shelf the black jerseys until their defense proves themselves worthy?
This conference is abysmal.

Nkohl13's picture

Why was Wisconsin even trying to center the ball there? The refs messed up, but why would you even put yourself in that kind of position. Just kick the field goal and hope your defense can stop ASU for the next fifteen seconds. Just stupid all around.

tressel12's picture

You make a valid point, but the thought process is that it would be much easier for the kicker to kick from the middle of the field instead of the right hash. I would have probably done the same in that situation.

Because I couldn't go for three. -- Woody Hayes

tressel12's picture

I thought Gary Anderson handled the situation in the post-game interview much better than I would have handled it. As much as I dislike Wiscy, in my opinion they got completely robbed and the situation just makes these PAC-12 officials look terrible. I believe that it is pretty clear Stave kneeled the football. Wasn't this why replay was invented as well for situations such as this?! All I know is if this would have happened to TOSU my flatscreen would probably have been broken.
As for Jen Bielema's response, I don't know if there was some kind of falling out from Wiscy and Coach Bielema when he left but this is one of the more classless things I have seen in a long time. Here's to hoping Arkansas finishes dead last in the SEC West.

Because I couldn't go for three. -- Woody Hayes

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

If that is indeed Jan Bielema's comment, it's as classless as her husband. She and her husband will get their karma as the rest of the season goes on.

blueblazer22's picture

About that Wisky game, I am not so sure how that was stolen by the referees. Stave never put his knee down, nor did he spike the ball. If anything, why wasn't Arizona State awarded the ball when their guy fell on it? If the play was not blown dead (and it should not have been) then that should be a live ball and an ASU recovery. End of game. 
Akron got screwed at the end by having their first down taken away, and by a minimum of 6 seconds being run off that should still have been on the clock. Not a great day at all for the officials, but many difficulties are self-made (I am looking at you Stave)

"They say, "these geeks come a dime a dozen.  I'm lookin' for the guy who's supplyin' the dimes." -Classy Freddie Blassie

flipbuckeye's picture

He did take a knee and the play was blown dead after Stave set the ball.

gwright78's picture

Once you place the ball on the ground, you are down. It's just like if the ball carrier out his knee or elbow down. He's immediately down. There cannot possibly be a fumble.

It would be a different story if he'd dropped the ball, but he didn't. He placed it on the ground.

That said, really dumb play. Kneel, then hand the ball to the ref.

lsjSnail's picture

Ugh...so many people have it wrong. He did put his knee down and the refs blew the whistle. ASU then after the whistle jumped on the ball causing a delay of game penalty the refs never called as they stood there like retards not setting the ball for the spike.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I agree that he did place his knee on the ground. That being said, according to the actual rule...

ARTICLE 3. A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead:
o. When a ball carrier simulates placing his knee on the ground.

Even if he hadn't put his knee on the ground (which he did), the ball was still dead as his intent was clearly to down the ball.

pjtobin's picture

The whiskey qb must have never taken a knee before. Maybe his coach should have made sure he was ready to do such a important task. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

lax20's picture

I truly do not believe the B1G players cannot compete on the national stage.  I am more inclined to put the blame on the coaching staffs of the B1G.  I feel they are inferior and cause a lot of the negative criticism.   This conference has tradition, power and elite players.  It frustrates me to hear the comments that are made about the B1G.  Not only does this impact the league, but any potential team vying for a national championships.  Coaches get it together and do what you were hired to do, make men and great players out of the young high school talent.  GO BUCKS and just win.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

I refuse to get all up in arms about the Big Ten.
I am a fan of Ohio State and will not be sucked into that dark pit of being a "conference fan". 
I understand the strength of schedule arguments, but I will resist with the last ounce of courage in my being...from becoming a clone of the SEC fan.

I like cookies.

CC's picture

One thing I learned this week: there are no teams in the B1G in the same class as osu. On any Saturday anything can happen but this is clearly the best team in the conf.

Jelligrim's picture

Jen Bielema = Can't Understand Normal Thought!