After each weekend, we’ll look at how things turned out for the Big Ten conference.
This week, Nebraska beat Iowa for a shot at the Big Ten title, Purdue blew out Indiana with a strong second half, Michigan State defeated Minnesota for a bowl berth, Ohio State finished undefeated in Urban Meyer’s first season, Penn State finished their season strong, and Northwestern blew out Illinois at home.
Rankings are from BCS poll.
Friday, November 23rd
14 Nebraska (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) 13 @ Iowa (4-8, 2-6 Big Ten) 7 – It was a big game for the Nebraska Cornhuskers as they would get into the Big Ten title game with a win over the Iowa Hawkeyes. It might have been a close game, but the Cornhuskers had a nice performance out of senior running back Rex Burkhead. Burkhead returned after missing five games with a knee injury and finished with 69 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. His rushing touchdown late in the third quarter gave Nebraska an eight point lead.
Saturday, November 24th
Indiana (4-8, 2-6 Big Ten) 35 @ Purdue (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) 56 – Purdue played very strong in the second half to hold off the Indiana Hoosiers. At the half, the Hoosiers actually led the Boilermakers 21-14. However, Purdue played very well in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. Akeem Shavers had a big fourth quarter for the Boilermakers. The running back caught two touchdowns and ran one in as Purdue held onto the Old Oaken Bucket.
Michigan State (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) 26 @ Minnesota (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) 10 – The Spartans claimed a spot in a bowl game this year after they defeated Minnesota this past weekend. Le’Veon Bell ran for a career-high 266 yards and one touchdown. The MSU defense also came to play as they forced the Golden Gophers to turn the ball over four times. However, some sad news from this game was that Minnesota’s coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure at halftime. He is resting at home according to the university.
19 Michigan (8-4, 6-2 Big Ten) 21 @ Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) 26 – Despite facing a bowl ban, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes still managed to do what many thought they could not. The Buckeyes finished the season undefeated after defeating Michigan this weekend.
Braxton Miller had a nice game with 189 passing yards and one touchdown. Drew Basil also added four field goals while the OSU defense played amazingly in the second half as they forced three Michigan turnovers.
Wisconsin (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) 21 @ Penn State (8-4, 6-2 Big Ten) 24 – Just like Ohio State, not many people thought that the Penn State Nittany Lions would have much success this season. However, head coach Bill O’Brien got his team to believe and recorded the team’s eighth victory of the season. Penn State ultimately defeated the Badgers in overtime after Kyle French missed a 44-yard field goal in Wisconsin’s first overtime possession. Matthew McGloin had a nice game for Penn State as he recorded 200 passing yards and one touchdown. For Wisconsin, Montee Ball ran for 111 yards on 27 carries and scored one touchdown.
Illinois (2-10, 0-8 Big Ten) 14 @ Northwestern (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) 50 – The Northwestern Wildcats absolutely dominated the Illinois Fighting Illini in their battle for the Land of Lincoln trophy. Kain Colter slung the ball all game as he threw for 102 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Venric Mark powered the Northwestern run game as he ran for 127 yards on 18 carries and scored one touchdown. Illinois did not play very well as they turned the ball over four times on offense.
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