By: David Folz
Week eight of the Big Ten season has seen essentially one team (Wisconsin) a lock for the title game, while the Legends division still features Nebraska and Michigan up top. With that here is the Big Ten Review for week eight.
Wisconsin/Minnesota: The battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe once again went the Badgers way in a 38-13 win over the Gophers. James White and Montee Ball combined for 341 yards on the ground and five touchdowns as the Badgers held the lead from the outset and never looked back. Third string quarterback Phillip Nelson threw for two touchdowns in the loss for the Gophers. The Badgers are flying high recently with three straight wins and now are 6-2 on the season. Minnesota has fallen in their last three games and now stand at 4-3. Wisconsin will take on Michigan State while Minnesota hosts Purdue this weekend.
Purdue/Ohio State: The Boilermakers gave it their all against the unbeaten Buckeyes but came up short in a 29-22 overtime loss. Carlos Hyde ran for two touchdowns and Braxton Miller ran for another to lift the Buckeyes in the game. While the Buckeyes struggled to put away the Boilermakers, Purdue did its share to try to stay alive in the Big Ten race, as Caleb TerBush threw for two touchdowns in the loss. Ohio State advances to 8-0 while Purdue falls to 3-4 and all but eliminated in the Big Ten Leaders division race. The Buckeyes travel to Penn State while Purdue travels to Minnesota this weekend.
Nebraska/Northwestern: The Cornhuskers rallied from 12 down in the last seven minutes to beat Northwestern 29-28. Taylor Martinez threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns in the win, including two in the comeback fourth quarter. Trevor Siemian struggled in the loss but threw two touchdowns, while Venric Mark ran for another. In the win, Nebraska goes to 5-2, while Northwestern drops to 6-2 following the weekend. Nebraska returns home to face Michigan while Northwestern takes on Iowa this weekend.
Michigan State/Michigan: The Paul Bunyan trophy returned to Ann Arbor this year following Michigan’s 12-10 win over the Spartans. Denard Robinson threw for 163 yards and ran for 96 yards as both offenses did not do much offensively. Michigan State struggled again as Andrew Maxwell threw for 192 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans, who only had 112 yards rushing combined by six rushers. With the win, the Wolverines improve to 5-2 while the Spartans fall to 4-4. Michigan will travel to face Nebraska while Michigan State travels to play Wisconsin this weekend.
Penn State/Iowa: Penn State continues their Big Ten mastery as they walloped Iowa 38-14 this past weekend. Matt McGloin passed for two touchdowns while Bill Belton returned to action, running for three touchdowns and over 100 yards for the Nittany Lions for their fifth straight win. Iowa however has been inconsistent and this matchup was no different, as they had only 20 yards rushing in the game and James Vandenberg threw two interceptions. With the win Penn State is 5-2 while Iowa falls to 4-3 on the season. Penn State hosts Ohio State this weekend and Iowa travels to Northwestern this Saturday.
Indiana- The Hoosiers had a non-conference game against Navy Saturday and lost 31-30. The Hoosiers held leads of ten at two points and nine at another point in the fourth quarter, but ended up losing with a late Navy rally. In the loss, Cameron Coffman threw two interceptions and the rushing attack ran for three touchdowns but was not enough for the defense to stop Navy’s triple option offense. With the loss the Hoosiers have fallen five games in a row and is 2-5. The Hoosiers travel to Illinois this Saturday.
Illinois- The Fighting Illini had a bye week last week and will take on Indiana this weekend as they look to improve their 2-5 record.