Around the Big Ten — Week Six
While Penn State’s offensive and defensive lines were getting pushed around on Saturday afternoon, other teams were doing the exact opposite and making statements that were heard across the nation (see South Carolina and Michigan State). As always, we’re here to tell you what you might’ve missed across Big Ten nation this past weekend.
Ohio State cruises over the Hoosiers, 38-10.
After having difficulty with Illinois last weekend (which now makes a whole lot more sense to Nittany Lion fans), Ohio State left no doubt in dismantling Indiana Saturday. They held underrated Hoosier quarterback Ben Chappell to 106 yards passing and two interceptions. Terrelle Pryor tore through the lackluster Indiana defense, going 24 for 30 with 344 passing yards and 3 touchdowns a week after sitting out some of the Illini game with a leg injury. The new number one team in the nation will have its work cut out for it this coming Saturday as they travel to Camp Randall Stadium to take on Wisconsin in a College Gameday visited night game.
Paul Bunyan’s Axe stays in the state of Wisconsin; Badgers beat up on the Gophers, 41-23.
The longest-played rivalry in the Football Bowl Subdivision went the Badgers’ way for the seventh straight year. Backfield stablemates John Clay and James White combined for 229 rushing yards and 5 TD’s as Wisconsin geared up for next Saturday’s matchup with the Buckeyes. After a gritty performance against Northwestern last week, Minnesota returned to its old form, especially on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 473 yards of total offense to Wisconsin.
Purdue knocks Northwestern from the ranks of the unbeatens with a late fourth quarter TD
Redshirt freshman quarterback Rob Henry made his first start as Purdue’s quarterback but surely did not look like the Ortons, Breeses and Painters of Boilermaker lore as he took down previously undefeated Northwestern with his legs rather than his arm. Henry ran for 132 yards and a touchdown and put Purdue squarely back on track after falling off once heralded transfer Robert Marve went down with an injury. Northwestern was looking for their first 6-0 start since 1962 but a missed field goal with about a minute left negated those chances. Coach Pat Fitzgerald still has them looking good though as they move into the meat of the Big Ten schedule.
Denard Denied: Sparty roughs up the Michigan quarterback and wins 34-17.
Denard Robinson had his way with lackluster defenses for the first five weeks, but Michigan State is no Indiana. “Shoelace” threw three interceptions, triple his count through the first five games and failed to rush for more than 100 yards for the first time this season. On the other side, Michigan State improved to 6-0 for the first time in over a decade and did it with Coach Mark D’Antonio returning to coach the team (albeit from the press box) for the first time since his heart attack after the Notre Dame game. This game showed me two things: 1. Michigan still has a lot of work to do if it wants to seriously compete in the Big Ten and 2. With this Saturday’s game against Illinois and a game at Iowa being Michigan State’s biggest remaining roadblocks, this sleeper team could very possibly be smelling roses or even a national championship shot when January arrives.