Former Foes: Week 9

Defense and SPECIAL TEAMS wins championships, and no 1 out of 2 ain't good at all. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

So the game of the century was a snoozefest and Nebraska fell asleep against Northwestern.  All in all it was a bad week for the former foes on Penn State's schedule.  6 of the 9 teams lost which is bad timing considering it's the end of the season and opponents records are part of the computer model.  Hopefully the Temple and Eastern Michigan's of the world can rebound next week because right now Penn State could use any good news however minor it might be.

Indiana State (5-3)

Lost to North Dakota State 27-16

Unbeaten North Dakota State stayed that way thanks to running back D.J. McNorton who ran for 100 yards and scored a 4-yard touchdown with 7:44 remaining to take a 17 point lead that Indiana State could not recover from.  The Sycamores managed one final score when quarterback Ronnie Fouch found Donald Spencer with 3 minutes to play but it wasn’t enough.  Fouch passed for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns but running back Shakir Bell was held to 79 yards and kept out of the endzone.

Next up: Misouri State

#3 Alabama (7-1)

Lost to LSU 9-6 OT

This game has been covered ad nauseum so I’ll be brief: when you miss 4 field goals against the #1 team in the country you probably aren’t going to win.  Both teams had 2 turnovers and their wasn’t a touchdown to be had between them.  In a nutshell, I stayed up to watch a thoroughly boring game that was a big disappointment. ESSSSS EEEEEEE SEEEEEE SSSSPPPPEEEEEDD!

Next up:  Mississippi State 

Eastern Michigan (5-4)

Lost to Ball State 33-31

There were 8 lead changes in a wild back and forth game that saw 876 yards of offense and two lead-changing field goals in the final 1:18.  Eastern kicked a 20 yard field goal late in the fourth but an unsportsmanlike call on the ensuing drive gave Ball State a short field and they took advantage.  The Cardinals drove to the Eagles 27 yard line and with 13 seconds left, kicker Steven Schott booted a 44 yard field goal, his fourth of the game to put Ball State ahead.  Quarterback Alex Gillett threw for 196 yards and 4 TD’s and ran for 126 more as Eastern had over 500 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t enough. 

Next up: Buffalo

 

Temple (5-4)

Lost to Ohio 35-31

Speaking of wild back and forth games, Temple and Ohio played leap frog all the way to the final minute of play.  Temple kicked a 27 yard field goal to take a 24-21 lead to start the fourth quarter.  Ohio answered with a Tyler Tettleton 2-yard touchdown pass mid-way through the final quarter.  Temple answered that with a Chris Coyer TD pass with 4:46 to play.  But with 1:41 left to play Tettleton completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donte Foster to seal the game. 

Temple quarterback Chris Coyer ran for 184 yards and completed 8 of 14 passes for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Running back Bernard Pierce was held to 84 yards on 22 carries and 1 TD.  The two teams combined for 958 yards of total offense.

Next up: Ohio  

Indiana (1-9)     

Lost to Ohio State 34-20

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller completed only 6 passes all day: 5 to his teammates for 55 yards, and 1 to Indiana for an interception.  Against Indiana though, that was all the Buckeyes needed.  Three Ohio State players rushed for over 100 yards as the Buckeyes amassed 346 yards on the ground.  It wasn’t easy though the Hoosiers put up a fight all the way to the end. 

The two teams fought to a halftime stalemate and traded scores in the 3rd, but with 9 seconds to go in the quarter, Ohio State took a seven point lead.  With the Buckeyes clinging to the lead, Indiana began a drive at their own 28 that pushed into Ohio State territory.  On a 1st and 10 on tOSU’s 44 yard line, Indiana quarterback Tre Roberson was intercepted by Travis Howard at the Ohio State 28.  5 plays later Carlos Hyde scored on a 2 yard run and the game was over. 

Next up: Bye 

Iowa (6-3)

Beat Michigan 24-16

Iowa was coming off one of their worst loses in recent history, they were slipping down the standings, and they were playing bad defense, something Iowa fans are not used to.  They were a wounded animal and they had two options: pack it in or give it one last push.  They chose the latter and not to toot my own horn but: toot toot 

Marcus Coker carried the Hawkeyes rushing for 132 yards on 29 carries, scoring twice. James Vandenberg pitched in 171 yards through the air tossing a TD and more importantly, no interceptions.  But the real deal for Iowa was a return to stout defense.  They did give up 323 yards to Michigan but anytime you hold a Denard Robinson-led team to 16 points you’ve accomplished something.  Unlike the previous week that saw Iowa give up a late-second touchdown, the Hawkeyes gave Robinson four shots at a touchdown with 16 seconds left from 3 yards out and held.  It’s the 3rd time in a row Iowa has beaten the Wolverines. 

Next up: Michigan St. 

Purdue (4-5)

Lost to Wisconsin 62-17

Wisconsin broke a two-game losing streak by doing what they do best: pound the ball.  That’s not to say Russell Wilson did throw in some big plays but the Badgers rumbled to 364 yards on the ground.  Montee Ball ran for 223 yards on 20 carries and 3 touchdowns.  Wilson also ran for a score and completed 15 of his 20 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns with no picks. 

Purdue kept it close early on but Wisconsin broke open a 14-10 2nd quarter lead with 3 unanswered touchdowns.  Down 38-17 early in the 3rd quarter, Purdue tried a 4th and 5 on the Badgers 36 and failed. 4 plays later Bell was rumbling 29 yards for a touchdown and the game was basically sealed.  It doesn’t get any easier, Purdue gets a resurgent Ohio State and Iowa who now has realistic bowl hopes.  On the bright side, the finish with Indiana. 

Next up: Ohio State 

Northwestern (4-5)

Beat Nebraska 28-25

The Wildcats were clinging to a 7-3 halftime lead and starting quarterback Dan Persa was standing on the sideline with his arm in a sling.  One would think that it was only going to be a matter of time until the Cornhuskers wear down a much-maligned Northwestern defense and take over the game, right?  One would be wrong.  Backup quarterback Kain Colter lead the team in rushing (57 yards), scored 2 touchdowns and threw for another in leading the Wildcats to an unlikely 28-25 victory.  

Nebraska was a little thin on the defensive line with 3 starters missing but Northwestern wore the Blackshirts down on the Wildcats last scoring drive, a 13-play 66-yard drive that took more than 7 minutes off the clock. The Cornhuskers closed the gap to 21-18 with just under 9 minutes to play and needed a stop, but they couldn’t answer.  Nebraska could only manage 122 yards rushing and allowed 468 yards of total offense including 207 on the ground (omen for Saturday?).  Nebraska drops to 7-2 and 19th in the polls and Northwestern keeps it’s slim bowl hopes alive – they take on Rice,  Minnesota, and Michigan State.  

Next up: Rice 

Illinois (6-3)

Bye

Next up: Michigan

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