B1G Review: Week Eight

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Week Eight. As in there were 8 teams that actually played offense this week.

Another week of Big Ten filled action, another week of no Penn State.  I suppose we actually got pretty lucky with the bye (Ya know, 4 overtimes and such), but it's still no fun to not watch the Lions line up every Saturday.  I mean, come on.  I'm a senior now.  I don't want any down weeks.  I want nonstop, Penn State-filled action!  Is that really so much to ask!?  Whatever.  Let's just talk about these other teams, I guess.

Minnesota 20 Northwestern 17

Oh, Pat.  You're a good coach, sure.  Maybe even great.  There's a reason that your Wildcats are at least relevant again.  But you've got to find a way to make these kids show up for big games.  Maybe it was the Ohio State game draining all of your energy.  Maybe you just had a down week.  Whatever the reason, you just handed the Gophers their first B1G victory of the year.  Way to go.

With Jerry Kill surveying the action from the coaches' box above, these two teams played a rousing game of "Only One Touchdown Per Quarter" until the halftime whistle, with Stephen Buckley running one in for Northwestern, and a Philip Nelson-Derrick Engle connection for the Gophers' score.  In the 3rd quarter, Trevor Siemian threw just an awful interception (Think Matt McGloin to Ryan Shazier kind of awful), leading to a Minnesota pick-6.  The 4th quarter featured a furious rally of field goals, 2 for Minnesota and 1 for Northwestern.  With 2:07 remaining in the game, Siemian found Tony Jones in the endzone to bring the Wildcats to within 3.  However, the attempted onside kick attempt failed to travel the necessary yardage, and the Gophers ran down the clock for the upset.

Minnesota won despite only putting up 299 total yards of offense to Northwestern's 328.  Philip Nelson threw for 112 yards on 8/11 passing, with the one touchdown.  David Cobb led the rushing attack for the Gophers, scampering his way to 103 yards on 20 carries.  On the PatCats side of the ball, Siemian threw for 234 yards on 25/46 passing (Gross), with a touchdown and two interceptions.  Tony Jones led the skill position players for Northwestern, catching 8 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Michigan State 13 Purdue 0

Remember when I said only 8 teams played offense this week?  These are the two that didn't.  This was the most B1G game that you will see this season, I guarantee it.  Michigan State's defense is #1 in the country for a reason, but I can't even think of a proper simile to describe what watching their offense is like.  This game was scoreless until the 10ish minute mark of the 2nd quarter, when MSU came on the blitz, and knocked the living daylights out of Danny Etling and the football he was attempting to transport via air travel to his waiting receiver.  Denicos Allen grabbed the rebound that bounced right to him and walked in for the easiest 45 yard fumble recovery you'll see.  The teams then resumed their defensive battle hilariously offensive offense for another 2 quarters, until Sparty pulled out the bag of tricks.  Connor Cook took the snap and immediately ran left, feigning the option, before flipping it to wideout Tony Lippett who connected with Andrew Gleichert for the only offensive touchdown of the day.

Connor Cook and Danny Etling combined to throw for 267 yards total, and that's all I'm going to say about the quarterbacking in this one.  Jeremy Langford continued his assault on Big Ten defenses, rushing for 131 yards on 24 carries (Why don't they just keep running him?  I could not tell you).  Tony Lippett led the MSU receivers with 5 catches for 49 yards, as well as his touchdown pass.

Michigan 63 Indiana 47

That's more like it!  Keep playing defense like this, and you'll both end up in the $EC!  Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon each set records in this one.  Gardner set the Michigan record for passing yards (503) and total yards (584), while Gallon set a Big Ten record with 369 receiving yards on 15 catches with 2 touchdowns.  As far as the game itself, this one was close right up to the very end when Indiana just ran out of gas.  After holding a two touchdown lead for most of the 2nd quarter, Michigan found themselves with just a 2 point lead with 12:15 to go in the 4th quarter, thanks to a fabulous touchdown run by Tre Roberson.  However, Roberson would remove himself from the game after that drive due to a hand cramp, and Nate Sudfeld threw an interception that all but sealed the Hoosiers' fate.  Michigan would go on to score two more touchdowns to pull away with the 63 point thriller.

As you may have guessed, there were some huge offensive numbers in this one.  On the Michigan side of the ball, aside from the record setting games from Gardner and Gallon, Fitzgerald Toussaint bounced back from his abysmal performance against Penn State, picking up 151 yards on 32 carries.  Devin Funchess added 84 yards receiving on 4 catches to complement Gallon.  For Indiana, Tre Roberson had arguably his best day as a college quarterback, throwing for 288 yards on 16/23 passing with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception (Not bad for someone who's known for his legs).  Kofi Hughes caught 6 passes for  138 yards to pace the Indiana receiving game.  Overall, the Wolverines out-gained Indiana in total yardage, 751 to 572.  (But this still happened...)

Ohio State 34 Iowa 24

If anything, this game gave O'Brien some great footage to study leading up to Penn State's 8PM class with the Buckeyes this weekend.  The Hawkeyes certainly gave the Bucks a run for their money, employing a heavy dose of plays designed for their tight ends.  However, Urban's boys got the job done in the end, as they have for their past 19 games in a row now.  We can hate them all we want (Aside from you, HumbleBuckeye), but you have to respect what they've done over this stretch.  Iowa led after the 1st quarter of this one, thanks to a 2 yard touchdown pass from Jake Rudock to C.J. Fiedorowicz (As well as matching field goals from each side).  They again traded scores in the 2nd quarter, this time touchdowns.  Braxton Miller connected with Philly Brown for a 58 yard strike, and Rudock found Kevonte Marin-Manley for Iowa's answer.  The second half opened with Ohio State getting tochdowns from Carlos Hyde and a Devin Smith-Braxton Miller connected.  If you haven't seen the Hyde touchdown yet, please indulge your eyes below.

That right there is an absolutely insane display of balance on Hyde's part.  Incredible.  Rudock would go on to connect with Jeff Duzey for 85 yards and a score to tie the game.  The Buckeyes had more remaining in the tank though, and scored 10 unanswered in the 4th quarter to seal the victory.

Jack Rudock had probably his most successful performance of the season, throwing for 245 yards on 19/34 passing, with 3 TD's and 1 pick.  Mark Weisman was not the force that he had been all season for the Hawkeyes, rushing for only 52 yards (But only on 10 carries, so he kind of did I guess?).  Jeff Duzey led the receiving game, with 138 yards on 6 catches and a touchdown.  Braxton Miller ended the day with 324 total yards (222 passing, 102 rushing) and 2 touchdowns.  Carlos Hyde finished with 149 yards on 24 carries, while Philly Brown and Devin Smith each topped 70 yards and touchdown in the receiving game.

Wisconsin 56 Illinois 32

Wisconsin shot out of the gate in this one, winning the first quarter 21-0, thanks to their high-powered running attack.  After allowing the Illini to flirt with a comeback in the 2nd quarter (28-17 at the break), the Badgers came out powerful again in the 3rd quarter.  James White and Melvin Gordon continued to obliterate Big Ten defenses, like they have all season long.  The teams would trade 14 points for 14 points in the 4th quarter, to bring the Fighting Beckman's to their 2nd loss in as many tries in the B1G.

Wisconsin pounded the run game in this one.  Joel Stave hummed along, throwing for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns, while allowing his backs to do most of the work.  Melvin Gordon rushed for 142 yards on 17 carries with 3 touchdowns, while James White picked up 98 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own.  Through the air, Jared Abbrederis was on the receiving end of 106 of Stave's passing yards.  For the Illini, Scheelhasse continued to regress from his non-conference brilliance, throwing for 249 yards, but no touchdowns, and only 18 yards rushing on 12 carries.  Sadly for Illinois, he was their 2nd leading rusher, as Josh Ferguson paved the way with 25 yards on 7 carries for the day.  Steve Hull led the receivers with 6 catches for 105 yards.

Aaaaaaand with that we officially jump into Ohio State week.  Go State.

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