Minnesota 34 Nebraska 23
As terrible as we may feel after the Ohio State game, you can bet that Cornhusker fans feel our pain. The Cornhuskers entered this weekend ranked #24 in the country, but leave it not even receiving a vote in the AP poll. Minnesota's victory marked their first triumph over Nebraska since 1960, so this was quite the day for Gopher fans.
Nebraska opened up quickly in this game, going up 10-0 on an Imani Cross touchdown run and a 45 yard field goal from Pat Smith. However, Minnesota answered with the 1st quarter expiring, on a 1 yard Mitch Leidner touchdown run. The 2nd quarter started with 10 more Gopher points on a Philip Nelson touchdown pass to Derrick Engel, and a Chris Hawthorne field goal. Nebraska kicked a field goal as the half expired to narrow the deficit to 17-13. To start the 2nd half, Nelson ran in his first of two ground scores on the day, and Hawthorne drilled at 45 yarder to stretch the lead to 27-13. Taylor Martinez answered back, connecting with Sam Cotton for a 3 yard score. Pat Smith hit another field goal in the 4th to make it a 4 point game, before Nelson ran in his second score of the game (He was PUMPED UP). And that was all she wrote.
Taylor Martinez played very poorly in this one. He connected on only 16 of his 30 passes for 139 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Ameer Abdullah continued his strong play for the Huskers, picked up 165 yards on 19 carries, good for 8.7 yards per clip. 7 different Husker receivers caught passes in this one, but no one surpassed 50 yards on the day. On the Minnesota side of the ball, Philip Nelson played a hell of a game. While he only threw 15 passes, connecting on 7 of them, he threw for 152 yards with a touchdown. He also ran for 55 yards and 2 HUGE touchdowns on the goal line. David Cobb carried the ball 31 times on the day, finding his way to 138 yards. Drew Goodger caught 3 balls for 68 yards. Overall, Minnesota won the yardage battle 430-328.
Michigan State 42 Illinois 3
Beckman's crew got the party started in this one scoring the first 3 points of the game...and then allowed Michigan State to score the next 42. In the 2nd quarter, MSU's scoring rampage began with a Jeremy Langford run and a Connor Cook touchdown pass to Bennie Fowler. The Spartans would continue the trend of scoring 14 points a quarter for the rest of this one. In the 3rd, Connor Cook found Josiah Price for his 2nd touchdown, and Langford ran in this second score of the day from 7 yards out. In the final installment of this saga, Cook threw his 3rd touchdown pass of the game, this one a 47 yard beauty to Keith Mumphery. Delton Williams busted a 42 yard touchdown run to finish off the scoring for the Spartiest of all the Spartans.
Connor Cook set a Michigan State passing efficiency record in this one, completing 15 of his 17 passes for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jeremy Langford rushed 22 times for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mumphrey led the Spartan receivers with 3 catches for 77 yards. For the sorry shell of a team on the other side of the field, Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 103 yards on 13/21 passing, with an interception. Josh Ferguson led the Illini rushing attack with a robust 26 yards on 10 carries, and was the driving force between Illinois' 25 yards on the ground for the afternoon. Spencer Harris was the main beneficiary of Scheelhasse's few completions, catching 6 balls for 46 yards. Michigan State's defense laid the hammer down and showed yet again why they are statistically the top defense in the country, holding the Illini to 128 total yards, while their offense picked up 477 yards of their own.
Iowa 17 Northwestern 10
Oh Pat. I wrote some words about my disappointment in you last week, so I won't waste my own time and do that again. But come on man. 0-4 in the Big Ten? You were ranked at one point! There's really not much to say about this game in terms of analysis. The game went into overtime tied at 10, which pretty much tells you all you need to know. Iowa scored their points off a Damon Bullock touchdown run and a Mike Meyer field goal. Northwestern answered back with 10 points of their own, thanks to a Kain Colter touchdown pass to Dan Vitale, and a Jeff Budzien field goal. Unfortunately for anyone who watched this game, there was bonus football in this one. Iowa came out firing in overtime, with Jake Rudock finding CJ Fiedorowicz for an 8 yard touchdown. Nerdwestern tried to answer, but 2 sacks on their only drive of overtime ended any chance at BONUS bonus football.
My B1G man crush Kain Colter got the start at QB in this one, and promptly completed 11 of his 14 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 60 yards on 18 carries. Stephen Buckley led the rushing attack with 99 yards on the ground, and Dan Vitale led the receivers with 52 yards. For Iowa, Jake Rudock was 19/27 passing for 169 yards and a 1/1 TD/INT ratio. Mark Weisman rushed for 56 yards on 13 carries, and Kevonte Martin-Manley caught 5 passes for 45 yards.
So I guess this weekend could have been worse, right? The Huskers got upset, Northwestern continued to prove how overrated they were, and Illinois lost. So..I guess I feel a little better? Whatever. Go State.
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