This was a pretty hum-drum week in the Big Ten if you just look at the final score. All the teams that were supposed to win, won, and by at least 7 points. However, if you watched these games, many had drama in their own way (outside of the Purdue/Minnesota laugher) so it turned out to be a pretty good set of games.
Game of the Week:
Northwestern led this game 24-14 at the half. It looked like that Michigan was going to fall for the first time this season in their first road game. Denard Robinson had thrown 3 INTs in the first half, as well as 2 TDs. Then in the second half he stopped the turnovers and started lighting up the NW secondary, finishing with 337 passing yards. The Wildcats couldn't do much offensively in the second half, though they were mounting a drive down 35-24 when the refs stepped in to help Michigan secure the win. On 4th down in Michigan territory, Dan Persa dropped back to pass. A Michigan defender tried to make the sack, but in doing so, grabbed Persa's facemask and ripped it off. The refs blew the play dead, but conveniently declined to throw a flag for facemasking. To make matters worse, they flagged Pat Fitzgerald (who's face was as purple as his shirt) for arguing the call. Michigan quickly drove down the field to seal the win.
Michigan Player of the Game: Despite throwing three INTs, Robinson threw for 337 yards, rushed for 117 and accounted for 4 TDs.
Northwestern Player of the Game: For the second straight week, Dan Persa drove NW's offense. Throwing for 331 yards and an INT.
All the Rest:
This game was over in the first quarter as the Boilermakers jumped out to a 24-0 lead thanks to three Gopher turnovers. They never looked back.
Purdue Players of the Game: The entire Purdue offense made Minnesota pay for their mistakes, accounting for 5 of the 6 TDs on the game.
Minnesota Player of the Game: WR Marcus Jones led the team with 32 receiving yards. He also had a 92 yard kickoff return for a TD, Minnesota lone bright spot of the game.
For the better part of a quarter, it looked like Indiana was going to send the Illini to their first loss this season. A kickoff return for a TD and a FG helped the Hoosiers to a 10-0 lead. But the Illini scored 28 of the final 31 points in the half and ended up cruising to a 21 point win in Indiana.
Illinois Player of the Game: WR AJ Jenkins. Jenkins is having a monster year. He had another 128 yards in receiving on Saturday, along with 2 TDs. The TDs came on 77 and 67 yard plays.
Indiana Player of the Game: Freshman WR Shane Wynn gave the Hoosiers some early hope with a 99 yard kickoff return for a TD.
Ohio State Buckeyes 3-3 (0-2) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers 5-1 (1-1)
Final Score: Nebraska - 34 OSU - 37
This game seemed all but over as the Buckeyes scored to take a 21 point lead on their opening drive in the third quarter. Then Braxton Miller hurt his ankle and the tide turned quickly and violently against the Buckeyes. Nebraska scored TDs on drives of 24, 80, 72 and 78 on four of their next five possessions to turn a 21 point deficit into a 7 point victory. This loss sends OSU to 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time in seemingly forever.
Nebraska Player of the Game: Rex Burkhead was Nebraska's leading rusher with 119 yards and a TD, and receiver with 59 yards and a TD. He scored both the tying and game winning TDs.
OSU Player of the Game: QB Braxton Miller. With Miller, OSU's drives went FG, TD, TD, fumble, EoH, TD. After Miller their drives went Fumble, Punt, Punt, Punt, Interception, Punt.
Byes: MSU, Wisconsin