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Big Ten Review: Week 4 or "Wait, Minnesota Did What?"

With only ten Big Ten teams playing and all of them being favored in their games (many by multiple TDs), the Big Ten was poised to go 10-0 on the week to head into Big Ten play on a high note. Instead, Minnesota went and lost at home to yet another FCS team, and Indiana was blown out on the road at North Texas in the first half and couldn't complete the comeback. Awesome. Thanks a lot guys. Thankfully, none of the higher profile teams in the conference lost (you lucked out though Illinois).

The Losses:

North Dakota State Bison 3-0 (0-0) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 1-3 (0-0)
Final Score:
ND St. - 37 Minnesota - 24

Minnesota has played the Bison three times since 2006 and now holds a 1-2 record against them with the lone win coming by a 10-9 score back in 2006. This is the third time in five years that Minnesota has lost to a FCS team. Ugly ugly ugly. You know things just aren't going your way when you throw an interception at the end of the first half, and as the defensive back is getting tackled, he laterals the ball and his teammate runs it in for a TD. Even with that awful effort on Minnesota's part, they had a chance to tie the game late in the 4th quarter, and promptly threw another interception which the Bison also returned for a touchdown. That's exactly how you lose a game to a FCS team. Cmon Gophers, even Indiana managed to beat their FCS opponent this year.

No MVP for the Gophers in this game.

Indiana Hoosiers 1-3 (0-0) @ North Texas Mean Green 1-3 (0-1)
Final Score:
NT - 24 Indiana - 21

Well Indiana spotted North Texas a 24 point lead before deciding they were interested in playing football on Saturday. North Texas had allowed FIU, Houston and Alabama 208, 118 and 347 rushing yards respectively. Indiana's total? 50. Ouch. Also what's this business about traveling to North Texas for a game? You're a Big Ten team. Act like it.

No MVP for the Hoosiers in this game.

The Wins:

Central Michigan Chippewas 1-3 (0-1) @ Michigan State Spartans 3-1 (0-0)
Final Score:
MSU - 45 CMU - 7

Michigan State took a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the game and never looked back. Lavion Bell had three rushing TDs in the first half and both Kirk Cousins and Andrew Maxwell threw TD passes in the second half.

MSU Player of the Game: Lavion Bell ran for 81 yards and 3 TDs on just 8 carries.

San Diego State Aztecs 3-1 (0-0) @ Michigan Wolverines 4-0 (0-0)
Final Score: Michigan - 28 SDSU - 7

Surprise surprise, Michigan's offense is still Denard Robinson run left, Denard Robinson run right, Denard Robinson run up the middle. Robinson ran for 200 yards and 3 TDs, but threw for only 93 and had 2 INTs. Robinson looks great against your MACrifices and FCS teams of the world, but if Michigan doesn't figure out how to throw the ball consistently it's gonna be another long season in Ann Arbor. Michigan's defense gave up 376 yards, but three lost fumbles by the Aztecs inside Michigan's 40 kept the game from being any closer than it was.

Michigan Player of the Game: I think the only player more important to his team in football than Denard Robinson is Peyton Manning. So for better or worse, Robinson gets player of the game again for his 200 rushing yards and 3 TDs, but not for his 93 passing yards and 2 INTs.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 1-3 (0-0) @ Iowa Hawkeyes 3-1 (0-0)
Final Score:
Iowa - 45 LA-Monroe - 17

Everything the Hawkeyes tried on offense worked on Saturday as they rolled up 453 yards and 45 points. The Warhawks didn't know who to cover as James Vandenberg found 8 different receivers, and Marcus Coker ran for 113 yards. This was an encouraging game for Iowa, as they struggled against Pitt and lost to Iowa State.

Iowa Players of the Game: This one is hard to pick. Marvin McNutt and Coker both posted 100+ yard, 2 TD games and Vandenberg threw for 3 TDs and ran for a 4th TD. So I guess they can share.

Colorado Buffaloes 1-3 (0-1) @ Ohio State Buckeyes 3-1 (0-0)
Final Score:
Ohio State - 37 Colorado - 17

The Braxton Miller era has begun at Ohio State, as he logged his first ever start on Saturday. His numbers were surprisingly even, though not exactly impressive. He passed for 83 yards on 5 completions, and ran for 83 yards on 17 carries. For the second straight week, Ohio State completed fewer than 50% of their passes, and that's even with Bauserman going 2/2 in the game. The Buffaloes stink though, so it was enough for the victory.

OSU Player of the Game: WR Devin Smith (man OSU really does steal everything from PSU) had 3 catches for 64 yards and 2 TDs.

South Dakota Coyotes 2-2 (0-0) @ Wisconsin Badgers 4-0
Final Score:
Wisconsin - 59 SD - 10

Take note Minnesota, that's how you play a FCS team from the Dakotas. Russell Wilson just continues to impress as Wisconsin's QB, completing passes to 7 WRs for 345 yards and 3 TDs. WRs Nick Toon and Justin Abbrederis each had 100+ yards receiving and FIVE different players had rushing TDs for Wisconsin. Wow.

Wisconsin Players of the Game: Nick Toon had 155 yards receiving and 2 TDs, Justin Abbrederis had 101 yards receiving and 1 TD.

Western Michigan Broncos 2-2 (1-0) @ Illinois Fighting Illini 4-0 (0-0)
Final Score:
Illinois - 23 WMU - 20

Such is the essence of Ron Zook. A week after squeaking by a ranked Arizona State team 17-14, Illinois had a MAC team standing in-between them and their first 4-0 record since the 1950's. Should be an easy win right? WRONG says Zook. Western Michigan tied the game at 20 early in the fourth quarter, but surrendered a FG on the ensuing drive with 8 minutes left to play and couldn't mount much of a drive on either of their final two possessions. So Illinois hung on for the win and may be Wisconsin's biggest threat in the Leaders division.

Illinois Player of the Game: Kicker Derek Dimke was 3/3 on the day in FG tries and 2/2 on XPs. He was the difference in the game.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 4-0 (0-0) @ Wyoming Cowboys 3-1 (0-0)
Final Score:
Nebraska - 38 Wyoming - 14

Nebraksa's defense finally showed up this year... sorta. The 14 points allowed is certainly an improvement over the past two weeks, but the D still surrendered 305 yards of offense to Wyoming. Rex Burkhead stole the show Saturday night though. He rushed for 170 yards and 2 TDs while Taylor Martinez passed for 157 yards and a TD, and ran for 37 and a TD. The two of them in the backfield is a dangerous combination.

Nebraska Player of the Game: Rex Burkhead averaged 11.3 yards per carry in his dominating performance on Saturday.