Big Ten Football Wrap-Up: Week 12

Michael Alan Smith

 

After 11 games the Spartans still stand in first place.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.
After 11 games the Spartans still stand in first place. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

(9) Ohio St (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) @ (20) Iowa (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten)

 

(9)Ohio St 20Â (20)Iowa 17

This game had BCS and Big Ten implications tied to it all over the place. But, unfortunately for them, the Hawkeye’s just couldn’t seem to wake up from their late-game recurring nightmare this season. Ferentz’s 2010 defense seemingly can’t hold when it’s needed most; and down late, with the game on the line, the Hawkeye’s complete with their floundering two-minute drill offense, just couldn’t put together a game clinching drive to save their respectable bowl going--lives. The result-- a disappointing 7-4 season where they just a few weeks ago had Rose Bowl and BCS Bowl aspirations. Tressel’s Buckeye’s however are now firmly back on track after a brutal Wisconsin loss week’s ago, passing a huge test on the road in Iowa City and likely placing themselves in good position for a possible at-large BCS Bowl birth. Late in the fourth quarter Ohio State QB Tyrelle Pryor took a snap on a 4th and 10 at midfield, down 17-13, it appeared to be the Buckeye’s last gasp for a win. His Buckeye receivers were blanketed with coverage, but the fleet-footed Pryor saw a rushing lane for himself and rambled 14 yards, down to the Hawkeye 36 yardline, setting his Ohio State squad up for for a new series of downs which eventually led to the game winning TD. Pryor gave a gutsy performance and threw for 195 yards on 18 of 33 passing but did throw two picks to go with his one TD. The bigger story, as with the 4th and 10 spoken of above, was the 78 total rushing yards he accumulated throughout the game, leading the Buckeye’s in rushing yards. The receiving corp for the Buckeyes was led by Dane Sanzenbacher’s 102 yard, six reception performance. On the day, the Buckeye’s offense outgained the Hawkeye’s 353 to 276 yards, with the two both passing for 195 yards each. The Hawkeye’s paltry 81 total rushing yards against the stout Buckeye offense just wasn’t enough for the upset. Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi’s 195 yard, 20 of 31 passing day was enough to keep the Hawkeye’s in the contest, but just shy of pulling off the win as they floundered away a full set of downs on their final drive without seeing pay-dirt. A bit of controversy arose late in the game when Hawkeye RB Adam Robinson was seemingly interfered with on a reception attempt when struck from behind in what certainly looked like a helmet to helmet collision. No call was made however and Adam Robinson was left motionless for a good spell on the turf. Robinson it’s being speculated, suffered a concussion, which may keep him out of action this weekend as well (Ferentz post game). Tough break perhaps for Ferentz and his reeling Iowa squad, but one thing is certain, where Iowa seemed to possess an uncanny ability to pull out miraculous wins in the fourth quarter last season with seeming regularity—that ability has long since left this team. And it’s left them at a very disappointing 7-4.

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER    OSU       IOWA

               TD          01:05    Marvin McNutt 19 Yd Pass From Ricky Stanzi (Michael Meyer Kick)         0             7

SECOND QUARTER              OSU       IOWA

               FG          11:34    Devin Barclay 18 Yd            3             7

THIRD QUARTER  OSU       IOWA

               TD          08:36    Reid Fragel 5 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Devin Barclay Kick) 10          7

               FG          03:26    Michael Meyer 31 Yd         10          10

FOURTH QUARTER              OSU       IOWA

               TD          11:53    Marcus Coker 1 Yd Run (Michael Meyer Kick)              10          17

               FG          07:38    Devin Barclay 48 Yd            13          17

               TD          01:47    Dan Herron 1 Yd Run (Devin Barclay Kick)     20          17

 

 

Illinois (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) Northwestern (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten)

 

Illinois 48Â Northwestern 27

The “Wall of Death” at Wrigley Fields’ make-shift football venue collected no victims on Saturday as Illinois piled on a Dan Persa-less Northwestern Wildcat squad. Amended rules were formatted specifically for the game when the outfield wall loomed ominously close to the back line of the East endzone (approx. one foot…eeek!). All offensive plays would be run only toward the West endzone, the ball continuously repositioned by referees to accommodate.  Thankfully, only once in the game was the grim wall tested when Wildcat Brian Peters took a pick six 59 yards and into the East endzone (into the mouth of the beast) in the first quarter. Peters walked away unscathed and put his Wildcat squad within seven points after two early Illini TD’s, at 14-7. Northwestern who lost their gamer QB for the season last weekend (ruptured Achilles) in their upset victory over the Hawkeyes in Evanston, were given little chance to pull this one out, even against a reeling Illinois team. But, even without their best player, in Persa, these Wildcats had no intention of simply lying down. When Wildcat Mike Trumpy rambled in for a two yard TD late in the second quarter it brought the score even at 24 all. But the massive spark and playmaking ability of Persa was sorely missed in the second half as a gassed Northwestern squad floundered on offense only mustering a single field goal from there on out. Back-up Wildcat QB Evan Watkins went 10 0f 20 for 135 yards and one interception in the game. A rough day no doubt, but compared to the Illini starting QB Nathan Scheelhaase, those numbers no longer appear so horrible. Scheelhaase threw for a remarkably anemic 40 yards, on 6 of 13 passing, including one interception to go with his one TD. The difference in the game was on the ground though as Scheelhaase scrambled for 97 rushing yards on 19 keepers. The story of the game besides the much feared Wall of Death, was Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure who completely ran away with this game. Leshoure finished with 330 yards rushing on 33 carries, including two TD’s. Leshoure provided far too much offensive production for the Persa-less opponent to effectively counter. Largely maintained by Leshoure’s legs, the time of possession was grossly disproportioned in the contest 41:16 to 18:44. And that stat proved more imposing than any fabled Wall of Death.

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER    ILL          NW

               TD          13:43    Mikel Leshoure 4 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)               7             0

               TD          10:06    Mikel Leshoure 1 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)               14          0

               TD          06:10    Brian Peters 59 Yd Interception Return (Stefan Demos Kick)     14          7

               TD          04:52    Jason Ford 5 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)        21          7

               TD          01:00    Mike Trumpy 80 Yd Run (Stefan Demos Kick)                21          14

SECOND QUARTER              ILL          NW

               FG          11:55    Derek Dimke 45 Yd             24          14

               FG          07:19    Stefan Demos 31 Yd           24          17

               TD          02:53    Mike Trumpy 2 Yd Run (Stefan Demos Kick)  24          24

               FG          00:00    Derek Dimke 39 Yd             27          24

THIRD QUARTER  ILL          NW

               TD          06:50    A.J. Jenkins 10 Yd Pass From Nathan Scheelhaase (Derek Dimke Kick)     34          24

FOURTH QUARTER              ILL          NW

               TD          09:49    Jason Ford 2 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)        41          24

               FG          07:43    Stefan Demos 25 Yd           41          27

               TD          00:36    Jason Ford 1 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)        48          27

 

 

(7) Wisconsin (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) @ Michigan (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten)

 

(7) Wisconsin 48 Michigan  28

With only one Saturday of games remaining on the Big Ten Conference’s regular season docket, Wisconsin likely has proved itself the purest of the conference’s “power” football teams. They’re big, tough, and are quite content to go smashmouth for four quarters, with some in-your-face old school formations coupled with solid defense. Michigan…quite the opposite. Michigan sacrifices power for speed and a spread option that’s far more “what’s Denard going to do,” than “in your face…try and stop it.” Rich Rodriguez’s offense can be dynamic at times, and they stuff the stat sheets with yards, though that doesn’t always translate into the most important stat of all…more points. Most notably too, while the Badgers pride themselves on sound defensive play, the Wolverines have lacked any semblance on one for the majority of the Rich Rod era. So it was an intriguing battle of opposing styles of play when Bret Bielema’s 7th ranked Badgers brought their game to Ann Arbor this weekend on the Wolverines Senior Day. Would Michigan’s speed run by the Badgers, or would the Badgers power simply run over the Wolverines? There could be little room for doubt by halftime when the Badgers had a 24-0 lead, stuffing the Wolverines and their fleet-of-foot, in their own house. By game’s end, two Badger running backs, even with their All American veteran out for the game, had more rushing yards than Denard Robinson. Running out of their Power sets, back-up RB’s James White and Montee Ball rushed for 181 (23 carries) and 173 (29) yards respectively. The Wisconsin rushing total-- against a once again hapless Wolverine defense--swelled to 357 yards, compared to a mere 168 yard rushing total for Michigan. Michigan who has largely prided itself on amassed total offensive yards this season, was actually beat at their own game as Wisconsin edged them out there too, 558 to 442 yards. Badger QB Scott Tolzien gave a nearly masterful performance throwing 14 of 15 for 201 yards, but did have an interception clouding a near perfect day. Michigan QB Denard Robinson was 16 for 25 for 239 yards with two TD’s and one interception of his own. Two Michigan receivers in Darryl Stonum and Roy Roundtree, did have very good days however with 99 yard (4 rec) and 114 yard (7 rec) performances, respectively. But the fleet-footed quick strike offense of Rich Rodriguez’s was once again on the wrong side of the time of possession statistic, with Wisconsin in control 36:59 to Michigan’s 23:01. So at the end of the day, the “fun to watch” quick strike offense coupled with a rather terrible defense wound up embarrassed on Senior Day before its home crowd. For now at least, the Power game is still King in the Big Ten Conference. And yes, apparently no matter how fun it may be to watch-- even on a day that Michigan’s Denard Robinson set a new FBS record for QB rushing yards in a season--you still have to have a respectable defense to play with the big boys.

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER    WIS        MICH

               TD          03:15    Montee Ball 1 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)      7             0

SECOND QUARTER              WIS        MICH

               FG          08:07    Philip Welch 25 Yd             10          0

               TD          03:50    Montee Ball 27 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)    17          0

               TD          01:51    James White 61 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)   24          0

THIRD QUARTER  WIS        MICH

               TD          11:03    Darryl Stonum 24 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Brendan Gibbons Kick)            24          7

               TD          09:23    Denard Robinson 4 Yd Run (Brendan Gibbons Kick)    24          14

               TD          05:31    James White 23 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)   31          14

               TD          03:12    Denard Robinson 11 Yd Run (Brendan Gibbons Kick)  31          21

FOURTH QUARTER              WIS        MICH

               TD          14:58    Montee Ball 3 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)      38          21

               FG          09:04    Philip Welch 40 Yd             41          21

               TD          06:07    Roy Roundtree 28 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Brendan Gibbons Kick)           41          28

               TD          02:41    Montee Ball 4 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)      48          28

 

 

 

Penn St (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) @ Indiana (4-7, 0-7 Big Ten)

 

Penn St 41 Indiana 24

Last week things got mighty ugly for the Hoosiers when their starting QB Ben Chappell went down with an injury while in Madison. This week Indiana had Chappell back, in limited action, and were playing in the Redskins digs in Landover Maryland, against a young and rebuilding Penn State team led by a third string former walk-on QB in Matt McGloin. Well, things got ugly for the Hoosiers again anyway, as they fell to 0-7 in the Big Ten on the season. McGloin threw for 315 yards on 22 of 31 passing, had two TD’s and zero picks against the Hoosier defense. Chappell who split minutes with back-up QB Edward Wright-Baker went for 235 yards on 22 of 41 passing with two TD’s and one interception, against a maturing Nittany Lion defense. For the Hoosiers, Tandon Doss was the big-time playmaker leading the team in both rushing and receiving yards, gaining 61 on five rushes and 90 yards on seven receptions.

Indiana hung in this contest for three quarters however, and showed a lot of grit by going tit-for-tat as late as 6:11 in the third quarter when a three yard Tandon Doss TD reception from Chappell and the ensuing PAT would bring the score to a 24-24 dead-heat. But, the Hoosiers offense was spent and JoePa’s team had three scores left, two TD’s and a field goal, before time expired, bringing the final margin into seeming blow-out territory.

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER    PSU        IND

               TD          06:55    Evan Royster 2 Yd Run (Collin Wagner Kick)  7             0

SECOND QUARTER              PSU        IND

               TD          14:56    Brett Brackett 3 Yd Pass From Matthew McGloin (Collin Wagner Kick)    14          0

               TD          10:48    Trea Burgess 4 Yd Run (Mitch Ewald Kick)      14          7

               FG          04:19    Collin Wagner 42 Yd           17          7

               TD          02:35    Terrance Turner 12 Yd Pass From Ben Chappell (Mitch Ewald Kick)         17          14

THIRD QUARTER  PSU        IND

               FG          11:27    Mitch Ewald 49 Yd              17          17

               TD          08:05    Derek Moye 21 Yd Pass From Matthew McGloin (Collin Wagner Kick)    24          17

               TD          06:11    Tandon Doss 3 Yd Pass From Ben Chappell (Mitch Ewald Kick)  24          24

               TD          01:40    James Van Fleet 21 Yd Return Of Blocked Punt (Collin Wagner Kick)       31          24

FOURTH QUARTER              PSU        IND

               FG          12:02    Collin Wagner 35 Yd           34          24

               TD          03:20    Silas Redd 1 Yd Run (Collin Wagner Kick)       41          24

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