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Spartan Nation Week Eleven Football Wrap Up

The Spartans remain atop the Big Ten as week twelve approaches.  Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

The Spartans remain atop the Big Ten as week twelve approaches. Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.



(13) Iowa (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) @ Northwestern (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten)


Northwestern 21   Iowa 17

With less than a minute and a half left in the game, the prodigious Northwestern QB dropped back to pass from the Hawkeye’s 20 yard line, down 17 to 14. Persa spotted receiver Demetrius Fields streaking to the endzone and threaded the needle perfectly into tight pass coverage for the touchdown. What turned out to be the winning play for the Wildcat’s over the 13th ranked Hawkeyes on Saturday in Evanston, also turned out to be a wrap on Persa’s fantastic 2010 season. As the team celebrated the touchdown, Persa fell to the turf grasping at his leg, and was later diagnosed with the much dreaded sports injury— a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Junior QB passed for an astounding 2,581 yards this season and 15 touchdowns and led his scrappy Wildcat’s to a 7-3 record and bowl eligibility.

Before suffering the injury late in the game, Persa threw for 318 yards on 32 of 43 passing including two TD’s and one interception. The mobile QB also posted 50 yards rushing, only one yard shy of the leading Wildcat rusher for the day, RB Mike Trumpy. Rushing for either team throughout the game wasn’t an overly effective proposition, both teams ending the day with 101 yards on the ground. The Wildcats outgained the Hawkeyes 419 to 371  total yards, with the Hawkeyes looking rather lethargic most of the contest. Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi threw for 270 yards on 23 for 41 yards passing which also included two TD’s and one interception. Stanzi’s pick came at an inopportune time in the fourth quarter when the Hawkeye’s were looking to ice the game by going up by ten points, they instead snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and their hopes for a Big Ten Championship took, perhaps, a fatal blow. Even big performances from Hawkeye’s Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (WR, 104 yards, 5 rec.) and Adam Robinson (RB, 108 yards, 22 carries) couldn’t deny an emotional Wildcat victory. On the ensuing final drive after the late fourth quarter Persa touchdown, in which the Hawkeyes needed to run their hurry-up offense efficiently, multiple dropped passes and in errant one’s, sealed the Hawkeye’s fate.

Iowa next faces a very good Buckeye team at home, and will seek to salvage a season that started with high hopes but has been momentarily derailed after their third loss this season. Northwestern, will face Illinois for their final home game of the season this week and will face a lot of uncertainty with an inexperienced QB on the field for its remaining two regular season games and a bowl appearance. Everyone at the Spartan Nation wishes Dan Persa a speedy recovery.

Scoring Summary


               TD          07:37    Dan Persa 2 Yd Run (Stefan Demos Kick)        0   7

SECOND QUARTER              IOWA    NW

               FG          00:24    Michael Meyer 32 Yd         3    7


               TD          09:59    Marvin McNutt 5 Yd Pass From Ricky Stanzi (Michael Meyer Kick) 10      7

               TD          06:01    Derrell Johnson-Koulianos 70 Yd Pass From Ricky Stanzi (Michael Meyer Kick) 17               7

FOURTH QUARTER              IOWA    NW

               TD          06:21    Jeremy Ebert 6 Yd Pass From Dan Persa (Stefan Demos Kick)    17          14

               TD          01:22    Demetrius Fields 20 Yd Pass From Dan Persa (Stefan Demos Kick) 17      21



Indiana (4-6, 0-6 Big Ten) @ (7) Wisconsin (9-1, 5-1 Big Ten)


Wisconsin 83Â Indiana 20

Maybe it was somehow spurred by the outrageous scoring numbers from last weekend’s Michigan-Illinois game in Ann Arbor; maybe Indiana’s defense just didn’t much feel like competing. Whatever it was, one thing is sure, the offensive stars aligned for Wisconsin on Saturday as they ripped through the Hoosier defense like a ticked-off badger through a screen door. By game’s end Hoosier Head Coach Bill Lynch and his football squad was the recipient of a cataclysmic trouncing in Madison. To Lynch’s credit though, he would not entertain the thought or accusation of Bret Bielema’s team running up the score on them on purpose, despite the 83 point scoreboard decoration the Badgers hung.

Interestingly enough this one was still a contest in the second quarter when a Mitch Ewald 48 yard field goal tied the score up. That’s when it happened, Indiana’s high performance passer Ben Chappell was injured and Wisconsin unleashed offensive-Armageddon on the Hoosiers to the tune of 598 total offensive yards --260 passing and 338 on the ground, all this without Badger All-American RB John Clay, who missed a game for the first time in his career with a sprained ankle. RB’s Montee Ball and James White picked up the slack no problem however, rushing for 167 and 144 yards respectively. At QB for Indiana filling in for the ailing Chappell was Edward Wright-Baker who fumbled his first snap of the game and finished with only 63 yards on 8 of 14 passing. The pesky Badger defense hounded him all afternoon, and the Scott Tolzien led offense was relentless all day. All in all it was a day Indiana would soon like to forget and one that certainly couldn’t hurt the Badgers BCS ranking… or their own ego’s.

Scoring Summary


               TD          11:14    Montee Ball 1 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)      0             7

               TD          09:44    Tandon Doss 2 Yd Pass From Ben Chappell (Mitch Ewald Kick)  7             7

               FG          03:32    Philip Welch 32 Yd             7             10

SECOND QUARTER              IND         WIS

               FG          14:12    Mitch Ewald 48 Yd              10          10

               TD          09:27    Montee Ball 1 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)      10          17

               TD          05:01    James White 30 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)   10          24

               TD          02:20    Montee Ball 8 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)      10          31

               TD          00:21    Nick Toon 4 Yd Pass From Scott Tolzien (Philip Welch Kick)       10          38


               TD          13:38    Jake Byrne 2 Yd Pass From Scott Tolzien (Philip Welch Kick)      10          45

               TD          09:39    James White 2 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)     10          52

    ��          FG          06:37    Mitch Ewald 33 Yd              13          52

               TD          02:07    Lance Kendricks 11 Yd Pass From Scott Tolzien (Philip Welch Kick)   13          59

FOURTH QUARTER              IND         WIS

               FG          12:12    Philip Welch 41 Yd             13          62

               TD          11:19    Aaron Henry 37 Yd Interception Return (Philip Welch Kick)      13       69

               TD          07:26    Jared Abbrederis 74 Yd Pass From Jon Budmayr (Philip Welch Kick)     13          76

               TD          04:35    Duwyce Wilson 62 Yd Pass From Edward Wright-Baker (Mitch Ewald Kick)  20          76

               TD          01:57    Nate Tice 17 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick)         20          83       Â



Minnesota (2-9, 1-6 Big Ten) @ Illinois (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten)


Minnesota 38Â Illinois 34

Things were actually looking resoundingly positive for Ron Zook and the Illini just a few days ago. Then came the Michigan game a week ago, and things got, well, bizarre. The oft praised 2010 Illini defense just got hammered in Ann Arbor, but still the game was not lost until the third overtime-- tough loss sure, but a historic Big Ten day for offensive production on both sides nonetheless. A lot of people seemed willing to overlook the defensive debacle for the sake of an entertaining offensive display. This week however, the Fighting Illini bandwagon took a monumental tumble off a cliff when a one win Golden Gopher squad led by an interim Head Coach (Jeff Horton) came to Champaign and topped the home team in their own backyard, leaving everyone wondering what has happened to this unrecognizable Illinois squad. The Illini, who were widely considered one of the most improved teams in the Big Ten got dealt a losing conference record, and Gopher Interim coach Horton, got a Gatorade bath by game’s end. Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase had a rather anemic day one week after posting massive stats a week ago, giving a 172 yard performance on 10 of 21 passing, including two TD’s. Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure had another solid day rushing for 141 yards on his 18 carries. It simply proved not enough in the end however. Gopher QB Adam Weber threw for 225 yards on 20 of 36 passing which included two TD’s. Da’Jon McKnight led the Gophers in receiving yards with his 70 yard, five reception, one TD performance. It was DeLeon Eskridges rushing performance in the contest that proved to give Minnesota the victory boost however. Two straight fourth quarter TD jaunts by Eskridge brought the Gophers from a ten point fourth quarter deficit to the eventual four point win. The Final Gopher TD came with only 16 seconds remaining and proved to be the Illini knockout blow.

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Scoring Summary


               TD          08:12    A.J. Jenkins 28 Yd Pass From Nathan Scheelhaase (Derek Dimke Kick)                 0 7

SECOND QUARTER              MINN     ILL

               TD          11:26    DeLeon Eskridge 1 Yd Run (Eric Ellestad Kick)               7                                         7

               TD          05:23    Tiree Eure 14 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick)                                14              7

               FG          00:10    Eric Ellestad 45 Yd               17          7


               TD          09:40    Mikel Leshoure 14 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)             17                                      14

               TD          07:59    Spencer Harris 17 Yd Pass From Nathan Scheelhaase (Two-Point Conversion Failed)           17          20

               TD          04:50    Da'Jon McKnight 24 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick)                     24              20

FOURTH QUARTER              MINN     ILL

               TD          10:44    Jason Ford 4 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)        24          27

               TD          08:14    Mikel Leshoure 55 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)             24                                      34

               TD          07:55    DeLeon Eskridge 4 Yd Run (Eric Ellestad Kick)               31                                      34

               TD          00:16    DeLeon Eskridge 2 Yd Run (Eric Ellestad Kick)               38                                      34



Michigan (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) @ Purdue (4-6, 2-4 Big Ten)


Michigan 27Â Purdue 16

There wasn’t really anything pretty about this contest. Purdue and Michigan both turned the ball over five times, but the Wolverines did just about enough to best the struggling Boilermakers in West Lafayette. Pretty? No, but no doubt Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez was happy enough to take the “W” and be on his merry way back to Ann Arbor. Michigan QB Denard Robinson himself caused four turnovers, fumbling twice and throwing two picks. Robinson passed for 176 yards and was held to a far less than typical 68 yards on 22 carries; a considerable feat for the struggling Boilermaker defense considering Robinson leads the nation in rushing yards. Purdue’s standout defensive end Ryan Kerrigan was a thorn in the side of the Wolverine offense all day, collecting four sacks, forcing two fumbles, and making five tackles for loss—ten total. Kerrigan has now set a Big Ten record for career fumbles forced with 14. Despite his heroic performance however, the Wolverine offense proved too adept for the Boilermakers with their 395 total yards, 193 passing and 202 rushing. UM’s Roy Roundtree led all receivers with 69 yards on six receptions. Interestingly it was running back Vincent Smith that led a Michigan rushing attack, one that’s usually dominated statistically by Denard Robinson. Smith had 99 yards on 18 carries. For the Boilermaker’s, Rob Henry took turns rotating between RB and QB, finishing the day with 75 yards on 12 carries. Purdue back-up QB Sean Robinson pulled the lion-share of the QB work on the day with his ho-hum 12 of 23 passing for 78 yards. Sean Robinson a freshman, had no TD’s and two interceptions as the Boilermaker offense continued to struggle mightily as it has for much of the season. Michigan’s struggling defense however, held the line sufficiently enough to allow its own offense to room to work, and despite all the sloppy play, Michigan never trailed in this contest. However, with a Carson Wiggs 46 yard field goal the UM lead was chiseled to only one, at 14-13, late in the second quarter. An early third quarter TD by Vincent Smith on a 19 yard run put the Wolverines ahead for good though. UM Coach Rich Rodriguez is having his most successful season in Ann Arbor at 3-3 in conference. Next up however, is two conference leaders in Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Scoring Summary


               TD          09:43    Cameron Gordon 58 Yd Fumble Return (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)                          7 0

               TD          04:53    Roy Roundtree 9 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)         14              0

               FG          00:37    Carson Wiggs 20 Yd            14          3

SECOND QUARTER              MICH     PUR

               TD          08:29    Ricardo Allen 94 Yd Interception Return (Carson Wiggs Kick)                               14              10

               FG          04:44    Carson Wiggs 46 Yd            14          13


               TD          13:37    Vincent Smith 19 Yd Run (Pat Failed)              20          13

               FG          09:38    Carson Wiggs 40 Yd            20          16

FOURTH QUARTER              MICH     PUR

               TD          01:58    Stephen Hopkins 3 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick) 27   16



Penn St (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) @ (9) Ohio St (9-1, 5-1 Big Ten)


Ohio St 38Â Penn State 14

Joe Paterno started former walk-on QB Matt McGloin due to his demonstrable grit in games recently. The Nittany Lions gave a scrappy performance against the Buckeyes in hostile territory for two solid quarters of play on Saturday. The almost perpetually boisterous and massive Horseshoe crowd was quieted for much of the first half as Penn State jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead. McGloin threw the first TD of the game to Nittany Lion Justin Brown, a 23 yard score. The second came in the second quarter on a six yard toss to Derek Moye. The game ultimately was a tale of two halves however, and the second half belonged exclusively to the home team Buckeye’s. McGloin threw two pick sixes and the Ohio State offense came alive as Dan Herron, Dane Sanzenbacker and Jake Stoneburner all chimed in for scores of their own. McGloin finished with 159 yards on 15 of 30 passing, two TD’s and two costly interceptions. Surprisingly Buckeye QB Terrell Pryor only threw for 139 yards on 8 of 13 passing as the Penn State defense displayed a considerable amount of pluck throughout the contest. The real tipping point came in the form of a Buckeye ground attack as Dan Herron rambled for 190 yards on 21 carries. The interception returns combined with the methodical rushing attack (314 yards in total) proved too much for Paterno’s crew to overcome. The Nittany Lions are a very young squad, and they appear to be getting better… even when they lose.

Scoring Summary


               FG          11:36    Devin Barclay 26 Yd            0             3

               TD          04:10    Justin Brown 23 Yd Pass From Matthew McGloin (Collin Wagner Kick)                7 3

SECOND QUARTER              PSU        OSU

               TD          11:23    Derek Moye 6 Yd Pass From Matthew McGloin (Collin Wagner Kick)                   14              3


               TD          06:33    Dan Herron 5 Yd Run (Devin Barclay Kick)     14          10

               TD          04:29    Devon Torrence 34 Yd Interception Return (Devin Barclay Kick)                          14              17

FOURTH QUARTER              PSU        OSU

               TD          09:58    Dane Sanzenbacher 58 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Devin Barclay Kick)           14              24

               TD          08:57    Travis Howard 30 Yd Interception Return (Devin Barclay Kick)                              14              31

               TD          03:59    Jake Stoneburner 3 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Devin Barclay Kick)                 14              38