Associated Press Photo
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini fell for the eighth straight time on Saturday, coming up just short in a 20-17 home loss to Purdue. QB Nathan Scheelhaase accounted for 226 total yards (160 passing, 76 rushing) with one TD on the ground. No other offensive players had notable outings, as Illinois tallied 333 yards on the day and committed three turnovers (all fumbles). Akeem Spence logged nine tackles to lead the defense, but the unit failed to come up with a turnover and was credited with only five TFL and two sacks. Tim Beckman's first year in charge of the UI football team hasn't gone anywhere near according to plan, and the campaign will mercifully come to an end this Saturday when the Illini play at Northwestern.
INDIANA: Chase Coffman threw for 454 yards and two TDs, but his effort went for naught as the Hoosiers dropped a 45-22 decision at Penn State over the weekend. Coffman completed 33-of-59 passes with two interceptions, and 12 of his tosses went to WR Shane Wynn, who turned them into 108 yards. Duwyce Wilson tallied six grabs for 78 yards. The Indiana run game was nonexistent, accounting for only 24 net yards on 26 attempts. Meanwhile, the Lions piled up 546 total yards (151 rushing, 395 passing) and scored on all five trips to the red zone, four of which were TDs. DB Greg Heban led the IU defense with 10 tackles, nine being solo efforts, while DT Adam Replogle was credited with half of the team's eight TFL, including one of its three sacks. The 2012 season comes to an end for Indiana this Saturday as the team will take on in- state rival Purdue in the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket.
IOWA: The Hawkeyes took it on the chin this past Saturday, as they watched helplessly as the hometown Michigan Wolverines broke open a close game after the first quarter and cruised to a 42-17 victory. The loss was Iowa's fifth straight, and it snapped a three-game win streak for the Hawkeyes over the Maize and Blue. QB James Vandenberg completed 19-of-26 passes for 181 yards and two TDs, hitting CJ Fierdorowicz eight times for 99 yards. The run game generated 128 yards, with Mark Weisman picking up 63 yards on 16 carries. The UI offense was torched for 313 passing yards, 513 total, and the unit's top tacklers were CB Micah Hyde and LB Christian Kirksey with eight stops apiece. Hyde also had an interception, but that was pretty much it for impact plays as the Hawkeyes failed to register a TFL or come up with any other turnovers. There will be no bowl game for Iowa this year, as the team closes the 2012 campaign this Friday at home against Nebraska.
MICHIGAN: The Wolverines had their way in all facets of the game on Saturday, as they steamrolled the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes in a 42-17 final. QB Devin Gardner was responsible for six TDs (three passing, three rushing) -- the first UM quarterback to account for six TDs in a game since Steve Smith turned the trick back in 1983 -- and the junior threw for a career-high 314 yards. Denard Robinson saw action in the contest as well, but did so as both a RB (team-high 98 yards) and WR (two rec., 24 yards). WR Jeremy Gallon was the team's leading pass catcher with five grabs for 133 yards. When the dust had settled, Michigan has amassed 513 yards of total offense, 313 of which came in the first half, and the Wolverines moved the chains on 9-of-12 third-down opportunities. Defensively, the Maize and Blue allowed 309 total yards and got a dozen tackles from freshman LB James Ross III, nine of which were unassisted, and the team as a whole was credited with eight TFL, but only two sacks. The Hawkeyes did not turn the ball over. Michigan plays at hated rival Ohio State this Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
MICHIGAN STATE: Despite outgaining Northwestern, 419-303, the Spartans came out on the losing end of a 23-20 final in East Lansing over the weekend. It was Michigan State's first loss to the Wildcats since 2007, and was its second straight and fourth in the last five games this season. QB Andrew Maxwell completed just 22-of-46 passes, but did so for 297 yards and two TDs. He was picked off twice, the Spartans turning the ball over four times on the day. RB Le'Veon Bell rushed for 133 yards on 32 carries, and Keith Mumphery finished with six catches for 79 yards, while Dion Sims turned his six grabs into 102 yards. The MSU defense stood tall against the run (57 yards), and S Isaiah Lewis logged nine stops to pace the unit. Michigan State has lost five Big Ten bouts by a combined 13 points this season, and the team needs a win this Saturday at Minnesota to gain the requisite six victories to be eligible for a bowl game.
MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers failed to score in the first three quarters against Nebraska over the weekend, and wound up losing to the Cornhuskers, 38-14. Minnesota couldn't get anything going on offense, totaling just 177 yards while converting just one of its 13 third-down attempts. No UM player gained more than 26 yards on the ground, while QB Philip Nelson hit only 8- of-23 passes for 59 yards with two interceptions, and Max Shortell went just 2-of-5 for 31 yards. On defense, the Gophers surrendered 444 total yards, including 311 via the pass, but the unit did manage to pounce on a pair of fumbles while logging two sacks. LB Aaron Hill had one of the QB takedowns, and finished with a game-high 11 tackles while forcing a pair of fumbles. At 6-5, Minnesota is eligible for the postseason, but can improve its bowl prospects should it beat visiting Michigan State in the regular-season finale this Saturday.
NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers jumped out to a 38-0 lead against visiting Minnesota on Saturday, and cruised to victory as a result. The Gophers did score a couple of fourth-quarter TDs, but they finished with just 177 yards of total offense (87 rushing, 90 passing). Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez completed 21- of-29 passes for 308 yards and two TDs -- his third 300-yard passing game of the season. His favorite target was WR Kenny Bell, who finished with nine catches for 137 yards with two scores. RB Ameer Abdullah rushed for 79 yards in the game to push him past 1,000 for the season (1,021). Martinez is now NU's career passing leader (6,140 yards). LB Will Compton led the defense with 10 tackles, although all were assisted efforts, and DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste returned a third-quarter interception 48 yards for a TD. Nebraska can clinch the Legends Division title and spot in the Big Ten title tilt with a win this Friday at Iowa.
NORTHWESTERN: Behind a defense that forced four turnovers, logged three sacks and allowed just 122 rushing yards, the Wildcats survived a Big Ten brawl with Michigan State over the weekend, winning 23-20. It was Northwestern's first win over the Spartans since 2007, and was its eighth win of the season overall. In addition to the takeaways, the NU defense was credited with nine PBU and both Damien Proby (12) and Ibraheim Campbell (11) finished with double-digit tackles. From an offensive standpoint, QBs Trevor Siemian (13- of-23, 165 yards) and Kain Colter (13-of-20, 84 yards, one TD) took snaps, with Colter also serving as the team's leading rusher, although with a mere 28 yards on six totes as the team gained just 57 net yards on the ground. Dan Vitale paced the receiving corps with nine grabs for 110 yards, both career- highs. RB Venric Mark left the game in the first quarter with an upper body injury. The 'Cats close out the 2012 regular season this Saturday at home against in-state rival Illinois.
OHIO STATE: By virtue of their 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin on Saturday, the Buckeyes won the Leaders Division title. Of course, they are ineligible to play for the Big Ten title or participate in a bowl game, but the team's spirits are soaring as it continues to steam full speed ahead toward a perfect regular season. RB Carlos Hyde was the star of the OSU offense, rushing for 87 yards and two TDs, and it was a good thing too as QB Braxton Miller accounted for only 145 total yards (97 passing, 48 rushing). The Buckeyes allowed Wisconsin RB Montee Ball to amass 191 yards and score the 78th TD of his career (tying the NCAA's all-time record), but permitted just 154 passing yards while logging four sacks, all by DL John Simon. LB Ryan Shazier continued to make his case for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as he tallied 12 tackles, three for negative yardage, forced a fumble and broke up a pass. The Buckeyes, one of only two undefeated teams left in the FBS, put the wraps on Urban Meyer's first season this Saturday at against bitter rival Michigan.
PENN STATE: Matt McGloin threw for a career-high 395 yards and four TDs to power the Nittany Lions to a 45-22 win over visiting Indiana on Saturday afternoon. McGloin moved into sole possession of first place on Penn State's career passing TDs (45), single-season completions (251) and single-season passing yards (3,071) lists. WR Allen Robinson was the primary beneficiary of McGloin's exploits, hauling in 10 balls for a career-high 197 yards and three TDs. RB Zack Zwinak also had a big day, rumbling his way to 135 yards and a score on 29 carries. The PSU defense stood tall against the run (24 net yards), but allowed Indiana QB Chase Coffman to throw for 454 yards and two TDs. The Lions did come up with two picks and logged five sacks. LBs Gerald Hodges and Mike Hull tallied 12 and 11 tackles, respectively, with the former adding an interception, and the latter a sack. LB Michael Mauti was carted off the field in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. Ineligible to participate in the postseason, Penn State will close out the 2012 campaign this Saturday at home against Wisconsin.
PURDUE: The Boilermakers survived Saturday's road clash with Illinois, prevailing in a 20-17 final to notch their second straight win and come within one victory of gaining bowl eligibility. QB Robert Marve threw for 173 yards and a TD, while RBs Akeem Shavers and Ralph Bolden both came close to rushing for 100 yards, tallying 99 and 93, respectively. Shavers had a TD, while Bolden averaged a gaudy 13.3 ypc. Purdue won the game despite converting just 2-of-13 third-down opportunities and being penalized eight times for a loss of 80 yards. LB Landon Feichter led the PU defense with 10 tackles, the unit as a whole coming up with three fumble recoveries while being credited with three sacks. The Boilermakers go in search of their first three-game win streak since 2007 when they put the wraps on the regular season this Saturday at home against in-state rival Indiana in the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket.
WISCONSIN: Despite a record-tying day by RB Montee Ball, the Badgers fell at home in overtime to Ohio State on Saturday, 24-21. Despite the loss, Wisconsin will represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten Championship Game with a shot at going to the Rose Bowl, as both Ohio State and Penn State, the two teams at the top of the division, are ineligible for postseason play. Ball scored his 78th career TD in the second quarter against the Buckeyes, tying the all-time record held by Miami-Ohio's Travis Prentice. The Badgers finished with 206 rushing yards and 360 total for the game, with Ball accumulating 191 yards on 39 carries. QB Curt Phillips threw for 154 yards and a score, that going to Jacob Petersen who finished with six catches for 66 yards. Shelton Johnson and Ethan Armstrong logged 11 and 10 tackles, respectively, as the UW defense limited the Buckeyes to 236 yards of total offense, including a mere 97 passing. The Badgers came up with three sacks and allowed just 3-of-12 third-down attempts to be converted successfully. Wisconsin plays its final game of the regular season this Saturday at Penn State.