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Buckeyes Buckeye Archive Big Ten Recap - Week 8
Written by Dan Wismar

Dan Wismar

Neb NW2012aAs most conference teams reach the halfway point in Big Ten action, the contenders are beginning to separate from the pretenders, and Week 8 went a long way toward sorting that out. This coming weekend features two matchups of teams with the best records in their respective divisions, one of which could determine a Big Ten championship game participant, the other...not so much.

Michigan travels to Nebraska to determine who will be the Legends Division favorite going into November, while in Happy Valley, Ohio State and Penn State match unbeaten conference marks, with not much more than bragging rights and momentum for 2013 on the line. But this is a recap, not a preview, so to the games we go...



Ohio State 29 - Purdue 22  OT
OSU Purdue2012cFor 59 minutes and 57 seconds it really did look like Urban Meyer’s unbeaten streak at Ohio State would end at the hands of the lowly Purdue Boilermakers. But backup QB Kenny Guiton came off the bench and rallied the Buckeyes to an improbable win with a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to tie the game with three ticks remaining on the game clock. At that point, almost no one doubted that OSU would prevail in overtime, and they didn’t disappoint the somewhat depleted Ohio Stadium crowd in the extra period. The game’s big story was the injury to Braxton Miller, who was slammed to the turf and suffered what Meyer described Monday as a “whiplash” type injury to his neck. He was taken by ambulance from the field and hospitalized, but was released Saturday night, sore but otherwise not seriously hurt. The Buckeyes reached 8-0 and 4-0 in Big Ten play, while Purdue slipped to 3-4, and 0-3 in conference action. TCF game story -  Box Score and Stats


Wisconsin 38 - Minnesota 13
Wisc Minn2012aMinnesota (3-4, 0-3)  hung around for the first half, down just 14-6 at the break, but the 1-2 punch of Montee Ball (166 yds) and James White (175 yds) at running back for the Badgers was too much for the Gophers, and Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) pulled away with two TD’s in each of the final two quarters to win 38-13. Minnesota coach Jerry Kill started true freshman quarterback Philip Nelson, and moved Marqueis Gray to wide receiver. Nelson performed admirably, going 13 of 24 for 149 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions, and besides, the Gophers biggest problem is a porous defense. Badgers quarterback Joel Stave (7 of 15, 106 yds, 0 TD) was not spectacular, but he didn’t need to be with the running game clicking. Ball extended his own Big Ten career touchdown mark to 74 with two TD’s, as he closes in on the NCAA record of 78 by Miami University’s Travis Prentice. Box`Score and Stats


Nebraska 29 - Northwestern 28
Neb NW2012cGive Big Ten Player of the Week Taylor Martinez credit for bringing his Nebraska Cornhuskers back from a two touchdown 4th quarter deficit to win a big game with major Legends implications, but let’s face it...Northwestern blew a game they should have won. The Wildcats scored with just over eight minutes to go in the game to take a 28-16 lead, but they left the door open for Martinez and the Huskers by dropping two potential interceptions on Nebraska’s next possession, either one of which would have made a Cornhusker comeback highly unlikely.  Instead, Martinez (27 of 39, 342 yds, 3 TD) led two late TD drives, including the game-winner with 2:08 remaining, and Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) watched their Legends Division prospects dwindle to a faint hope. Nebraska (5-2, 2-1) now pins its hopes for a division title on this week’s home game against Michigan. They trail the Wolverines by one game in the Legends. The Huskers lead the Big Ten in rushing, scoring and total offense. Box Score and Stats


Michigan 12 - Michigan State 10
UM MSU2012aThe Wolverines broke a 4-game losing streak to the Spartans when Brendan Gibbons kicked his fourth field goal of the game with five seconds remaining. The Spartans had taken the lead 10-9 after MSU coach Mark Dantonio proved once again that he has the guts of a cat burglar, by pulling off a fake punt on 4th and 9  from his own 23-yard line. But Michigan State wasn’t able to run out the clock after a stop of Michigan (5-2, 3-0), giving Denard Robinson one last chance to drive the Wolves to the winning field goal attempt., and the senior quarterback came through. Robinson was held to 17 yards rushing in the first half, but finished with 96 on the day, and passed for 163 yards on 14 of 29. MSU’s Le’Veon Bell was held to 68 rushing yards, about half of his season average. With the win, Michigan became the first college football program ever to reach 900 victories. With the loss, Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) is effectively out of the Legends Division race. Box Score and Stats


Penn State 38 - Iowa 14
PSU iowa2012aPenn State prepped for Saturday’s battle with unbeaten Ohio State with an impressive 38-14 road win over the Iowa Hawkeyes. Bill Belton scored three touchdowns while rushing for 103 yards, and Matt McGloin threw for 289 yards on 26 of 38 passing, as the Lions asserted themselves early, rolling to a 24-0 halftime lead. Penn State (5-2, 3-0) won in Iowa City for the first time since 1999, winning their fifth in a row after opening the season with two losses. The Nittany Lions stifled the Iowa offense, holding them to 20 yards rushing for the day, and just 209 total yards. They allowed two 4th quarter touchdowns to the Hawkeyes long after the issue had been decided.  James Vandenberg passed for 189 yards for Iowa (4-3, 2-1), but the Hawkeyes were just 2 of 12 on 3rd downs. It was the first conference loss for Iowa, and they avoid OSU and Wisconsin from the Leaders, but dates with Nebraska and Michigan await. Box Score and Stats


Navy 31 - Indiana 30
Indiana Navy1Leave it to the Hoosiers to give Ohio State all they can handle one week, and then come back and lose to a service academy the next. Navy beat a Big Ten team for the first time since 1979 by staging a 4th quarter comeback behind a freshman quarterback to top Indiana 31-30 in Annapolis. IU quarterback Cameron Coffman was 25 of 37 passing for 244 yards, but he threw two crucial interceptions, one for a touchdown, and the other to snuff out the Hoosiers’ last chance possession in the 4th quarter. Indiana held a 30-21 lead with six minutes to play, but allowed the Midshipmen to score the game’s final ten points, the winning TD coming with 2:02 to play. Cleveland’s Shane Wynn had 7 catches for 76 yards for Indiana (2-5, 0-3).  Box Score and Stats


Illinois was idle


Big Ten Statistics

Big Ten Standings - Results


This Week’s Games (all Saturday, 10/27)

Iowa (4-3, 2-1) at Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) - 12:00 PM ET   -  TV: ESPN2

Indiana (2-5, 0-3) at Illinois (2-5, 0-3)  -  12:00 PM ET  -  TV: Big Ten Network

Purdue (3-4, 0-3) at Minnesota (4-3, 0-3)  -  3:30 PM ET  -  TV: Big Ten Network

Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) at Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1)  -  3:30 PM ET  -  TV: ABC / ESPN2

Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) at Penn State (5-2, 3-0)  -  5:30 PM ET  -  TV: ESPN

Michigan (5-2, 3-0) at Nebraska (5-2, 2-1)  -  8:00 PM ET  -  TV: ESPN2


Big Ten Player of the Week
(My selections, not the official B1G picks...though we occasionally agree)

Taylor Martinez - QB - Nebraska - (27 of 39, 342 yds, 3 TD, 65 yds rushing, 1 TD)

Honorable Mention

Brendan Gibbons - K - Michigan  
Matt McGloin - QB - Penn State
Kenny Guiton - QB - Ohio State
James White - RB - Wisconsin


Big Ten Play of the Week

No single play in this week’s action was more consequential than the two passes OSU’s Kenny Guiton threw with less than 10 seconds to play in Columbus on for the touchdown to Chris Fields, the other to Jeff Heuerman for the tying two-point conversion. But I’ve been ridiculously biased toward Ohio State plays in this space all season (so sue me), and I’m going another direction....

Down 9-7 on the road in a rivalry game in the 4th quarter, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio called for a fake punt on 4th and nine from his own 23-yard line...and Mike Sadler pulled it off with a 26-yard run to set up the go-ahead field goal for MSU. They couldn’t hold the lead as it turned out, but Dantonio’s call is my Play of the Week. You can see it in the highlight video here.


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