What an improvement from last week for the Big Ten conference! A 12-1 record, including blowouts and a win over a ranked team. The only blemish on the record, sadly, was that of the Michigan Wolverines. Here are the scores and notes from Week 4.
Iowa (3-1) 24, Pittsburgh (3-1) 20
Down 10 at the half, the Hawkeyes were able to rally in the fourth quarter with a touchdown with only 6:56 remaining. C.J. Beathard replaced Iowa starting quarterback Jake Rudock in the third quarter. It seemed to be the spark they needed to defeat the 3-0 Panthers.
#11 Michigan State (2-1) 73, Eastern Michigan (1-3) 14
The Spartans scored on their first five possessions and racked up almost 500 yards of offense. Only one word comes to mind: massacre.
Purdue (2-2) 35, S. Illinois (3-1) 13
Purdue jumped out to a 17-0 lead after two turnovers by Southern Illinois. Danny Etling, Purdue’s quarterback, threw a couple of touchdown passes in the first quarter and had another overall solid performance. He finished 15 of 26 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
Northwestern (1-2) 24, W. Illinois (2-2) 7
Northwestern finally broke its six game home losing streak with a win against Western Illinois. They were led by freshmen running backs Solomon Vault and Justin Jackson, who combined for 166 yards rushing. They were able to overcome having fewer yards than WIU (283-376) by forcing turnovers.
#19 Wisconsin (2-1) 68, Bowling Green (2-2) 17
Wisconsin ran all over the Falcons for a Big Ten record 644 yards in this blowout. Badgers running back Melvin Gordon had 253 yards and five touchdowns. After the Falcons beat Indiana last week, Wisconsin used its bye week to prepare; it was not going to be another Big Ten letdown.
Maryland (3-1) 34, Syracuse (2-1) 20
For the second straight week Maryland cornerback William Likely has found the end zone. This time on a 68-yard pick-six in the first half to put his team up 31-13. The Terps’ quarterback, C.J. Brown, threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
Rutgers (3-1) 31, Navy (2-2) 24
The Navy offense came into this game averaging over 400 yards a game rushing, but Rutgers’ defense held them to 171 yards on the ground. In turn it was the Scarlet Knights’ rushing attack that would help them get the win. Rutgers starting running back Paul James was injured in the second quarter after gaining 96 yards and a touchdown. He was replaced by Justin Goodwin, who would have 104 yards on the day and a touchdown. The Midshipmen drove down to the six-yard line in the final minute of the game, down by 7. Rutgers’ defense held strong and shut down the high-powered Navy runners.
Penn State (4-0) 48, Massachusetts (0-4) 7
Another Big Ten blowout on Saturday. Penn State touchdown, Penn State touchdown was the theme of the game. Both running backs Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak ran for two touchdowns as the Nittany Lions stayed unbeaten.
Minnesota (3-1) 24, San Jose St (1-2) 7
Minnesota was able to force five turnovers on defense and that is hard to overcome. Backup Gopher quarterback Chris Streveler ran for 161 yards and a score. He did not even complete a pass until the final quarter but with the running game being successful, it was not a problem. Minnesota running back David Cobb rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns.
Indiana (2-1) 31, #18 Missouri (3-1) 27
Here was the Big Ten game of the day. I didn’t give Indiana a chance in this one after losing to Bowling Green last week but they walked away with a big upset. Hoosier running back D’Angelo Roberts scored a three-yard touchdown with 22 seconds in the game to win. Indiana almost hit the 500-yard mark on offense behind quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 252 yards and a touchdown.
Illinois (3-1) 42, Texas St (1-2) 35
This was not a “gimme” game for Illinois, but rather a big scare. Texas St had a 21-6 lead in the second quarter and looked like they would take the game. Illinois scored 17 fourth quarter points, capitalizing on a couple of mistakes by their opponent, one being a roughing the kicker penalty, giving Illinois a first down, then scoring four plays later. Then with three minutes to go the Texas St quarterback threw an interception that cornerback V’Angelo Bentley run back for a touchdown. Illinois now had a comfortable lead 42-28. Illini quarterback Wes Lunt threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns.
#24 Nebraska (4-0) 41, Miami (FL) (2-2) 31
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah had a great performance in front of a prime time Saturday night audience. He punished the Hurricane defense for 229 yards and two touchdowns. This was a great battle on the field, back and forth all night. Miami committed five personal fouls in the second half that never saw them get any closer than three points. Nebraska was celebrating its 20th anniversary of the 1994 national championship team which the victory over Miami just made the night even better.
Utah (3-0) 26, Michigan (2-2) 10
In a game where the Michigan defense held high-powered Utah to 26 points, it was sad to see that the offense did not do its part. The defense actually out-scored the offense 7-3 thanks to defensive tackle Willie Henry Jr and his seven-yard interception run back to the end zone. Quarterback Devin Gardner failed to get his team in the red zone and committed two interceptions. If you look at the numbers, the Wolverines should have been in the lead. They had more first downs, more total yards, and longer possession of the ball. The stat that hurts the most is the four turnovers. Utah quarterback Travis Wilson was knocked out of the game in the first half but was able to come back in the second. He then led his team on three scoring drives to get a road win in The Big House.
Chad Finley is a weekly contributor for TheBigHouseReport.com Follow him on Twitter @finfive1. For all things Michigan go to our website, Twitter page @TBHR and like us on FaceBook