If you missed any of the Big Ten football games this weekend, here is your week seven recap. There were only five games this past weekend since Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers and Maryland all had a bye week. Michigan State leads the East division while Minnesota and Iowa are tied for the a West division lead. Here are your scores and notable stats.
#8 Michigan State (5-1, 2-0) 45, Purdue (3-4, 1-2) 31
The Spartans’ offense was explosive again this week, accumulating over 500 yards of offense and five touchdowns. Quarterback Connor Cook passed for 238 yards and three of those touchdowns. Running back Jeremy Langford eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the third straight game but did not find the end zone this week. At the end of the third quarter the Spartans had a 38-17 lead but the defense started to break down just like in the Nebraska game. Purdue running back Akeem Hunt scored on a 52-yard run with 8:49 to play. Then after the Boilermakers ran a fake punt to extend a drive, and Hunt scored again on a three-yard run to pull within a touchdown. The Boilermakers’ offense has really improved with Austin Appleby taking over at quarterback. He went 24 of 37 for 211 yards with a touchdown and one critical interception. He was picked off by Michigan State’s Darien Harris, who took it 15 yards for the pick six, with 1:22 to play. Again the Spartans were able to hold off another fourth quarter rally by their opponent.
Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1) 38, Illinois (3-4, 0-3) 28
Illinois proved why it has the league’s worst rushing defense, giving up 401 yards rushing to the Badgers. Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had another spectacular day with 175 yards and four touchdowns. He passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season, making a case for himself being the best back in the nation. The other Badgers running back, Corey Clement, added 164 yards of his own. Although the Illini had a 14-7 lead at the end of the first, Wisconsin scored 31 unanswered points to lead 38-14 with 14:50 to play. The Illini did score two touchdowns in the fourth when backup quarterback Aaron Bailey came in the game. Bailey then threw an interception with two minutes left to play.
Iowa (5-1, 2-0) 45, Indiana (3-3, 0-2) 29
The Hawkeyes rolled to their third straight victory to give them a share of the lead in the Big Ten West. They came out firing, putting up 28 points in the first quarter and 10 in the second. Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman ran for 219 yards with scoring runs of 83, 69 and 45 yards. There was tons of good offensive plays in this one but it was the wrong game if you were looking for defense.
Minnesota (5-1,2-0) 24 Northwestern (3-3,2-1) 17
Coming off a big win against Michigan and a bye week, Minnesota kept things rolling and kept itself atop of the Big Ten West. I thought Minnesota would win but I did not expect running back David Cobb to be under 100 yards rushing. This game was a back-and-forth battle and came down to special teams in the final quarter. After a Northwestern touchdown to tie the game, Goldon Gophers kick returner Jalen Myrick ran back the kickoff 100 yards. It was the most exciting play of the game and would be the winning score for Minnesota.
Michigan (3-4, 1-2) 18, Penn State (4-2, 1-2) 13
Finally Michigan’s three-game losing streak is over! They proved why its defense is ranked ninth in the nation, shutting down the Nittany Lions’ offense. In a game that had over 20 recruits watching how the Wolverines would try to overcome all the negativity and having its best attendance of the season under the lights, Michigan would not disappoint. In the first quarter Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner found wide receiver Devin Funchess on a 43-yard touchdown strike. In the second quarter Gardner threw an interception and the Penn State offense scored its only touchdown on a 28-yard drive. The Wolverines’ kicker Matt Wile would add a 45-yard field goal and they went into halftime down 13-10. Then in the third, Gardner went out with a leg injury and left Michigan fans uncertain if he would return. My heart quit beating for a second when Wolverine quarterback Russell Bellomy entered the game as the backup because I remember how poorly he played a couple of years ago versus Nebraska. Luckily he only played a couple of series, then Gardner hobbled back onto the field to play the rest of the game. What a warrior.
The defense put on a clinic in the second half and Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was relentless with his attack on Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. He was held to only 160 yards passing and the offense only rushed for 54 yards total. Hackenberg’s interception in the third set up Michigan for the gmae-tying field goal. Then with 11:24 in the game Wile kicked another field goal to take the lead 16-13. The Wolverines’ defense continued to dominate and force Penn State back to its own goal line, forcing the Nittant Lions to take a safety on an attempted punt.
Gardner threw for 192 yards and a touchdown in the win. On the defensive side linebacker Jake Ryan had 10 tackles, three of which went for a loss, and a sack earning him Big Ten Co-Defensive player of the week. Kicker Matt Wile earned Big Ten Co-Special Teams player of the week with his field goals of 45, 42, and 37.
Chad Finley is a weekly contributor for Thebighousereport.com. Follow him on Twitter @finfive1.