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Around the Big Ten, week 6, and keeping up with IU's nonference opponents.

Iowa 30, Michigan 28:  The #12 Hawkeyes (an absurdly high #3 on my ballot, of course) took advantage of 5 Michigan turnovers and remained undefeated.  Black Heart Gold Pants hasn't posted a recap yet, but here's SCM of Maize-n-Brew, not acknowledging that not turning the ball over is part of "outplaying" the other team:

How do we couch this? Well for one thing Michigan outplayed Iowa on Saturday night. An offensive line that was a glorified strainer last week turned their highly-touted D-line into a non-factor, we pounded the ball on the ground against a team that just doesn't give up rushing TDs to the tune of three of em and 200 yards on the ground (and that was without a lightning bolt big play in there too), we completely shut down Iowa's running game: 2.4 yards per carry, and the defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage throughout most of the night and came up with several huge stops, including a goal-line stand. And yet there's the 800 lb turnover beast that is sitting in the corner over there... five of those bad-boys, four completely unforced turnovers and one kinda-forced fumble proved to be just enough to hold Michigan back from knocking off the #12 team in the country on the road. Iowa did what you are supposed to do with gifts, they cashed them in, and it proved to be barely enough for Michigan to overcome.


Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 13: No one wants to admit that his team lost this week.  I guess being pimp-slapped 47-7 by a 1-3 team makes it easy for me, so I shouldn't judge.  Here's Bucky's Fifth Quarter:

If you had told me Wisconsin would hold the ball for 47 minutes Saturday and out-gain OSU 250-87 in passing yards and 118-97 in rushing yards while holding the Buckeyes to only one offensive touchdown, I would have told you Wisconsin would beat Ohio State easily. As it was, I expected Wisconsin to hang around in the Horseshoe and just barely get beat by the Buckeyes in a tough road contest, but I did not expect Wisconsin to dominate them in those statistical categories.

While Ohio State didn't gain many yards an offense, that isn't proof that Wisconsin "dominated" the game.  Ohio State scored touchdowns on two interception returns and a kick return.  OSU was comfortably ahead of Wisconsin in yards per pass play and yards per rush, so the main reason OSU's raw offensive numbers were so low is because the Buckeyes didn't have to use their offense.  In any event, WWAHT:

t's baaaaaaaaaaack. But did it ever really go anywhere? The definition of Tressellball has undergone numerous revisions throughout Jim Tressel's tenure in Columbus: first, it was strictly about having a ball-control offense. In 2002, the classic definition of Tresselball emerged: ball-control was still the be-all end-all, but excellent special teams and bend-but-don't break defense became the critical component in a system that prides itself on small margins-of-error.

Michigan State 24, Illinois 14:The Illini are struggling, and both the Hoosiers and the Illini will regard Saturday night's game as a potentional season-saver.  Hail to the Orange, documenting some gold old-fashioned quarterback chaos:

The Eddie McGee era lasted about 1 half, then a pick 6 put an exclamation mark on yet another half of offensive football that no one here in Champaign can justify. Early in the game, the offense was once again stalled out time and time again, while the defense gave up two quick touchdowns in the first quarter. Faced again an uphill battle, Zook decided to pull Eddie in favor of Juice, giving us further evidence that this season is getting to out of hand. It is also providing evidence that this team, unfortunately, is lacking in more than just quarterback play.

The Only Colors:

Saying that we "took care of business" is to resort to cliche, but here it works: a week after a season-saving win, our Spartans went on the road, grabbed control of the game immediately, and never let go. Our rush offense seemed to make major strides, the defensive line did a great job pressuring the quarterback (see: right), the secondary made a big play for the second game in a row and didn't allow Rejus Benn to drag the Illini back into the game, and the team as a whole looked superior in all ways.

Minnesota 35, Purdue 20:  Purdue led 10-0, but the increasingly mistake- and turnover-prone Boilers fell apart after that.  The Daily Gopher:

The first quarter caused some serious angst for Gopher fans (see open thread here). Purdue converted third downs all the way down the field and jumped to a 10-0 lead as the Gopher Mulligan Offense managed just 52 yards of offense, zero points and very shakey quarterback play from Adam Weber. But for the second consecutive week Purdue greatly regressed after their hot start, giving the ball away and the Gophers dominated the rest of the remaining three quarters in all phases of the game. After the 10-0 start the Gophers routed the Boilermakers to the tune of 10-35.

Hammer and Rails is depressed:

Year one of the Danny Hope Era is virtually in the books. Halfway through the season we are sitting at 1-5 and things seem to be getting worse every week. After the Oregon loss, there was a general consensus that we wouldn't go on another long slide like in previous years. This is not the same team that played at Oregon though. I think if we played them right now we'd lose by 50. I can accept mistakes. They were expected. I can accept growing pains. They were expected. What we have seen the last two weeks, however, is signs of a team just getting worse and worse. I am now convinced that the only way we can win a game is if we either have a perfect performance or play an opponent that is absolutely worse than us. We are physically, emotionally, and mentally incapable of overcoming the smallest of mistakes or adversity.

Still, Hope has a bitchin' mustache and a squarely set jaw, so he'll figure it out.  Bob Kravitz guaranteed as much.

Northwestern 16, Miami of Ohio 6: the Wildcats struggled a bit but defeated a rebuilding Miami team.  Sippin on Purple:

That being said, that was arguably the least interesting football game I've ever watched all the way through. Serious props to the Northwestern student community for having a halfway decent showing in the stands, despite hangovers and the fact that we were playing Miami (OH) and it was really cold. My friends and I got to the game about 15 minutes early, and we were really worried, because there wasn't anybody sitting more than four rows back, but it filled out nicely. (By the way, one of these days I'm due for a rant about how absurd it is that our games are at 11 AM. It's preposterous.)


The 1983 White Sox called. They want their slogan back. Northwestern's 16-6 win over Miami (OH) today was a thing of ugly. In the postgame remarks, Fitz was borderline defensive with WGN's Ted Albrecht when the color analyst asked him point blank what the issue was with the offense today. Fitz essentially said "take the win and move on".

Penn State 52, Eastern Illinois  3: Tony Romo isn't walking through that door!  Black Shoe Diaries:

This was the fourth and final installment of a highly criticized out of conference schedule and really the first time all year the team dominated from start to finish like we all were expecting. Clark made it look way too easy through the air -- a 12.3 yard average and 128.1 QB rating were both by far the highest numbers turned in this year- - although he had just 19 attempts, which qualifies as the season low.



Western Michigan 58, Toledo 26: the manic-depressive Bronco offense exploded for 534 yards and WMU won easily to imporve to 2-1 in the MAC.

Ohio 19, Akron 7: The poor Zips.  As IU fans know, Akron's starting QB, Chris Jacquemain, was suspended for the IU game and ultimately removed from the team.  The backup, Matt Rodgers, injured himself in the Ohio game and the Zips now are on their third string QB.

Tennessee State 20, Eastern Kentucky 17: The Colonels lost its first game since the IU game thanks to a late TD by TSU.