Purdue 26, Ohio State 18: Unquestionably, the story of the week in the conference, and perhaps in the nation, was 1-5 Purdue's upset of #7 Ohio State. Usually, upsets of this caliber involve something flukish happening, but from what I saw of the game and the highlights, Purdue pushed OSU around. Hammer and Rails says what many sports fans feel after wins like this:
This is why I write here. This is why I devote so much time to following my alma mater. I know I am one of those people that lets my team affect my day, good or bad, too much when they are playing. Today I was glad, because it made it a very good day. As Purdue fans, we rarely have these great moments. We are not blessed as one of the great teams of college football that takes a nine win season for granted. It had been almost six years since we had experienced a win even close to this one.
Lest you get all soft on Purdue, KatsTMill did devote an oddly high percentage of a later post making fun of a mediocre coach who nonetheless has owned Purdue. So they are what they are, but the Bucket game is going to be tough.
We Will Always Have Tempe assesses the worst loss of the Tressel era:
I'll be honest, I've always put a lot of stock in Tresselball. I think it is based on sound principles, but I've also always lamented the philosophy's incredibly small margin of error. Jim Tressel's remedy for this weakness is itself a little shaky: minimize offensive turnovers. If that doesn't work, we're basically screwed. If it does, solid defense and special teams should be enough to get you by.
Iowa 20, Wisconsin 10: Thanks to OSU's loss, Iowa, which won at Wisconsin, is the only undefeated team (conference record or otherwise) in the Big Ten. Black Heart Gold Pants cautions against Pasadena hotel reservations, for these reasons and more:
1. Five games remain: @Michigan State, Indiana, Northwestern, @Ohio State, and Minnesota. Each of those teams has beaten Iowa since 2006.
2. Iowa's next game is at Michigan State, and Iowa hasn't won in East Lansing since 1995. Granted, it probably doesn't matter too much to these players what happened in college football while they were in grade school, but history shows that East Lansing is where Hawkeye dreams go to die.
My mother used to accuse teams of being "too cute" at times, trying to do too much when they didn't need to. Bret Bielema could use a lecture from my mother after UW's heartbreaking 20-10 loss to Iowa Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. Holding a 10-3 lead (and the momentum) in the second quarter, UW took over at their own 26-yard line having just completed a 92-yard touchdown drive in which Scott Tolzien coverted 5-of-6 passing attempts for 67 yards. It appeared as if Tolzien had successfully rebounded from a shaky start at Ohio State last week, but in a shocking move, back-up quarterback Curt Phillips replaced Tolzien at quarterback and the UW offense went three-and-out for the first time all day.
Penn State 20, Minnesota 0: I was sure that Minnesota would play a snow game in October, but I expected it to be a home game. The Gophers offered little resistance to Penn State. Black Shoe Diaries:
It was a cold and wet day for mid October with several inches of snow on the ground from the day before. The homecoming crowd was subdued from the cold drizzle falling on their faces, but their hearts were warmed by a dominating performance by the Nittany Lions as Penn State turned in a rare shutout over the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The Penn State defense set the tone for the day on the opening series when Josh Hull intercepted an Adam Weber pass, giving the Lions excellent field position at the Minnesota 34 yard line. Though the offense sputtered and couldn't advance the ball, the Gophers were put on notice that every yard would have to be earned.
The Daily Gopher laments the O-line:
The bottom line is that Minnesota may have a top tier corps of wide receivers, average running backs, and an average college quarterback, but their offensive line cannot stop a formidable defensive front. Without blocking, an average running game and an average passer cannot (and will not) get the job done. A team with an offensive line dominated by the defensive front is relegated to trick plays and overwhelming expectations from their defense.
Michigan State 24, Northwestern 14: The Spartans continued their return from the brink and now are 3-1 in the conference with leader Iowa coming to town next weekend. The Only Colors:
For the first half, Northwestern looked like they were going to take the same route that Central Michigan used to beat MSU - an offensive attack almost exclusively based on 5-7 yard passes to roll down the field, and a solid run defense. For the first half this strategy worked, as the Spartans were shut out headed into the locker room, thanks to one hard-luck opening drive where Kirk Cousins was stopped on 4th and goal from the one-yard line, and several drives three and outs. After the half, Michigan State came out and did one thing they haven't done all season - win the turnover battle. A forced fumble by Chris L. Rucker and a muffed kickoff by Northwestern led to 14 Michigan State points, and that was the difference.
And all things told, our run defense looked superb. 2.8 yards per carry for MSU, and this coming from a unit who couldn't tackle anyone, let alone Big Ten running backs, less than a month ago. Adam Hahn has worked wonders since he replaced Marshall Thomas as a starting DT. Great work on the early goal line stand, and throughout the game - even as the clock started ticking down and things started going MSU's way - our run defense was stout. Unfortunately they were passing the ball pretty effortlessly in the second half, so that's a downside.
Michigan 63, Delaware State 6: Whatever. Maize n Brew:
727 yards of total offense. Yes, a Boeing's worth of yards in a single game. 442 of those yards were in the first half, which saw the teams enter the locker-rooms with the score standing at 49-3. What can you say? Delaware State was indeed awful. That said, it was really nice to see us just put the hammer down from the get go and put this one well out of reach.
Virginia 20, Maryland 9: I'm still not over last week's game, but after an 0-3 start, Virginia is playing pretty well. Not only have the Cavs won 3-0, but they are the only ACC team with an undefeated conference record.
Central Michigan 34, Western Michigan 23: The Broncos lost a crucial game to division foe CMU and probably are done with any serious bowl aspirations.
Buffalo 21, Akron 17: The Zips are toast, and haven't won since before the IU game.
Eastern Kentucky 31, Tennessee Martin 25: The Colonels seem well-positioned to win the conference after this win.