There were only five Big Ten games on the docket this weekend, as Iowa and Minnesota had byes. The scenario in which Indiana plays in the Rose Bowl appears to be slipping away, as Wisconsin appears to be getting back on their feet. Which, you know, is good for the future of higher education and civilization and stuff.
Ohio State 63, Nebraska 38
Corn Nation calls for some perspective from Husker fans, and for the team to step up:
Husker fans should be frustrated and disappointed by the state of Nebraska football at the halfway point of the 2012 season. Some will call for somebody to be held "accountable" for what has happened. That's the wrong attitude to take. Holding someone accountable means you are looking for someone to punish. Nebraska doesn't need to find someone to be held responsible for what happened last night, Nebraska needs someone to take responsibility to fix the problems that exist.
Land Grant Holy Land is chuffed, and is putting conference opponents on notice:
Overall, this was one of the funnest games I can ever remember watching. There were moments of great defense, explosive offense, and when OSU got rolling, they didn't stop until they had completely depantsed Nebraska. This team is starting to come together, and this was a glimpse of what they're capable of.
If I was the rest of the B1G, I'd be afraid. Very, very afraid.
Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14
Wisky has had its problems, which showed up in a first half that ended in a 7-7 tie. but Illinois was ultimately no threat to exploit those issues. Bucky's Fifth Quarter enjoys the win for what is, a way to position themselves into playing for the conference championship game.
...[B]eing in the drivers' seat in the Leaders Division is hardly something to write home about, but given the Badgers' collapse last week and their shaky start on Saturday, it sure is a nice change of scenery. The Illinois Fighting Illini kept things surprisingly interesting for most of the game, but UW's offense sparked to life in the 4th quarter
Michigan 44, Purdue 13
Maize and Brew celebrates a big win, one they had thought beforehand to probably be a closely-contested game. However, when the defense and the offense both showed up in the same game, the Wolverines looked pretty formidable.
Denard ran 24 times for 235 yards (a long of 59) en route to yet another virtuoso performance from Denard on the ground.... Michigan's passing game was pared down like a Hemingway sentence. Denard was 8/16 on the day, good for 105 yards and a touchdown. Michigan didn't need to do much through the air, but when it did, Denard was effective.
Hammer and Rails is very frustrated about the Boilermakers simply playing an all-around terrible game when the bright lights were on the Boilers to prove themselves a contender.
.... Caleb TerBush took a horrible sack as one of our few first quarter plays and, on a critical 4th and 1 where we even called a timeout, we throw high to the boundary that goes off of a receiver's hands for a backbreaking pick six.
There are many frustrating things about this game, but the two biggest ones were the refusal to try and establish a running game and the poor play of TerBush. Getting good Denard is already a strike against us, but bad TerBush and a poor offensive game plan was a recipe for the disaster you saw.
Penn State 39, Northwestern 28
Black Shoe Diaries is very, very happy with this game, and is singing the praises of everyone except Special Teams (who notably allowed NU's Venric Mark a 75-yard TD return). BSD is very pleased with coach Bill O'Brien, who is now being spoken of in B1G COY terms, as well as ...
Matt McGloin is taking better care of the football, but he's still a gunslinger at heart. And you can tell that Bill O'Brien loves to roll the dice, and as the two have come together, they've created a happy marriage that's turned this offense from unwatchable to juggernaut in less than a year. Penn State was listless for large swaths of the second and third quarters...and they still finished with 39 points.
Sippin On Purple laments the second-half collapse
"....Northwestern became way too insistent on having Trevor Siemian throw while not varying the game plan. Northwestern was effective on the ground - 96 yards on 18 carries for Kain Colter and Venric Mark, combined - but threw the ball 36 times, all with Siemian. In years past, this would've been a godsend, but Northwestern's running attack this year has been great, while Siemian's 36 passes went for a pretty ghastly 3.8 yards per carry. Colter became too one-dimensional - the joy of having a quarterback who is also a great runner and receiver is, you know, having him throw, but he didn't, which I feel hurt NU quite a bit. "
Michigan State 31, Indiana 27
Michigan State is feeling "a-win-is-a-win" good about their rally, and gives IU another "hey, you guys weren't half-bad" post-game pat-on-the-backs. The Only Colors is still worried about early mistakes making any shot at a title a pipe dream:
Kevin Wilson had a perfect gameplan for the Hoosiers. The best way to attack MSU's aggressive defense is to use that aggressiveness against them, and that's why you saw so many screen passes..... The Spartans just don't come to play early, and as a result they've trailed for more than 180 of the last 240 game minutes. Overall, the defense has been good, not great, but the mistakes have been killer ones.
Indiana State 31, Missouri State 17: Once again, Shakir Bell salts away a win with a fourth quarter touchdown as the Sycamores improved to 4-2.
Massachusetts 14, Western Michigan 52: The Minutemen got shellacked in a road game at WMU, falling to 0-6. The The Broncos averaged 10.1 yards per pass and 5.8 per carry en route to posting 551 total yards. These are the same Broncos that got beat at Illinois 24-7 to open the season, albeit righting themselves a bit to lose closely at Minnesota.
Ball State 23, Northern Illinois 35: BSU falls to 3-3 despite outgaining NIU 563 to 509 total yards of offense. Two big plays by NIU QB Jordan Lynch sealed up the win, the first tossing a 54 TD pass to Akeem Daniels and then scampering to a 71-yard run for the final score with 3:03 left.
Navy 28, Air Force 21 (OT): The Midshipmen came up with a big win in OT over their rival service academy. Air Force actually outgained Navy on the ground (363-285) and in the air (144-74), as well as notching 7 more first downs (26-19), but couldn't capitalize for the win as three turnovers crippled them. The OT outcome was also the direct result of a fumble by Navy frosh QB Keenan Reynolds, who lost control, but luckily for Navy, sophomore Right Guard Jake Zuzek fell on the ball in the endzone to give them the lead. Navy moves to 2-3 on the year.