Big 10 Week Seven
Best of the Big Ten: It’s the Iowa Hawkeyes for their 20-10 come from behind win at Wisconsin and their perfect mark at 7-0. It was a total reversal of fortunes for the Hawkeyes from the first half to the second. Iowa gained just 79 yards in the first half and then went over 200 in the second. Wisconsin had nearly 180 in the first half and less than 70 in the second. Wisconsin actually had negative yards rushing in the second half, and Adam Robinson outrushed John Clay. If this script sounds similar to that of the Iowa-Penn State game one year ago, you would be correct. Wisconsin had 11 first downs to Iowa’s three in the first stanza, but the Hawks turned it around 13-3 in the second half. Iowa was just 1 of 6 on third downs in the first half, but went 5 of 9 in the second.
As the ESPN announcers said all game, and as Iowa fans know, this team is who they are and they are not going to change. Why should they? Halftime adjustments? Give Norm Parker 20 minutes and he will steal your milk money. The Hawks turned six seconds of hell into 30 minutes of hell in the second half and it was an impressive site. Iowa is now the only undefeated team in the Big Ten and the indisputable #1 in the league. That’s the first time I have been able to say that about any team in this conference this year, and it usually takes six or seven games to begin to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Hawks be the wheat.
Best of the Big Ten, Part II: Penn State puts up nearly 500 yards of offense against Minnesota and holds the Gophers to just 138 in a 20-0 win in Happy Valley. This is the Nittany Lion team their fans thought they would see all season, even though a handful of really smart writers felt they were a bit overrated 😉 Still, that was a nice performance against a team that had been putting up some yards. Darryl Clark threw for 287 yards and Evan Royster ran for 137 as the Nits held the ball for more than 41 minutes. I am sure that at this point, or very soon, Penn State fans will start saying they wish they could play Iowa again, that they are the better team, that they would have won if Sean Lee would have played, etc, etc, etc. Wait for it, it’s coming.
Worst of the Big Ten: Ohio State, with a freaking bullet! How, I say how in the world do you lose at Purdue 26-18? And then score wasn’t even that close? OSU scored on a hail maryish 25 yard play late, and at one point in the fourth quarter, Purdue had 22 first downs to just four for the OutofLuckeyes. I know Boom Herron didn’t play, but just 66 yards rushing against Purdue? Five turnovers? Hey, Purdue was giving too, with three turnovers of their own. Ohio State was outplayed, and I felt that way last week when they beat Wisconsin 31-13 with just one offensive touchdown. By the time Iowa visits The Shoe, I expect Jim Tressel will have given up on the idea that Terrelle Pryor is a passing quarterback, and they will adopt an offense similar to that of Texas under Vince Young. Just let the kid go out and make plays and see what happens. However, Texas’ offensive line was never as soft as Ohio State’s is right now, and they do not have a lot of weapons to throw to. This will not be Ohio State’s last loss in league play, and they close at Penn State, home against Iowa and at Michigan. They could lose all three of those games.
Was It Worth $500,000? Michigan beat Delaware State 63-6 on Saturday, setting school records for points in a half, yards in a half and yards for a game. They wound up with 727 yards, 461 on the ground. Dennard Robinson and Tate Forcier were 5 for 6 passing on the day. Delaware State actually forfeited a conference game in order to take this payday, one that will help them pay a lot of bills in their athletic department. Michigan can feel good about itself, I guess, for having beaten up on the kid that always gets picked last at recess. Perhaps that is what they needed in order to regain some mojo after back to back tough losses at Michigan State and Iowa.
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Jon Miller’s Big Ten Power Rankings through Week 7
1. Iowa: No doubt about it
2. Penn State: @Michigan & @NW the next two weeks
3. Wisconsin: I still think they are better than Ohio State
4. Ohio State: Probably deserve to fall farther, just on principle
5. Michigan State: Couldn’t run well against NW; fewer first downs than the Cats
6. Michigan: They paid $687 per yard gained against Delaware State
7. Minnesota: Because someone has to be seventh
8. Northwestern: Is their defense rounding into shape?
9. Purdue: There is some Hope in West Lafayette
10. Indiana: ‘Loser Leave Town Match’ winners from Saturday
11. Illinois: They were the losers
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Jon’s Big Ten Bowl Slotting
ROSE: Iowa (Hawkeyenation.com Charter flight info later this week!)
CAP ONE: Penn State
CHAMPS: Ohio State
INSIGHT: Michigan State
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Next Week’s Schedule
Iowa @ MSU: Both teams can legitimately think Roses with a win 6PM BTN game
Minnesota @ OSU: Gophers can’t like how this one sets up
Indiana @ NW: Already a battle for Pride?
Illinois at PU: PU, indeed
PSU @ Michigan: Wolverines could give Hawks more breathing room with win
Wisconsin: sent to time out for a week to think about things