ILLINOIS: The Illini put up a fight, but in the end came up short in their upset bid of No. 2 Ohio State over the weekend, falling at home in a 24-13 final. Illinois managed just 251 total yards, and RB Mikel Leshoure had his string of four-straight 100-yard rushing games come to an end as he finished with 80 yards on 19 carries. As for QB Nathan Scheelhaase, he wound up going 12-of-22 for 109 yards with an INT, and Jarred Fayson led all receivers in the game with eight grabs for 83 yards. The UI defense performed admirably against the high-powered Buckeyes, yielding 290 total yards, of which only 77 came via the pass. Martez Wilson was the Illini's leading tackler for the second straight game, registering nine tackles, including two TFLs. Illinois hits the road this week, heading to Happy Valley to challenge the Penn State Nittany Lions.
INDIANA: The Hoosiers fought tooth and nail at home against Michigan over the weekend, but wound up on the short end of a 42-35 final. QB Ben Chappell set new school records by going 45-of-64 for 480 yards. He threw three TD passes, hitting Tandon Doss 15 times for 221 yards (both career highs) and Demarlo Belcher 10 times for 91 yards and a score. RB Darius Willis scored a pair of rushing TDs for Indiana, which permitted Michigan QB Denard Robinson to run and pass for more than 200 yards in the game, stats made all the more remarkable when you consider the Wolverines had possession of the ball for just over 18 minutes. The Hoosiers go from the frying pan into the fire this week as they head to Columbus to tangle with the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
IOWA: What was supposed to be a battle from start to finish against visiting Penn State on Saturday night, proved to be rather one-sided as the Hawkeyes controlled the contest en route to a 24-3 victory. As a result, Iowa holds a one-game lead in the all-time series (12-11), and it was the most lopsided win for the Hawkeyes over the Nittany Lions. The UI defense, which gave up 301 yards to PSU, of which only 54 came on the ground, has now gone seven quarters without allowing a TD. QB Ricky Stanzi completed 16-of-22 passes for 227 yards and a TD, hitting WR Marvin McNutt five times for 93 yards. RB Adam Robinson carried the ball 28 times and churned out a tough 95 yards. Adrian Clayborn led the Iowa defense with 10 tackles, three of which were for negative yardage, including one of the Hawkeyes' two sacks on the night. Iowa is idle this coming weekend, giving the team added time to prepare for a trip to Michigan on October 16th.
MICHIGAN: QB Denard Robinson accounted for 494 yards of total offense (217 rushing, career-best 277 passing) and scored the game-winning TD late in the fourth quarter as Michigan survived a scare from host Indiana over the weekend, 42-35. Robinson, who has run for 100 yards in all five games this season, led the Wolverines to their 17th straight win over the Hoosiers. WR Roy Roundtree matched his career high with 126 receiving yards, and he scored once, while Junior Hemingway made the most of his three grabs, taking them for 129 yards and a TD. Michigan won the game despite holding possession of the ball for just over 18 minutes. Cameron Gordon led the Wolverine defense with 15 tackles, of which 12 were solo efforts, and he also had an INT. J.T. Floyd added a career-high 13 tackles and Jonas Mouton finished with a dozen. The Maize and Blue play host to rival Michigan State this weekend in the annual battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.
MICHIGAN STATE: QB Kirk Cousins threw for 269 yards and three TDs to lead the Spartans past visiting Wisconsin over the weekend, 34-24. It was the second straight game in which head coach Mark Dantonio was absent, as he was hospitalized late last week with a blood clot in his leg. It's been a tough few weeks for the MSU leader as he also suffered a mild heart attack following his team's overtime win at Notre Dame on September 18th. Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell combined to run for 162 yards, and Mark Dell led all receivers in the game with six catches for 91 yards and a score. The Spartans, who claimed a near-13 minute advantage in time of possession, outgained the Badgers by a 444-229 margin. Michigan State heads to the Big House in Ann Arbor this Saturday for the annual battle for Paul Bunyan's Trophy against hated rival Michigan.
MINNESOTA: DeLeon Eskridge ran for 119 yards and a TD, but it wasn't enough as the Golden Gophers were tripped up at home by the Northwestern Wildcats over the weekend, 29-28. It was the third career 100-rushing game for Eskridge. QB Adam Weber completed just 14 passes, amassing 194 yards with two TDs and an INT for Minnesota, which made good on just 3-of-11 third-down conversion attempts while allowing the Wildcats 8-of-11 success. Three Gophers finished in double digits in tackles, led by Michael Carter (11 stops -- nine solo). Both teams were credited with just one sack apiece, but UM came away with three turnovers. Next up for the Gophers, who are looking to snap a four-game losing streak, is this week's road clash with the Wisconsin Badgers.
NORTHWESTERN: The Wildcats got another solid effort from QB Dan Persa (career- high 309 yards and two TDs passing) as they improved to 5-0 on the season by outlasting Minnesota on the road in a 29-28 final. Persa, who completed his first eight pass attempts against the Golden Gophers en route to a 23-of-30 performance, also added a career-high 99 rushing yards to lead the team in that department as well. WR Jeremy Ebert caught seven passes for a career-best 105 yards and a score, his fifth of the season. Brian Peters posted a career- high 12 tackles, 10 of which were unassisted, to lead the NU defense. The Wildcats gained 486 yards compared to 367 for the Gophers, and they converted 8-of-11 third-down opportunities. Northwestern puts its perfect record on the line once again as it welcomes the Purdue Boilermakers to Evanston this Saturday.
OHIO STATE: Terrelle Pryor ran for 104 yards and threw for 76 yards and two TDs to lead Ohio State to a tough 24-13 win at Illinois over the weekend. Pryor, who briefly left the game with a quad injury, led the Buckeyes to their fifth straight win to open the season, further cementing the team's No. 2 spot in the national rankings. Dan "Boom" Herron added 95 yards and a score on the ground for OSU, which finished with 290 yards of total offense while the Illini tallied 251 yards and converted just 2-of-13 third-down chances. Brian Rolle led all defenders in the game with 10 tackles, while Nathan Williams was credited with half of the team's three sacks. Ohio State continues its quest for yet another Big Ten title and berth in the BCS Championship Game when it entertains the Indiana Hoosiers this Saturday.
PENN STATE: While the final stats don't really show it, the Nittany Lions were outplayed in all facets of their recent clash with the Iowa Hawkeyes, falling on the road in a 24-3 final. Rookie QB Rob Bolden threw for 212 yards with an INT for Penn State, which has now scored a total of six points in a pair of road losses to nationally-ranked foes (Alabama and Iowa). PSU finished with just 54 net rushing yards and tallied 301 total yards for the game. Iowa turned in 349 yards, and both teams struggled to move the chains on third down, combining to go 5-of-23. RB Evan Royster carried the ball just 10 times, finishing with 56 yards, while Devon Smith was the Lions' leading pass catcher on the night with his five grabs for 58 yards. D'Anton Lynn tied his career- high with nine tackles for Penn State, which will attempt to get back on track this weekend when the Illinois Fighting Illini come to Happy Valley.
PURDUE: The Boilermakers were idle this past weekend, giving them sufficient time to game plan for their Big Ten opener this Saturday at Northwestern. Purdue is 2-2 on the year, sandwiching a pair of losses (Notre Dame and Toledo) around two victories (Western Illinois and Ball State). This week's game is just the second of the season on the road for the Boilermakers.
WISCONSIN: The Badgers suffered their first defeat of the 2010 campaign over the weekend, dropping a 34-24 decision at Michigan State. RB John Clay was held to 80 yards on 17 carries, snapping his streak of 10 straight games rushing for at least 100 yards. James White did his best to pick up the slack, running for 98 yards and two TDs. Wisconsin finished with just 292 total yards, compared to 444 for the Spartans who won the time of possession battle by nearly 13 minutes and converted half of their 18 third-down opportunities. J.J. Watts led the UW defensive stand with 10 tackles, and the team came up with three turnovers and two sacks on the day. Wisconsin will attempt to get back to its winning ways when it welcomes Minnesota to Madison this Saturday.