Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini scored early and often in crushing visiting
Miami-Ohio over the weekend, 50-14. It was the third straight home game in
which Illinois has scored at least 40 points, and the 161 points the team has
scored in its first four games is a new school record. Nathan Scheelhaase
completed 19-of-24 passes for 278 yards and a career-high five TDs against the
RedHawks, including a school-record four TDs in the second quarter. Tight end
Matt LaCosse caught a pair of scoring strikes, and Josh Ferguson was high man
among the receivers with five grabs for 77 yards and a TD. Illinois also
rushed for 289 yards, with Donovonn Young and Ferguson combining for 151 yards
on 19 attempts. As for the UI defense, it allowed just 250 total yards, and
got a team-high nine tackles from Jonathan Brown, who entered the contest
ranked third in the FBS in total stops. The Illini kick off Big Ten action
this Saturday when they play their first true road game at Nebraska.
INDIANA: The Hoosiers were idle over the weekend, affording them some extra
time to prepare for this week's conference opener versus Penn State. Indiana,
which has split its first four games, is putting the wraps on a five-game,
season-opening homestand against the Nittany Lions.
IOWA: As a result of the Hawkeyes' 23-7 win at Minnesota on Saturday, Floyd of
Rosedale is staying in Iowa City for another year. After opening the season
with a narrow loss to Northern Illinois, Iowa has reeled off four straight
victories to inch closer to bowl eligibility and keep pace in the race for a
potential bid in the Big Ten Championship Game. Against the Golden Gophers,
the Hawkeyes were led on offense by Mark Weisman (24 carries, 147 yards), Jake
Rudock (15-of-25, 218 yards, TD) and Kevonte Martin-Manley (six receptions, 56
yards), while Anthony Hitchens (10 tackles) paced the defense. Minnesota
entered the game averaging 282 rushing yards per game, but finished with just
30 yards on 27 carries. The Hawkeyes, who also logged four sacks against the
Gophers, have not allowed a rushing TD this season. Hoping to keep the train
moving ahead, Iowa returns home this Saturday to play host to the Michigan
MICHIGAN: The undefeated Wolverines were idle over the weekend, giving coach
Brady Hoke, his staff and players some extra time to game plan for this
Saturday's Big Ten lid lifter against visiting Minnesota.
MICHIGAN STATE: The 3-1 Spartans got some well-deserved time off following
their 17-13 win at Notre Dame on Sept. 21, and they return to action this
Saturday when they open conference play at Iowa.
MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers suffered their first loss of the season on
Saturday, dropping a 23-7 decision at home to Big Ten rival Iowa. The normally
potent Minnesota rushing attack was limited to a mere 30 yards -- about 250
fewer than it averaged coming in. The Gophers had also averaged nearly 42 ppg
entering the fray. Philip Nelson was just 12-of-24 for 135 yards with a TD,
two INTs and he was sacked four times. Derrick Engel turned his five catches
into 67 yards and a score. The Hawkeyes rolled up 464 yards to just 165 for
the home team, and they dominated the time of possession battle, 36:01 to
23:59. Both Cedric Thompson and Damien Wilson logged 10 tackles in the game,
and the Gophers came up with a pair of turnovers but did not record a sack.
Minnesota plays only its second road game of the season this Saturday when it
takes on the Michigan Wolverines at the Big House in Ann Arbor.
NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers used their first bye week to relish the fact that
they are 3-1 as they prepare for the rigors of Big Ten play, which gets
underway this Saturday against visiting Illinois. The game also marks the end
of Nebraska's five-game, season-opening homestand.
NORTHWESTERN: The Wildcats were idle over the weekend, giving them some
additional time to prepare for this week's Big Ten opener against Ohio State.
Northwestern is 4-0 and is bringing down the curtain on a four-game homestand
against the Buckeyes.
OHIO STATE: Braxton Miller's return to the field against visiting Wisconsin on
Saturday night was a triumphant one, as he matched his career-high with four
TD passes in leading the Buckeyes to a 31-24 victory. Miller, who had missed
the previous two games due to injury, went 17-of-25 for 198 yards, and while
he was sacked twice, he also finished with 83 rushing yards on a team-high 22
carries. Miller is now Ohio State's all-time leading ground gainer among
quarterbacks (2,151 yards). Carlos Hyde turned his 17 totes into 85 yards.
Corey Brown was Miller's favorite target in the game, tallying eight catches
for 85 yards and a pair of scores. Despite owning a powerful rushing attack,
the Badgers were held to 104 yards and only one TD on the ground. Ryan Shazier
spearheaded the OSU defense with nine tackles, and while the unit only forced
one turnover, it logged a couple of sacks while allowing Wisconsin just a 3-
of-12 success rate on third-down conversion attempts. The Buckeyes take aim at
their nation-leading 18th straight win this Saturday when they play at
PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions were another team to have this past weekend off,
and while getting some extra time to rest for this Saturday's conference
opener at Indiana was key, Penn State also got some good news from the NCAA.
The Lions (3-1) will have the previous scholarship restrictions placed upon
them as a result of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal modified in time for
the 2014-15 academic year.
PURDUE: The Boilermakers were taken to task at home by Northern Illinois over
the weekend, falling to the Huskies in a 55-24 final. Purdue actually won the
yardage battle (524-402), but committed five turnovers, allowed three sacks
and made good on only a third of its third-down conversion attempts (6-of-18).
Danny Etling, who made his first appearance for the Boilermakers, and Rob
Henry combined to go 24-of-55 for 371 yards, three TDs and four INTs. DeAngelo
Yancey caught seven passes for 117 yards to lead the PU receiving corps, while
the ground attack accounted for 153 yards and was paced by B.J. Knauf's 41
yards on only two carries. Will Lucas paced the defense with 10 tackles, nine
of which were solo efforts, but the Boilermakers failed to come up with a
turnover, had just one sack, and allowed the Huskies to score on all six of
their trips to the red zone. Purdue is idle this coming weekend, next
returning to action on Oct. 12 at home against Nebraska.
WISCONSIN: The Badgers found themselves trailing for the bulk of Saturday's
showdown with No. 4 Ohio State and despite a late rally, came up short in what
turned out to be a 31-24 setback. The typically potent Wisconsin rushing
attack was held well below its season average, tallying just 104 yards and a
single TD. Melvin Gordon led the way with 74 yards on 15 carries. Instead it
was Joel Stave (20-of-34, career-high 295 yards, two TDs, one INT) and Jared
Abbrederis (10 receptions, career-high 207 yards, one TD) who did their best
to keep the Badgers in contention. As for the UW defense, it allowed Ohio
State QB Braxton Miller to throw four TDs passes, but got a monster effort
from Chris Borland, who posted a career-high tying 16 tackles. The Badgers are
idle this week, giving them sufficient time to prepare for a visit from the
Northwestern Wildcats on Oct. 12.
The Sports Network