Rossow's Big Ten report: How 'bout those Gophers!

Rossow's Big Ten report: How 'bout those Gophers!

Jim Rossow’s Big Ten report





TEAM           BIG TEN ALL

Ohio State 4 0 8 0

Wisconsin 3 1 5 2

Penn State 1 2 4 3

Indiana 1 2 3 4

Illinois 0 3 3 4

Purdue 0 3 1 6


Michigan State 4 0 7 1

Michigan 2 1 6 1

Nebraska 2 1 5 2

Minnesota 2 2 6 2

Iowa 2 2 5 3

Northwestern 0 4 4 4


Iowa 17 Northwestern 10 (OT)

Minnesota 34 Nebraska 23

Michigan State 42 Illinois 3

Ohio State 63 Penn State 14


Illinois at Penn State 11 a.m.

Wisconsin at Iowa 11 a.m.

Ohio State at Purdue 11 a.m.

Michigan at Michigan State 2:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Indiana 2:30 p.m.

Northwestern at Nebraska 2:30 p.m.


saturday’s stars


n SCOREBOARD OPERATOR, Minnesota. How cool must it have been to punch in “Gophers 14, Cornhuskers 10” in the second quarter? It marked the first time Minnesota had led Nebraska since 1969, when Illinois coach Tim Beckman was all of 4 years old.

n DEFENSIVE LINEMEN, Iowa. That wasn’t Alex Karras chasing Northwestern quarterbacks Saturday — but it seemed that way. The Hawkeyes had a season-high six sacks, their most since a 2008 win against Florida International.

n CONNOR COOK, Michigan State. His .938 completion percentage set Sparty’s single-game record (minimum 10 completions) and is the sixth best in Big Ten history. Cook, made to look like the next Earl Morrall by a shaky Illinois defense, finished the game with 11 straight completions for 185 yards. No wonder he got our coveted Player of the Game award (see bottom  of page).

n BRAXTON MILLER, Ohio State. Showed Christian Hackenberg how it’s done — and fast. His first-half performance (15 of 18 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, plus two rushing scores) was a thing of beauty.




n “Do your job and don’t get penalties.” — Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald to his offensive linemen, who were flagged five times for 55 penalty yards (three holdings, one illegal block and a false start).

n “Taylor was the least of our problems.” — Nebraska coach Bo Pelini deflecting blame on quarterback Taylor Martinez, who was erratic in his first start after missing three games due to injury. Martinez was held to 16 yards rushing and 139 passing.

n “I hate to pick open old wounds, but we watched the Big Ten championship game a lot.” — Minnesota offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover, who used Wisconsin’s 70-31 win against Nebraska last December as a blueprint for how his team could move the ball (the Gophers outgained the Huskers 271-189 on the ground).




n LOOKING GOOD: Iowa. Well, not good. More like “Looking Better.” The Hawkeyes are a win from bowl eligibility and, after studying their remaining games, that’s exactly how many wins are left on the schedule. That’d be a Nov. 9 visit to Purdue. Otherwise, Herky has to pull an upset (Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska) to save Kirk Ferentz’s well-paid job.

n LOOKING BAD: Nebraska. This segment should be renamed “Looking Like Northwestern,” because we could slip the Wildcats in here every week. Not to cause unrest in the Evanston coffee shops, we’ll pick on the Cornhuskers for losing to Minnesota for the first time since Elvis was wowing the girls with “It’s Now Or Never” (1960). To return to Indianapolis, Big Red likely will have to sweep Michigan and Michigan State. At least it’s not men’s basketball, so there’s an outside chance it could happen.




Saturday marked the 14th time since Ron Turner took over that Illinois lost by at least five touchdowns:


2013 Michigan State 42, UI 3

2012 Northwestern 50, UI 14

2012 Michigan 45, UI 0

2005 Ohio State 40, UI 2

2005 Penn State 63, UI 10

2005 Michigan State 61, UI 14

2004 Minnesota 45, UI 0

2003 Michigan 56, UI 14

2003 Michigan State 49, UI 14

2000 Northwestern 61, UI 23

1998 Ohio State 41, UI 0

1997 Ohio State 41, UI 6

1997 Purdue 48, UI 3

1997 Penn State 41, UI 6


UI Schedule/results


Aug. 31 UI 42, Southern Illinois 34

Sept. 7 UI 45, Cincinnati 17

Sept. 14 Washington 34, UI 24

Sept. 28 UI 50, Miami (Ohio) 14

Oct. 5 Nebraska 39, UI 19

Oct. 19 Wisconsin 56, UI 32

Saturday Michigan State 42, UI 3

Nov. 2 at Penn State, 11 a.m.

Nov. 9 at Indiana, TBA

Nov. 16 vs. Ohio State, TBA

Nov. 23 at Purdue, TBA

Nov. 30 vs. Northwestern, TBA