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Big 10 Report
by ASA - 11/18/2005
Ohio State (-3) @ Michigan
Both Ohio State and Michigan stayed hot in Big Ten play beating there respective opponents very handily. Michigan took care of Indiana 41-14 while the Buckeyes beat the Northwestern Wildcats 48-7. Ohio State and Michigan stand 2nd and 3rd respectively in Big Ten conference standings. Michigan needs a win and a Penn State loss to get a share of the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State on the other hand could win it outright if they beat the Wolverines and Penn State loses to Michigan State. Look for this one to be exciting.
Buckeyes didnâ€™t need much of a passing game against Northwestern. Buckeyes had 422 total yards of offense. 317 of those yards were via the ground.
The Buckeyes dominated the Wildcats on both sides of the ball, allowing only one offensive Northwestern touchdown all day.
Northwestern drove 80 yards on their opening drive for a touchdown and then saw the Buckeyes score 48 unanswered points.
The Buckeyes have now scored 40 or more points in their last 4 games.
The defense once again dominated. The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 88-9 in their last 2 games.
The Wolverine offense once again showed their versatility helping Michigan win their 4th straight game.
The Wolverines used a balanced attack without running back Michael Hart (will play against Ohio State) as they passed for 209 yards and ran for another 216.
The defense once again played extremely well holding the Hoosiers to only 210 total yards, while holding them to only 63 rushing yards.
Chad Henne has stepped up and played very efficient as of late. Henne completed 17 of his 24 passes for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Hoosiers.
The Wolverines are playing their best football of the year and have a chance to share the Big Ten title. This didnâ€™t look as if it was going to be a big game early in the season, but with the craziness in the Big Ten, it proves to be a huge game for the Wolverines if they want to play in a January Bowl Game.
Last year Michigan lost to Ohio State in Columbus 37-21 in a game that Michigan got shut down in the second half scoring just one TD. Michigan entered the game 8-1 and they were looking to clinch the Big Ten title outright with a win. The Buckeyes were 6-4 coming into that game.
Under Tressel the Buckeyes are 3-1 SU & ATS vs. Michigan with two SU upsets 2004 and 2002.
Michigan and Ohio State have played each other 102 times with Michigan having the edge with a record of 57-38-6.
The home team has had the most success in this series going 15-7-1 ATS in the last 23 years.
Michigan has only been a home dog seven times since 1980 and they have actually won 4 of those games SU. They are 5-2 ATS as a home dog.
Penn State (-7) @ Michigan State
Both these teams are on the opposite end of the spectrum, but both are fighting for their bowl lives. However Penn State is going to be playing to try stay alive for a BCS bowl berth while the Spartans will be playing to just become bowl eligible. The Spartans suffered yet another loss to Minnesota 41-18. Penn State is coming off a bye week.
Nittany Lion Notes
Penn State had the week off after beating the Wisconsin Badgers 35-14 in a huge Big Ten game.
Penn State dominated the Badgers holding them to only 302 total yards, which included -11 yards rushing. The Badgers offense was never able to get anything going against the Nittany Lions.
The offense was able to gain 502 total yards of offense while rushing for 282 yards in that win. Penn State looked as if they were able to move the ball fairly easily on the Badgers when needing a big drive.
Michael Robinson continued his stellar play completed 13 of his 28 passes for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 16 times for 125 yards.
Defensive End Tamba Hali has become a dominate force on the line. He now has 11 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss.
Penn State controls their own destiny on the road to a Big Ten Championship and a BCS Bowl. All they have to do is take care of business at Michigan State.
After starting the season 4-0 the Spartans have dropped 5 of their last 6 games and now must win this game to become bowl eligible.
The Spartans defense once again got dominated and the offense was not able to generate any long sustained scoring drives to put up points. MSU had plenty of chances to put points on the board but seemed to keep making mistakes (dropped passes, penalties, etcâ€¦) at the wrong times. The Spartans actually had more total yardage that Minnesota despite the lopsided score.
Opponents have outscored the Spartans 202-154 in the last 6 games, and it would be much worse if you took out the Spartans expected 46-15 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers.
The defense was unable to stop the Gophers rushing attack as Minny ran for 327 total yards against the Spartans. The Gophers were also able to hold the ball for 37 minutes compared to the Spartans 23.
The offense once again put up great numbers totaling 457 total yard of offense but were never able to sustain a drive and finish by scoring.
Drew Stanton played extremely well completing 29 of his 46 pass attempts for 2 touchdowns.
With a lot on the line the Spartan players have drawn a tough assignment but they could salvage their season by beating a good Penn State team and becoming bowl eligible.
Michigan State has played extremely well in their home finales going 11-3 SU and 13-0-1 ATS since 1991.
The home team has also shared lots of success going 10-2 ATS in this series since the two teams began their series.
The Nittany Lions are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS this season, while the Spartans are 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS.
Michigan State has been a home dog 22 times since 1980. They are 7-15 SU and 15-5-2 ATS, however they have covered 8 of their last 10 and won their last 4 SU.
The Nittany Lions are 43-2-1 SU since 1980 as a road favorite of a touchdown or more.
The last six times MSU has been a home dog of a TD or more, theyâ€™ve covered all six.
Minnesota @ Iowa (-4.5)
Both Minnesota and Iowa are coming off of big conference victories. The Iowa Hawkeyes handed Wisconsin their second consecutive loss beating them 20-10 while the Golden Gophers easily handled the Michigan State Spartans 41-18. Both teams will look to strengthen their Bowl opportunities in this match up of two very good Big Ten teams.
The Gophers outscored the Michigan State Spartans 28-3 through three quarters and completely dominated the Spartans the entire game.
The Gophers were able to control the ball and keep Drew Stanton and the offense off the field for most of the game. Minnesota held a 37-23 minute advantage in time of possession.
Minnesota showed why they are one of, if not the best rushing team in the nation running the ball 63 times for 327 yards. Gary Russell ran the ball 19 times for 85 yards and 2 scores.
However with the absence of Maroney, 3rd string running back Ammir Pinnix got to get into the action after Russell was dinged up on a pass play in the first half. Pinnix ran the ball 32 times for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. This not only showed the depth but also how good the offensive line really is.
Pinnix who proved he can be a quality running back may have to take a back seat that is because Laurence Maroney will be back for their game against Iowa this Saturday. Russell is also OK.
The Gophers are going to need yet another big time performance from everyone if they want to leave Kinnick Stadium with a victory as the Hawkeyes are 29-3 SU their last 32 home games.
The Hawkeyes walked in to Madison Wisconsin on a day that was suppose to be Barry Alvarezâ€™s and handed them a 20-10 loss.
The beginning of the game looked as if the Hawkeyes were not going to be able to stop the Wisconsin offense, whoever with few adjustments the Badger offense quickly came to a halt.
The Iowa defense played very well against the Badger offense holding them to only 276 total yards of offense while allowing them to rush for only 19 yards. 130 of those yards were in the first quarter alone, after that Wisconsin did nothing on offense.
The offense did all they needed to do to beat a weak Wisconsin defense. Drew Tate started out slow but then regained some poise and ended up completing 21 of his 34 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Running back Albert Young also continued his dominance running the ball 26 times for 127 yards.
The defense was very good not allowing the Badgers to score after 10 first quarter points. The Iowa defense held UW star RB Brian Calhoun to just 18 yards rushing on 15 carries. This defense is going to have to once again be strong against a very good Minnesota rushing attack.
Look for the Hawkeyes to be very fired up for their last home game of the year. Their last home game was an OT loss to Michigan so this team has even more incentive to go out with a win at Kinnick Stadium.
The Hawkeyeâ€™s have enjoyed much success lately against the Gophers going 9-3 SU and 11-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings against Minnesota.
The last four games that these two teams have played have had a lot of offense. Both teams have combined to average 63 points per game and 839 yard per game their last four meetings.
Minnesota leads the all time series against the Hawkeyeâ€™s with a record of 58-38-2.
However the last time the Gophers actually covered the spread in this series was all the way back in 1991 when they were 26 point road dogs.
The Hawkeyes had their 23 game home winning streak come to an end a few weeks back with an OT loss to Michigan. Iowa has been phenomenal as a spread team at home with a record of 24-5-2 their last 31.
Northwestern (-14.5) @ Illinois
Both Northwestern and Illinois are both coming off blowout losses. Northwestern got torched by Ohio State by a score of 48-7 while Illinois got shut down by Purdue losing 37-3. The Illini fell to 0-8 in the conference while Northwestern fell to 4-3. Northwestern will look to gain some momentum going into the post season, while Illinois will look at this game as a stepping stone to next year.
The Wildcats were simply out manned on both offense and defense. The Buckeyes were more athletic on both sides of the ball.
The Northwestern offense ran into a very good defense that was able to shut them down. NU has actually been struggling on offense a bit scoring just 17 points against Michigan. The following game the Cats had only 14 points on Iowa with under three minutes to go in the game before their infamous comeback. Last week just one TD. They are not hitting on all cylinders right now.
The Northwestern offense was held to a season low 251 total yards. Brett Basanez was only able to complete 15 of his 31 passes for a season low 121 yards.
The defense once again struggled like they have all year allowing the Ohio State defense to run all over them. The rush defense gave up yet another 200 plus performance allowing the Buckeyes to run the ball for 317 yards. NU has the worst defense in the country as far as yards allowed per game.
Although things get easier this week, the Wildcats need to fix that defense before things get really ugly in their respective bowl game.
The Illini lost their 8th straight game thanks to the Purdue Boilermakers. Things wonâ€™t get any easier for Zook and the Illini as they face NU off an embarrassing loss.
The Illini came into this game against Purdue with a shot because Purdue is a very vulnerable team that has already been eliminated from bowl consideration.
Illinois was able to hang in with Purdue for the first 3 quarters. PU then scored 20 fourth quarter points to put the game completely out of reach.
The Illinois offense really had problems moving the ball through the air as both Tim Brasic and Chris Pazan were only able to combine to complete 11 of their 28 passes for 97 yards and 3 interceptions.
The offense has seemed to have troubles all year adapting to Ron Zookâ€™s new option offense. However the running game has showed glimpses of success through both the quarterback and running back positions.
This week proves to be the end of a very long season for Ron Zook, if the Illini are able to give Northwestern a run things may be easier in the long winter and summer months ahead for Zook and his staff.
The Illini and Wildcats have played 99 times in the two schoolâ€™s histories and Northwestern leads this all times series 51-42-5.
The Wildcats have won the last two meetings, 28-21 in Evanston in overtime in 2004 and 37-20 in Champaign in 2003.
The underdog is 10-5 ATS in the last 15 games in this series.
The home team has also only covered 4 of the last 17 games in this series since 1988.
Last year Illinois had a chance to win the game in regulation, but they missed a potential game winning 31 yard field goal. They then went on to lose 28-21 in overtime.
The Wildcats have only been two touchdown or more road favorites 4 times since 1980. They are 3-1 SU and ATS in those 4 meetings.
The Wildcats are 6-4 SU and ATS this season while the Illini are 2-8 SU and 4-6 ATS.
Purdue (-13) @ Indiana
The Boilermakers have been able to run off two straight victories for the first time since early September. Indiana on the other hand is coming into this contest having lost six consecutive games. Indiana suffered a 41-14 loss at Michigan while Purdue beat the Fighting Illini 37-3 in Illinois. Both teams had much high expectations coming into the season which means both teams will be playing to end the season on a good note. Neither team is going bowling this year.
The Boilermakers got great production from both sides of the ball in their victory over Illinois. The offense was able to gain nearly 400 yards of total offense while the defense held Illinois to only 265 total yards.
The questionable Purdue secondary also turned in a good performance allowing Illinois to only pass for 97 yards and they forced 3 interceptions.
The pass rush was equally as good putting Illinois quarterbacks on their backs all day not allowing them to look downfield.
Curtis Painter probably had his best game of the year completing 18 of his 26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. He was also able to run the ball 16 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Jerod Void put together back to back 100 yard rushing games running the ball 24 times for 102 yards and a touchdown against the Illini.
Although it hasnâ€™t been the season Purdue has wanted winning three straight games would make spring practice a little bit easier on the players and coaching staff.
The Hoosiers were able to go right down the field and score on their opening possession against Michigan. The Wolverines went on to score 42 unanswered points before Indiana was able to punch it in for another touchdown late in the 4th quarter.
Indiana struggled on offense gaining only 210 total yards of offense. They were also only able to run the ball for 63 yards, which has been a problem all year.
Quarterback Blake Powers once again had problems without his favorite target James Hardy who has missed most of the last two weeks thanks to a sore Achilles. Powers may once again be without his favorite target as Hardy is listed as questionable against the Boilermakers.
The offense struggled on third down converting just 3 of 14.
This did not help the fact that Michigan was able to keep the Indiana defense on the field for much of the game. Michigan held a large advantage in time of possession holding the ball 37 minutes compared to the Hoosiers 23.
The defense has had problems keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard all season as they are 101st in the nation allowing 32 points per game. They have also had a lot of concerns on the defensive line as they are allowing 206 rushing yards per game which is 108th in the nation.
It is noticeable that Head Coach Terry Hoeppner has done a good job re motivating this Indiana team. However they simply do not have the athletes to compete with the upper echelon teams in the Big Ten. If the Hoosiers can finish up the season with a victory Hoeppner will definitely have something to build on.
Last year the Hoosiers got smoked 63-24 in West Lafayette just after Purdue had lost 4 of their previous 5 games.
The Boilermakers set a school record totaling 763 total yards of offense in that game. The Boilermakers were able to torch the Indiana secondary for 590 total passing yards.
Purdue has beaten the Hoosiers in 7 of their last 8 meetings SU and covered 5 of those meetings.
The home team however is 7-0 ATS in the last 7 games between the Hoosiers and the Boilers.
Both teams are not eligible for bowl games which means for Purdue it will end a 9 year streak of post season appearances.