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Big 10 Report

   by ASA - 11/04/2005

Wisconsin @ Penn State (-10)

Wisconsin and Penn State will meet up in Happy Valley with first place in the Big Ten at stake. Penn State is coming off of a 33-15 homecoming victory over Purdue, while the Badgers are coming off of a 41-24 victory over the Fighting Illini. Whoever wins this Big Ten game will control their own destiny to the Big Ten Title.

Badger Notes

â—쳌 The Badgers offense got back to basics last week when they ran the ball 50 times for 239 yards. Brian Calhoun led the Badger attack with 35 carries for 197 yards and 5 touchdowns.
â—쳌 Quarterback John Stocco was also very efficient completing 14 of his 22 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown.
â—쳌 The offense played pretty well but still managed to get out gained thanks to a struggling defense. Illinois was able to run up 538 total yards off offense against the Badger defense. The Illini were last in the Big Ten in total offense going into last week’s game.
â—쳌 Quarterback Tim Brasic accounted for 393 yards which included 16 carries for 116 yards. Not only was he able to scramble for 116 yards but a lot of those plays came on third down. As a whole, the Illini were able to convert 8 of their 16 third downs.
â—쳌 The Badgers however should get a lift this weekend as starting middle linebacker Mark Zalewski is expected back. Back up linebacker Andy Crooks simply didn’t have the speed to keep up with Illinois running quarterback Tim Brasic.
â—쳌 Staying with the injury front starting corner Brett Bell sat out much of the 4th quarter because of stiffness in his surgically repaired knee, however he is expected to play Saturday. Defensive tackle Jason Chapman who is suffering from a sore ankle should also be close to 100% when the Badgers travel to Happy Valley.
â—쳌 Also, defensive tackle Justin Ostrowski, who was expected to be a starter when the year opened, did not dress last week. He played in his first game the week before vs. Purdue. His injured knee was very stiff after that game and the coaching staff didn’t want to push him. He may be able to get back on the field this Saturday.

Nittany Lions Notes

â—쳌 The bad news is that the Penn State offense was not as sharp as they probably would have liked to be. However the good news is that they were still able to rack up 516 total yards of offense. They scored 33 points on Purdue and it could have been more as PSU had to settle for four field goals.
â—쳌 Quarterback Michael Robinson was not very sharp completing only 13 of his 29 passes for 213 yards missing a lot of wide open receivers.
â—쳌 The offense was fairly inconsistent all afternoon in the red zone seeing as they were able to move the ball all day but had trouble finding the end zone. However kicker Kevin Kelly had a good day making all four of his field goal attempts.
â—쳌 The defense once again played well holding Purdue to only 277 total yards of offense and just 15 points. Both were season lows for the Boilers. The Lion “Dâ€쳌 also held Purdue to just 2 of 14 on third down conversions.
â—쳌 Purdue gave PSU QB Robinson problems all day due to the blitz. While he did run for nearly 100 yards, he also hit on only 43% of his passes. Expect other defenses to follow suit and throw pressure at Robinson.

Match Up Notes

â—쳌 Since joining the Big Ten the Nittany Lions are only 2-6 ATS against the Badgers. They are also only 2-8 ATS the last 10 games before a bye week which is set for next week before they travel to Michigan State.
â—쳌 The Badgers are 3-1 SU and ATS in their 4 games all time when having to play in Happy Valley.
â—쳌 The Badgers are 4-28 SU and 21-11-1 ATS as double digit road dogs since 1980. However they have won 11 of their last 12 games ATS as DD road dogs.
â—쳌 Penn State is an impressive 80-8 SU and 42-44 ATS as DD home favorites since 1980. They have 15 games in a row SU and covered 11 of their last 16 as DD home favorites.

Iowa @ Northwestern (+2.5)

Both Iowa and Northwestern will look to get back into the win column in the Big Ten after they both suffered a loss last time out. Northwestern suffered a 33-17 loss against Michigan, while the Hawkeyes had a bye week after losing to the same Michigan team 23-20 two weeks ago in Kinnick Stadium.

Wildcat Notes

â—쳌 The Wildcats got down early and were never able to respond. Northwestern trailed 27-10 at half thanks in large part to the Michigan offense.
â—쳌 The Michigan offense simply controlled the clock and kept Brett Basanez and the great Northwestern offense off of the field. The Wildcats were only on the field for 21 minutes compared to the Wolverines 39.
â—쳌 Michigan used a very sound rushing attack to trample over the Northwestern defense. Michigan piled up 253 yards on 58 rushing attempts compared to Northwestern’s 89 rushing yards on only 17 attempts.
â—쳌 The defense however created plenty of turnovers (4) to help give the offense a chance at putting more points on the board. Michigan quarterback Chad Henne had problems completing 17 of his 30 passes but also throwing three interceptions.
â—쳌 NU was actually only out gained by a total of 12 yards in their game vs. Michigan. However a big problem was their third down conversion rate which was only 2 of 13.
â—쳌 The Wildcats currently have the WORST defense in college football (117th) giving up 493 total YPG. They are also 101st against the rush, 111th vs. the pass and 100th in points allowed. That is the direct opposite of their offense which ranks 5th nationally in yardage per game at 514. The Cats are 26th in rushing offense and 10th in passing offense.

Hawkeye Notes

â—쳌 The Hawkeyes were off last weekend after suffering a tough 23-20 loss to Michigan in overtime. The Hawks out gained Michigan by 85 yards in the game and actually led the entire game until just under nine minutes remaining when the Wolverines scored a TD to take their first lead of the contest.
â—쳌 The Hawkeyes tailback Albert Young has been running exceptionally well lately. Young has rushed for 868 yards so far this season and averaging nearly 6 yards a carry. He has eclipsed the 100 yard mark in four straight games. Young’s last time out against Michigan two weeks ago resulted in a 30 carry 153 yard day. We expect him to continue his streak against a weak Northwestern run defense that allows almost 200 YPG.
â—쳌 Against Michigan, the Hawkeyes however were penalized 11 times for 94 yards which did not help the cause. That is not like Iowa as they are normally very disciplined.

â—쳌 Drew Tate played well in the loss completing 27 of his 39 attempts for 288 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing one interception.
â—쳌 The Hawkeyes are still in the Big Ten hunt, but need a little help. Iowa needs Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State to lose which definitely is not out of the question. Penn State and Wisconsin play this week so one of those two teams will lose. Iowa travels to Wisconsin next Saturday. PSU still has to play @ Michigan State and OSU still plays Michigan.
â—쳌 One positive note for the Hawkeyes saw starting corner Antwan Allen return to the line up. After starting 38 straight games, Allen sat out Iowa’s game against Indiana with an ankle injury. He was questionable for the Michigan game but returned to the line up. He now has had two full weeks and should be 100% vs. Northwestern.

Match Up Notes

â—쳌 The Iowa Hawkeyes are a solid “late seasonâ€쳌 team covering 15 of their last 18 games in November.
â—쳌 The Hawks however are only 2-6 their last 8 games after coming off of a bye week.
â—쳌 Last year the Wildcats were 2-0 SU and ATS as a home dog in conference play upsetting Ohio State as 11 point dogs and upsetting Purdue as a 10 point puppy. This year they have been a HD three times. The Cats beat Wisconsin SU at a 6.5 point dog. Lost to PSU (but covered) as an 8 point dog. They then lost both SU and ATS to Michigan last Saturday.
â—쳌 Dating back to 2003, NU has covered six of the last eight times they’ve been a home dog. Not only have they covered those six games, they actually won five of them outright.
â—쳌 This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2002 where Iowa spanked Northwestern 62-10 as 29 point home favorites at Kinnick Stadium.
â—쳌 Iowa has outscored Northwestern 121-26 in their last two meetings while winning 19 of the last 23 games SU in the series.

Minnesota (-13) @ Indiana

Both Indiana and Minnesota will look to get back on the right track after losing last weekend. Indiana traveled to East Lansing where they got beat 46-15 by the Michigan State Spartans, while the Gophers hosted Ohio State in a 45-31 loss.

Gopher Notes

â—쳌 Minnesota out gained the Buckeyes in total yardage with 578 total yards of offense compared to Ohio States 449 but still were beaten by two TD’s. OSU had given up over 400 yards only once this season coming into the game and that was against a potent Michigan State offense. Minny picking up almost 600 yards of total offense was very impressive despite the loss.
â—쳌 Quarterback Bryan Cupito returned after missing the Wisconsin game to play extremely well against the 13th best defense in the nation. Cupito completed 26 of his 35 passes for 396 yards and 1 touchdown.
â—쳌 The Minnesota defense was unable to avoid big plays. Ohio State scored six touchdowns and five of them were from 20 yards or more including a 100-yard kickoff return by Ted Ginn.
â—쳌 Running Back Laurence Maroney had 82 of his 127 rushing yards in the 1st quarter. His 127 yards is the most the Buckeye defense has allowed all year.

Hoosier Notes

â—쳌 Both the Hoosier offense and defense struggled mightily in this game as the defense couldn’t tackle and the offense had turnover problems
â—쳌 The Indiana defense seemed to be well prepared for this game as they were in all the right positions but just couldn’t make the plays after the catch.
â—쳌 Hoosiers offense had four turnovers including three of them in the red zone as they were threatening to put up points.
â—쳌 Hoosier wide Receiver James Hardy once again played exceptional catching 8 passes for 77 yards and one touchdown. Hardy now has 56 catches for 848 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
â—쳌 Hardy played with a sore Achilles heel and was hobbled by it all day but is still expected to play against the Gophers.

Match Up Notes

â—쳌 Indiana is only 1-10 SU and 2-9 ATS the last three years in November.
â—쳌 Minnesota isn’t any better. They are just 2-15 SU and 4-13 ATS in November road games since 1995.
â—쳌 The home team in this series is 9-2 ATS since 1990.
â—쳌 The Gophers are 0-7 SU and 2-4-1 ATS their last seven trips to Bloomington. That includes a loss last season @ IU. In that game, Minny was a 17.5 point favorite and lost the game 30-21. Believe it or not, the Hoosiers outrushed the Gophers that day, 238 to 169.
â—쳌 Since 1980 the Gophers have been double digit road favorites only 13 times. The Gophers are 10-3 SU and 8-5 ATS in those 13 games.

Illinois @ Ohio State (-34)

Illinois will enter Columbus after losing 41-24 against the Wisconsin Badgers, while the Buckeyes will be coming off of a huge 45-21 victory over the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. This is a big game for OSU to keep pace with either Wisconsin or Penn State at the top of the Big Ten.

Illinois Notes

â—쳌 The Illini showed a little life after getting pummeled by the Nittany Lions 63-10 two weeks ago.
â—쳌 Illinois was able to run for 261 yards and quarterback Tim Brasic accounted for 116 of those yards. The Illini out gained Wisconsin in total yardage 538 to 464.
â—쳌 However the rushing defense showed why they are 114th in the nation as they gave up 239 yards on the ground. Wisconsin running back Brian Calhoun ran for 197 yards and five touchdowns on the Illini defense.
â—쳌 The defense was also unable to stop any kind of long sustained Badger drives. The Badgers had four touchdown drives that were of 51 yards or more.
â—쳌 Although the Illini suffered yet another loss, Zook was impressed with the competitiveness of his players. This may have been a baby step to help improve a struggling Illinois program.

Buckeye Notes

â—쳌 The Buckeyes once again used big plays to beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 45-31 in the Metro Dome.
â—쳌 Five of Ohio States six touchdowns came on plays that were from 20 or more yards out.
â—쳌 Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith played probably his best game of the year completing 14 of 20 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
â—쳌 Ted Ginn Jr. has showed some life the last two weeks. This week Ginn returned a kickoff for a 100 yard touchdown. A week earlier against Indiana, Ginn had a 62 yard punt return for a TD.
â—쳌 The defense struggled to slow down the Minnesota offense. Minnesota ran up a total of 578 total yards of offense on the 13th ranked defense.
â—쳌 They did however make a good adjustment to shut down Minnesota star running back Laurence Maroney. Maroney ran for 82 first quarter yards and then was only able to collect 46 yards in the remaining 3 quarters.
â—쳌 The pass defense struggled all game and gave up a total of 396 yards through the air to a Minnesota team that is not known for lighting up the sky with footballs. The OSU defense also only forced one turnover.

Match Up Notes

â—쳌 The Illini are an impressive 14-4 ATS against Ohio State since 1985.
â—쳌 They are also 6-2 SU the last eight trips to Columbus where their average margin of victory has been 14 points in those six wins.
â—쳌 The Buckeyes however have been very impressive in November games under Coach Tressel as they are 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS.
â—쳌 Ohio State has been home favorites of 30 or more 16 times since 1980. They are 16-0 SU and 8-8 ATS. Those spread number are a bit skewed however as they were really good early in this role but have struggled as of late. In fact, the Bucks have actually lost 7 of their last 8 ATS as home favorites of 30 or more. Leading up to that stretch, they were 7-1 ATS in that role.
â—쳌 Illinois has only been road dogs of 30 or more two times since 1980, and they covered in both of those games.

Michigan State @ Purdue (+5.5)

Michigan State got back in the win column after beating Indiana 46-15 while the Boilermakers suffered yet another loss to Penn State losing 33-15. Michigan State will look to improve on their bowl eligibility while Purdue will be playing the role of spoiler.

Spartan Notes

â—쳌 Michigan State’s goal last week was to get off to a fast start and put their poor performance vs. Northwestern the week before behind them. Well, we’re pretty sure head coach John L. Smith wasn’t expecting to start quite as fast as they did. Kick returner Demond Williams returned the opening kick 98 yards for a touchdown to quickly put the Spartans on top.
â—쳌 The offense also got back on track after a disgusting performance against Northwestern two weeks ago. Drew Stanton was able to complete 17 of his 31 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another. Freshman running back Javon Ringer also ran the ball for 109 yards on only 11 carries.
â—쳌 The defense also stepped up and played fairly well forcing four turnovers including intercepting Indiana quarterback Blake Powers three times.
â—쳌 Both Michigan State starting receivers Matt Trannon and Kyle Brown are expected to play this upcoming week against Purdue. Trannon did play sparingly against Indiana, however Kyle Brown did not get on the field. Brown’s replacement Kerry Reed caught 6 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
â—쳌 The Spartans need to win one of their remaining three games to become bowl eligible. This game against Purdue is probably their best shot at a win as they finish up their season with @ Minnesota and at home vs. Penn State.

Boilermaker Notes

â—쳌 Purdue suffered yet another loss to keep them winless in the Big Ten. With last week’s loss, this will be the first time under Coach Joe Tiller (9 years) Purdue will not be making an appearance in a bowl game.
â—쳌 Purdue played Penn State fairly well for about a half only trailing the Nittany Lions 16-7 at half. However the Penn State ground game just tore apart the Boilermakers. The Boilermakers gave up 303 rushing yards to the Nittany Lions.
â—쳌 The pass defense however was fairly good allowing Michael Robinson to only complete 13 of his 29 passes for 213 yards. The defense also forced two fumbles both which were recovered.
â—쳌 Coach Joe Tiller sent freshman Curtis Painter to the bench in the third quarter and brought in Brandon Kirsch who brought some life to the Purdue offense. Painter struggled and completed only 6 of 17 passes while Kirsch completed 11 of his 21 passes.
â—쳌 Tiller has said that Kirsch will start at QB this weekend.
â—쳌 The key to this game will be Purdue’s mindset. Are the emotionally spent due to their six game losing streak? Purdue is a veteran team and they are used to going to bowl games. Every player on this team (except true freshman) has been to a bowl game every year. Now do they “pack it inâ€쳌 knowing that goal is no longer attainable? That will be the key to this game and the rest of Purdue’s season. Our goal is to find that out before Saturday.

Match Up Notes

â—쳌 The Boilermakers are 2-6 SU and 0-7-1 ATS so far this season and are on a six game skid after winning their first two games of the season.
â—쳌 Purdue as home dogs of five or more points are 7-36 SU and 23-20 ATS since 1980. They haven’t been a home dog of 5 or more since 2002.
â—쳌 The Boilermakers have won 5 of the last 6 meetings against the Spartans SU. They have also won their last 3 meetings at home SU against Michigan State.
â—쳌 Michigan State is 26-6 SU and 15-17 ATS as road favorites of 5 points or more since 1980. However they are only 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as 5 point or higher road favorites.

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