First and Big Ten

Game Recaps Archives

A Topsy-Turvy Day In The Big Ten: Ohio State Now In Control of the Championship

Kristofer Green

The Big Ten's topsy-turvy day has come to an end.

No. 4 Iowa saw it's magical run come to an end at the hands of the Northwestern Wildcats; Illinois continued its renaissance by holding on to beat the Gophers on the road; Western Michigan was no match for the "oh so close" Spartans; Purdue became the only team to sweep both Ohio State and Michigan this season; and Wisconsin held off a scrappy Indiana team.

Then there was the big game in State College...

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EARLY GAME RESULTS: Pryor, Buckeyes Respond With A Dominating Performance

Kristofer Green

Ohio State 38, Minnesota 7

Embattled Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his offense responded to two weeks of growing criticism with a dominating second half performance against a suddenly struggling Minnesota squad.

The Buckeyes wracked up 509 yards of total offense and Pryor accounted for 343 total yards and three touchdowns, including two bombs to receiver DeVier Posey who had 161 and the two touchdowns.

The Gophers again struggled to move the ball on offense with any consistency. Adam Weber threw for 112 yards on only 10 completions and had two interceptions. Weber's day seem to unravel when all-everything receiver Eric Decker left in the first quarter with a foot injury.

Northwestern 29, Indiana 28

The Wildcats, down 28-3 to Indiana with 7:32 remaining in the second quarter, finally showed up to play. Quarterback Mike Kafka directed two long scoring drives in the final 4:07 of the first half to get the Wildcats back in the game.

Then the Northwestern defense completely shut down the Hoosier offense in the second half, while the 'Cats defense added a safety, Kafka tossed another touchdown, and Stefan Demos sealed the comeback with a 19 yard field goal with :21 remaining.

Indiana failed to capitalize on a dominant first 20 minutes and the Hoosier defense could not stop Kafka, who picked them apart with ease on his way to a 312 yard day.

Purdue 24, Illinois 14

The Boilermakers used the momentum from last week's upset win over the Buckeyes and another excellent defensive performance this week to beat a reeling Illinois team who is still searching for their first victory over an FBS opponent.

Purdue backs Ralph Bolden and Jaycen Taylor combined for 149 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Joey Elliott added another 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground as the Boilermakers turned in the first turnover free performance of the season.

The Illini used three quarterbacks who combined for 142 yards and and interception. Ron Zook, seemingly in search of a spark on offense, is instead grasping at straws at this point. Using three quarterbacks is not the way to establish consistency on offense.

Wallace Has Coming-Out Party as Penn State Shuts Down Minnesota

Kevin Paul

STATE COLLEGE, PA - On a day first owned by Mother Nature, Penn State and senior cornerback A.J. Wallace put in a dominating performance of their own, shutting out Minnesota 20-0 on a rain and snow soaked Homecoming evening.


For some, the road of life features more twists and turns, rises or falls, than others.


Take A.J. Wallace, for example.

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Big Ten Football: Week 2 Early Games - Handing Out Gold Stars and Throwing Tomatoes

Kevin Paul

For those not familiar with my work in the past, it's common occurrence to throw a tomato when dissatisfied with a play or performance (on or off the field) - all in all, a playful way to show that a performance could have been better - much better.  

On the counter side, handing out gold stars is necessary for the elite performances.  With that being said, let's touch upon the early games for Week 2 in Big Ten football...

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Iowa Blocks Upset Minded Northern Iowa 17-16 in Season Opener

Kristofer Green

The celebration had begun.

The Hawkeyes, who had been trailing for most of the game against FCS Northern Iowa, had blocked UNI's game winning field goal attempt preserving a comeback that never should have been needed in the first place.

But, Iowa's Jeremiha Hunter, on the advice of teammates, let the ball roll to a stop and be scooped up by UNI.

The only problem was that the ball did not cross the line of scrimmage and therefore was a live ball. The Panthers would get a redo.

Instead of burying his head in his hands after what appeared to be a gut-wrenching mistake, Hunter helped his teammates focus on the next field goal try.

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Defense Saves the Day: Indiana Hangs On, Beats Eastern Kentucky 19-13

Kristofer Green

Thank goodness for experience.

The veteran Hoosiers defense, which gave up more than 35 points per game last season, allowed just one touchdown, forced a crucial fumble, sacked the quarterback four times and had a safety to lead the Hoosiers to season opening win in renovated Memorial Stadium.

Though the win certainly wasn't pretty, there were signs of encouragement.

New starting quarterback Ben Chappell was solid throwing 27 of 36 for a career-high 326 yards with one touchdown and receiver Tandon Doss also caught eight passes for 125 yards, a career-high.

But, Bill Lynch's revamped offense failed to run the ball with any consistency, something that has been a point of emphasis in the offseason.
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Illinois Embarrassed: No Fight in Illini's 37-9 Disaster

Kristofer Green

Ron Zook and the Illini have fooled us for the last time.

Last season, coming off a road win against No. 1 Ohio State and a trip to the Rose Bowl, the Illini were expected to take the next step and contend for the Big Ten title.

Illinois was 5-7.

This season, again with Big Ten title aspirations, the Illini took the field at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis as favorites against bitter rival Missouri. Unfortunately, for Illnois' fans, that was the only thing the Illini did right.
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