Get Tom Dienhart’s Best of Week 11 in the Big Ten

Get Tom Dienhart’s Best of Week 11 in the Big Ten

A wild Saturday saw Michigan be one of three Top Four unbeaten teams get beaten. The Wolverines’ last-second loss at Iowa makes things more interesting in the Big Ten East. The West? Well, Wisconsin is in firm control.

Here is a look at Saturday in the Big Ten.

Biggest surprise: No one saw Iowa beating Michigan. But the unraked Hawkeyes stunned the No. 2 Wolverines, 14-13, on freshman walk-on Keith Duncan’s last-second field goal.

Biggest disappointment: The Wolverines, who lost to an Iowa team that last week allowed 599 yards in a 41-14 loss at Penn State. Michigan still controls its destiny; win out, and the Wolverines will win the East.

Play this again: Iowa’s 14-13 win over Michigan had drama at the end but not much pizzazz overall. So, let’s go with Penn State’s 45-31 win at Indiana, which was fun, as each team had over 400 yards. The game was tied, 14-14, at halftime. The Hoosiers looked to take control with a 24-14 lead in the third quarter and led 24-21 entering the fourth quarter. And it was 35-31, PSU, with 3:58 left. But the Nittany Lions iced the game with 10 final points en route to tallying 24 fourth-quarter points.

Never play this again: Michigan State dominated from start to finish vs. Rutgers, jetting to a 35-0 halftime lead before cruising to a 49-0 triumph to notch its first Big Ten win of 2016 and to end a seven-game losing skid.

Best play: Purdue wideout Bilal Marshall made a stunning 49-yard TD catch, extending to make a great grab and then extending again to cross the goal line.

Best moment: Following its easy win over Purdue on Veterans Day weekend, Northwestern carried teammate and retired Navy SEAL Tom Hruby off the field. Pat Fitzgerald tries his darnedest to get him a late TD, too, to no avail.

Did you see this? One week after suffering a scary head injury, Armstrong required medical attention when he tweaked an ankle vs. Minnesota. He returned, of course, only to end up hurting his left hamstring on the go-ahead and eventual game-winning touchdown run. Fittingly, the Huskers carried their tough quarterback off the field.

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WEEK 11 GRADES

Illinois: F
Indiana: B-
Iowa: A-
Maryland: F
Michigan: C+
Michigan State: A
Minnesota: C
Nebraska: B
Northwestern: B+
Ohio State: A+
Penn State: B+
Purdue: D-
Rutgers: F
Wisconsin: A

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WEEK 11 SUPERLATIVES

Offensive Player of the Week: Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson hit 23-of-36 passes for 352 yards with three TDs and two picks in a 45-17 win at Purdue. Thorson also ran for a TD.

Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan & Wisconsin DB Leo Musso. McMillan tallied 10 tackles (six solo), a sack and two TFLs in Ohio State’s 62-3 win at Maryland, and Musso recorded two interceptions, both of the highlight variety, to go along with four tackles in Wisconsin’s 48-3 win vs. Illinois.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Iowa K Keith Duncan nailed both of this field-goal attempts, including the game-winner from 33 yards as time expired.

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STOCK UP

Ohio State. We can officially say the Buckeye offense has regained its mojo. OSU has tallied 62 points in back-to-back games. It is the first time the Buckeyes have scored over 60 points in back-to-back Big Ten games. Ohio State has won three in a row and is rolling, notching 581 yards in a 62-3 win at Maryland with J.T. Barrett hitting 18-of-27 passes for 253 yards with two TDs and 47 yards rushing with two scores.

Iowa. The Hawkeyes are still looking up at Wisconsin in the Big Ten West standings, but the 14-13 win vs. Michigan was a nice boost for a team that had lost two in a row. The Hawkeyes stuffed Michigan, allowing just 201 yards.

Penn State. Not only did the Nittany Lions push their winning streak to six with a gut-it-out 45-31 win at Indiana, but their Big Ten East title hopes became more attainable with Iowa’s upset vs. Michigan. Win out and have Ohio State beat Michigan in the season finale, and the Nittany Lions are headed to Indy.

Nebraska. The Huskers ended a two-game skid with a gutsy 24-17 home win vs. Minnesota. Nebraska outgained the Gophers, 374-265, fewest yards allowed all season for the Huskers. The big key: NU outrushed Minnesota, 157-85, averaging 4.9 ypc; Minnesota averaged 2.5 ypc.

Northwestern. The Wildcats ended a two-game skid with a 45-17 win at Purdue, ripping the Boilermakers for 605 yards. Two Wildcats ran for over 100 yards (Justin Jackson 127 and John Moten 119) for the first time since 2013. And WR Austin Carr made five catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

STOCK DOWN

Michigan. The 14-13 loss at Iowa doesn’t ruin the Wolverines’ season. But it raises questions about the offense and its ability to run the ball. Michigan had just 201 yards of offense with 98 on the ground.

Indiana. The Hoosiers looked primed to dump Penn State. But five turnovers proved to be too much to overcome. QB Richard Lagow did his part, hitting 23-of-40 passes for 292 yards with two touchdowns. So, IU must wait another week to try to become bowl eligible.

Minnesota. When the day began, the Golden Gophers controlled their destiny in the West. No more, as Minnesota lost at Nebraska, 24-17, to end a four-game winning streak. The Gophers were limited to 85 yards rushing and allowed 157 rush yards.

Illinois. The Fighting Illini got eviscerated at Wisconsin, yielding 363 yards rushing and notching just 99 on the ground. Four turnovers also were killer, as Illinois was 0-of-9 on third down and had the ball 17:57 to Wisconsin’s 42:03. Any mojo from last week’s win vs. Michigan State is long gone.

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TOP NUMBERS

9, turnovers for Indiana in the last two games. The Hoosiers had four two weeks ago at Rutgers and five today.

115, rushing yards for Iowa’s Akrum Wadley on 23 carries. He literally carried the Hawkeyes to victory over Michigan.

98, TDs that Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett has been responsible for in his career. He broke the Big Ten all-time mark of Purdue’s Drew Brees, who had 95.

12, TD catches in 2016 for Northwestern’s Austin Carr. That tied a school single-season record.

122, yards rushing for Michigan State’s LJ Scott on 20 carries with a TD.

127, yards rushing for Northwestern’s Justin Jackson on 22 carries with two TDs. Jackson eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the process, becoming the first NU player to achieve that feat in three consecutive seasons.

33, carries for Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, a career-high. He managed just 60 yards put scored twice and never relented.

108, yards rushing for Indiana’s Devine Redding, who carried 23 times with two scores.

278, all-purpose yards for Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong, who passed for 217 yards and two scores and ran for 61 and a TD.

112, total yards for Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, who had two rushing scores and a TD reception.

2, 100-yard rushers for Wisconsin: Corey Clement ran 25 times for 123 yards and three TDs; Dare Ogunbowale carried seven times for 103. Bradrick Shaw added 80 yards.

102, yards receiving for Purdue’s Bilal Marshall on seven catches with a TD.

332, yards passing for Penn State’s Trace McSorley, who hit 16-of-30 passes with two TDs and two picks. He also had a rushing score.

Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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