Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 4? Find out in this post.
Wrapping up today’s action, Minnesota held off Syracuse, 17-10, and Louisiana Tech dropped Illinois, 52-24. As he’s done all day, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts and analysis from the action under the lights in this post. See his early game thoughts and afternoon thoughts.
During his press availability after Michigan State’s 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio apparently wanted to keep the questions from reporters moving at fast pace. At one point it was almost like a no-huddle approach as Dantonio punctuated each of his short answers with the phrase, “Next question.” “I’m just loving all these questions,” Dantonio says at one point, “because they’re great ones.” Watch the entire exchange in the video in this post.
Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns and the Minnesota defense showed it is no longer the pushover it has been for decades in a 17-10 victory over Syracuse on Saturday night. The Golden Gophers forced four turnovers and Max Shortell threw for 231 yards in place of injured starter MarQueis Gray to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2008.
Manti Te’o had two interceptions as No. 11 Notre Dame picked off five Michigan passes and backup quarterback Tommy Rees sparked the Fighting Irish offense in a 13-6 win over the 18th-ranked Wolverines Saturday night. Denard Robinson, who amassed 948 yards of total offense in victories over the Irish past two years, wasn’t as effective this time as he threw four interceptions in the first half, then lost a fumble at the Notre Dame 8-yard line on the first drive of the second half.
Louisiana Tech turned six Illinois turnovers and a 284-yard, four-touchdown night from quarterback Colby Cameron into a 52-24 road upset of Illinois Saturday. Cameron’s favorite target was Quinton Patton who caught six balls for 164 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Illinois (2-2) turned the ball over three times in the first quarter and the Bulldogs (3-0) cashed in for an early 21-7 lead.
Donnell Kirkwood led Minnesota in the quarter. He ran for 34 yards and one touchdown, and the Golden Gophers now lead 14-3. Minnesota opened up the lead, 14-3, after marching down the field for a 12-play, 87-yard drive that ended when Kirkwood pounded in a one-yard touchdown run.