The conference season is officially underway, as every B1G team has played a game (isn’t that 12-team balance nice?). Let’s take a look at the opening performances from Wednesday and Thursday.
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Illinois raced out to 6-0 start and a national this season only to lose the next six games before Ron Zook was dismissed as head coach. The Fighting Illini (6-6) take on UCLA (6-7) in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31. Like Illinois, UCLA fired their head coach this season. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
Northwestern makes a school-record fourth straight bowl trip when it plays Texas A&M at noon ET Dec. 31 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post. Also, view our entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
Iowa fell to Oklahoma 31-14 in Friday night’s Insight Bowl and the Hawkeyes really missed RB Marcus Coker, who was suspended earlier this month for breaking team rules. Coker was the nucleus of the Hawkeye attack, ranking 14th in the nation in rushing (115.3 ypg) with 15 touchdowns. Iowa went with a running back-by-committee approach that had mixed results, running 37 times for 76 yards (2.1 ypc). My pregame prediction was Oklahoma 34-21 – not too shabby – but I also learned a few things from this game.
Blake Bell ran for three touchdowns to help No. 19 Oklahoma survive a late rally and a crashing camera to beat Iowa 31-14 in the Insight Bowl Friday night. Iowa (7-6) fell into a 21-0 hole before rallying behind two touchdown passes from James Vandenberg. The Hawkeyes came up just short and dodged a potential disaster when an overhead camera crashed to the field next to receiver Marvin McNutt in the closing minutes (see photos of the crashed camera). Jump inside for links to stats and recaps for each quarter of the Insight Bowl.
Is that a TV camera down on the field? Yes, yes it is. Click inside to see it and other pictures. We posted game photos from the 2011 Insight Bowl between Iowa and Oklahoma all game, as we do for all of our Big Ten Bowl games. All photos are from U.S. Presswire.