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 12? Find out in this post.
As he does every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his immediate thoughts from the latest Big Ten games. See Dienhart’s Snap Reactions to Nebraska’s impressive victory over Minnesota and Purdue’s narrow win at Illinois in this post.
Saturday was a special day at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. Not only was it Senior Day, the game marked the 500th, and final at Memorial Stadium, of Tom Osborne’s career at Nebraska. The former head coach and current athletic director will retire Jan. 1, 2013, and the school honored him and the team’s seniors Saturday. Watch the school’s halftime tribute to Osborne now, plus see the day’s other tributes in this post.
Taylor Martinez threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns to Kenny Bell while becoming No. 16 Nebraska’s all-time passing leader in a 38-14 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. The Cornhuskers (9-2, 6-1), who had to come from behind in the second half in four of its first five Big Ten wins, scored on four of their first six possessions against the Gophers (6-5, 2-5).
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Carlos Hyde scored on a 2-yard run in overtime Saturday, giving No. 6 Ohio State a 21-14 victory over Wisconsin and keeping the Buckeyes’ hopes of a perfect season alive. The Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) clinched the Leaders Division title outright with the win.
Akeem Hunt turned a short pass into a 63-yard touchdown, and Purdue took another step toward a second consecutive bowl berth with a 20-17 victory at Illinois on Saturday. Hunt’s big play gave the Boilermakers (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) a 13-3 lead in the third quarter.
Aaron White and Josh Oglesby each scored 13 points and Iowa rallied from a 23-point deficit to clip Gardner-Webb 65-56 on Saturday night. The Hawkeyes trailed by as much as 38-15 late in the first half before a 15-0 run cut Gardner-Webb’s lead to eight.