Following the action every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down what every game, every result means for the teams involved and the Big Ten itself. See Tom’s Week 11 Snap Reactions in this post.
(AP) Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 192 yards and a touchdown and backup quarterback Devin Gardner threw a key TD pass to lead No. 22 Michigan past Illinois 31-14 on Saturday. Denard Robinson didn’t play after a big third-quarter hit. Details about his injury weren’t available. In relief Gardner hit Martavious Odoms for a fourth quarter touchdown that gave Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) a 24-7 lead after Illinois scored. The Illini (6-4, 2-4) finished with 214 yards of offense but had just 30 at halftime. For the fourth week in a row they didn’t score in the first half and they’ve lost four straight. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view the Big Ten scoreboard.
Many eyes will be on Michigan State’s game at Iowa, arguably the biggest tilt this weekend in what will be a matchup that goes a long way toward determining who wins the Legends Division. And what type of scene will unfold at Penn State, where Nebraska is playing? Following lower in this post is a look at what the other Big Ten teams need to do to enjoy success this Saturday. Note: Indiana is off.
Lots of tough decisions this week, with four conference battles and one non-conference game. Without a doubt, the races in each division will become more defined after this weekend. Who will prevail in key matchups between Michigan State-Iowa and Nebraska-Penn State?
Illinois won its second Big Ten tourney title in program history with a 2-1 overtime victory against Penn State on Sunday. In the latest “BTN Soccer Report,” host Kevin Egan and analyst Aron Hyde recap the tournament and are joined by Illinois sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, who scored the game-winning goal in the championship game. Analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin also calls in to give her take on the tournament. Illinois, along with Ohio State and Penn State, will compete in the NCAA Tournament that kicks off later this week.
The Iowa running has surged to the top of my Big Ten player rankings. The star sophomore has rattled off four straight 100-yard, two-touchdown rushing games (121, 2 vs. Northwestern; 138, 2 vs. Indiana; 252, 2 vs. Minnesota; 132, 2 vs. Michigan). He literally carried Iowa to victory on Saturday over Michigan, pushing him to a Big Ten-leading 1,101 yards rushing (122.3 ypg). The 230-pound Marcus Coker just may carry the Hawkeyes all the way to the Legends Division title. See Tom’s full top 25 list in this post.
Lots of interesting storylines and angles to watch in Week 11, as the divisional chases firm up—at least a little. Two games will go a long way toward determining who wins each division: Michigan State at Iowa is a big Legends clash, while Nebraska at Penn State is a major Leaders encounter. But there also are other intriguing matchups this Saturday.