Thanks to a mean rushing attack, the margin is still 11, as Northwestern leads 21-10. The Wildcats rushed for 83 yards in the quarter. The Wildcats opened up the lead, 21-10, after Venric Mark pounded in a 48-yard touchdown run to end a two-play, 57-yard drive. Northwestern’s Mark hit 150 yards rushing for the game in the quarter, part of his 151-yard rushing performance thus far.
Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood is a powerful runner, and he showed it Saturday afternoon. In the second quarter of Minnesota’s home game against Northwestern, Kirkwood delivered such a blow to a defender that his helmet decal came flying off. It’s something you have to see to believe. Watch the rare equipment malfunction now.
Northwestern ran for 79 yards in the quarter, and the Wildcats lead 14-3 at the end of the first quarter. Northwestern got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a one-play, 26-yard drive that ended in a score when Venric Mark turned a handoff into a 26-yard touchdown. The Wildcats started in good field position when Northwestern recovered a fumble.
Having taking a long, hard look at each Saturday’s five Big Ten football games, I’m offering up my weekly rankings of the games here. Wisconsin at Purdue is a big one in a weird season for the Leaders Division while Iowa at Michigan State offers up two Legends Division teams looking to stabilize their seasons.
Is it me, or has this Urban Meyer fellow had a bit of an impact at Ohio State? I know there are still some issues with this team – a bit too reliant on Braxton Miller, a tad shaky at times on defense – but that was still a pretty impressive performance on Saturday night. I really thought going into the game that you could construct an argument that Nebraska was the best team in the Big Ten. I thought wrong.
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As we enter the second half of Big Ten play, a clear hierarchy has been established in the conference. At 3-0 and 2-0 respectively, perennial national power Indiana and defending Big Ten champion Northwestern are firmly in the apex of the Big Ten soccer pyramid. Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State are battling it out in the middle class with a win apiece, while Wisconsin and Ohio State are sitting in the base winless searching for answers.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.