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 8? Find out in this post.
Every Saturday throughout the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to all the action. See what Dienhart had to say about today’s early games: Ohio State’s comeback victory over Purdue in overtime and Wisconsin’s easy rivalry win over Minnesota.
James White raced 15 times through Minnesota’s defense for 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns, carrying Wisconsin to a 38-13 victory over Minnesota on Saturday, the ninth straight time the Badgers have beaten the Gophers to keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe.
Wisconsin ran for 99 yards in the quarter, and the Badgers now lead 24-13. Wisconsin made its lead 17-6 when Kyle French kicked a 33-yard field goal on the last play of a six-play, 22-yard drive. The Badgers began the drive with good field position at the Minnesota 38-yard line after Devin Smith intercepted a Philip Nelson pass.
Thanks to a mean rushing attack, Wisconsin takes a 14-6 lead over Minnesota to halftime. The Badgers rushed for 71 yards in the quarter. Wisconsin made it 14-6 after James White’s second touchdown of the game, a 34-yard run that capped a five-play, 70-yard drive.
First-time starter Philip Nelson threw for 34 yards and one touchdown and ran for 31 yards in the first quarter, but the Golden Gophers trail 7-6. Wisconsin threw for 87 yards during the quarter. The Badgers took the game’s first lead after James White, out of the Wildcat, scored on a 14-yard touchdown on the last play of a three-play, 59-yard drive. Wisconsin used Joel Stave’s 42-yard pass to fuel the drive.
Saturday is almost here. Here are my most pressing questions for each school as we kick it into overdrive and head into the second half of the 2012 football season. Also, catch “The Football Report” tonight at 7 p.m. ET as I’ll be making an appearance with Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin, and Tony banks.