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 12 Snap Reactions in this post.
(AP) No. 21 Penn State won for the first time since coach Joe Paterno was fired, with Stephfon Green running for two touchdowns and the Nittany Lions’ solid defense holding Ohio State scoreless in the second half of a 20-14 victory Saturday. Penn State (9-2, 6-1) earned a share of the Big Ten’s Leaders Division title and set up a division title game next week at Wisconsin. The winner will play in the conference’s first championship game on Dec. 3. Braxton Miller ran for a touchdown and threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Jake Stoneburner for Ohio State (6-5, 3-4), but he had an intentional grounding and three incompletions on the Buckeyes’ final possession. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.
(AP) Montee Ball rushed for 224 yards and Wisconsin forced four turnovers in a 28-17 comeback win against Illinois on Saturday. The slumping Illini jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter and carried a 17-7 advantage into halftime. But Ball had a 5-yard TD run after Wisconsin recovered a fumble, pulling the Badgers within three early in the third quarter. The Badgers kept up the pressure, grabbing the lead for good on quarterback Russell Wilson‘s 1-yard TD run that made it 21-17. Wilson’s team only had to go 44 yards for the go-ahead score after a 74-yard punt buried the Illini at their own 3. Donovonn Young rushed for two TDs for Illinois. He finished with 43 yards on eight carries. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.
(AP) Denard Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to help No. 20 Michigan rout No. 17 Nebraska 45-17 Saturday. The Wolverines (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten) moved into second place in the conference’s Legends Division and kept its chances of playing in a BCS bowl for the first time since the 2006 season. The Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3) lost any hope of playing in the Big Ten’s first title game. Michigan State clinched its spot in the Dec. 3 game in Indianapolis with a win over Indiana and Michigan’s victory against Nebraska. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.
(AP) Kirk Cousins threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns in just over a half as No. 12 Michigan State moved a step closer to the Big Ten championship game with a 55-3 rout of Indiana on Saturday. The Spartans entered the game with a one-game lead over both Nebraska and Michigan, who were playing at the same time in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines were leading in the fourth quarter, which would lock Michigan State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) into the conference’s first championship game because of its 28-14 win over Michigan on Oct. 15. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.
Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
(AP) Dan Persa threw for 216 yards and two touchdowns, and Northwestern won its fourth straight, beating Minnesota 28-13 on Saturday. Venric Mark came through with two big kickoff returns as the Wildcats (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten) scored touchdowns on their first three possessions to build a 21-7 lead. That set the tone as Northwestern became eligible for its fourth straight bowl appearance. The Wildcats lost five in a row after winning their first two and appeared to be going nowhere, but they turned it around in a big way with lopsided wins over Indiana and Rice sandwiched around a tight stunner at Nebraska. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.
(AP) James Vandenberg threw three touchdown passes, including two to Marvin McNutt, to help Iowa defeat Purdue 31-21 on Saturday for the Hawkeyes’ first road win of the season. Vandenberg passed for 273 yards, and McNutt caught nine passes for 151 yards. Marcus Coker rushed for 139 yards on 30 carries for the Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten), who had lost their three road games by a combined 14 points. The Hawkeyes outgained the Boilermakers 408 yards to 286 but struggled to put away scrappy Purdue. Antavian Edison caught nine passes for 97 yards and Ralph Bolden ran for 71 yards for Purdue on Senior Day. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.