Think Nathan Scheelhaase was excited about his first touchdown run since Week 1? Well, the Illinois quarterback did attempt to high-five an official following his second-quarter run Saturday at Wisconsin. To little surprise the ref wanted no part of the high-five. Scheelhaase had reason to be excited, though, as his scoring scamper gave Illinois its first lead, 7-0, since it struck first in a Week 4’s 52-24 home loss to Louisiana Tech.
Every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the Big Ten action and offers his Snap Reactions. Earlier today he offered his thoughts from Michigan State and Penn State’s comeback victories over Indiana and Northwestern, respectively. Here, he looks at Wisconsin’s 31-14 victory over Illinois.
Joel Stave threw two touchdown passes and Wisconsin’s running game showed signs of life as the Badgers defeated Illinois 31-14 on Saturday. Stave threw for 254 yards for the Badgers (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who rushed for 173 yards – 96 in the fourth quarter.
Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase led the offense in the third quarter. He threw for 19 yards and ran for 42 yards, but the Fighting Illini now trail 10-7. Wisconsin’s James White ran for 28 yards in the quarter. The Badgers have scored the last 10 points.
Wisconsin’s James White caught a 62-yard touchdown pass in the quarter, and the two teams are tied 7-7 at the end of the second. Illinois struck first when Nathan Scheelhaase scrambled for a five-yard touchdown run, the final play of a two-play, 28-yard drive. Steve Hull’s interception of a Joel Stave pass set the Fighting Illini up to start the drive.
The first quarter was so slow, the teams combined for more punts than points, and the game is tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. There were three punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball.
This week’s college football slate is nothing short of phenomenal: Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Florida, and West Virginia-Texas are among about a half dozen intriguing games. The Big Ten has its share of good ones, including a match-up of ranked teams in Columbus, as Nebraska visits Ohio State. It seems as good a place as any to jump into this week’s “Numbers.”
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.
Another Saturday looms. And, I have questions. Here are my most pressing queries for Big Ten teams entering Week 6, the second week of conference play. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.