Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to all the Big Ten games. Get Dienhart’s thoughts from Northwestern’s win over Minnesota and Iowa’s double-overtime win at Michigan State in this post. Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13 1. Northwestern is bowl-eligible for the sixth season in a row, as Pat Fitzgerald continues to do a phenomenal job at his alma mater. Now, the 6-1 Wildcats aren’t just thinking about a bowl—they are thinking about winning the Legends Division and playing in the Big Ten title game. Up next: a visit from Nebraska.
Mark Weisman ran for 116 yards and a tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation, and Iowa went on to beat Michigan State 19-16 in double overtime Saturday. Mike Meyer kicked field goals in both overtimes, including a 42-yarder in the second that gave the Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) their first lead of the game. Iowa then won it when Andrew Maxwell‘s deflected pass was intercepted by Greg Castillo. Le’Veon Bell ran for 140 yards and a touchdown for Michigan State, but the Spartans (4-3, 1-2) couldn’t hold on late. Iowa drove 68 yards in nine plays and
There were more punts than points in the third quarter and the margin is still seven, as Michigan State leads 10-3. There were five punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball. Le’Veon Bell clinched a 100-yard rushing game with 33 in the quarter, part of his 101-yard day through three quarters for the Spartans. Iowa will start the fourth quarter with good field position on Michigan State’s 13-yard line. [ PREVIEWS | BY QUARTER | BOX | PBP | CONNECT | WEATHER ] EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts
Michigan State put on a defensive clinic in the second, as Iowa finished with negative rushing yardage (-2 yards), and the margin is still seven, as the Spartans lead 10-3. Michigan State’s passing attack looked sharp, as the Spartans threw for 89 yards in the quarter. Michigan State expanded its lead to 10-0 thanks to a seven-play, 52-yard drive that ended when Dan Conroy drilled a 24-yard field goal. The Spartans’ drive was keyed by Andrew Maxwell’s 38-yard pass. The Hawkeyes closed the gap to 10-3 when Mike Meyer made a 22-yard field goal to cap off a 42-yard drive.
Michigan State stifled Iowa’s offense, giving up just 37 total yards in the first quarter and the Spartans lead 7-0. Michigan State held the Hawkeyes to just 15 rushing yards in the quarter. The Spartans got on the scoreboard when Le’Veon Bell turned a handoff into a 14-yard touchdown. Michigan State began the drive with good field position after Denicos Allen intercepted a James Vandenberg pass. The Spartans will start the second quarter with possession on their own 38-yard line. [ PREVIEWS | BY QUARTER | BOX | PBP | CONNECT | WEATHER ] Read more from BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart
The time is now for Michigan State. There is a sense of urgency around this week’s visit from Iowa. In fact, the game almost has a “must-win” aura about it. The Spartans are 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. After this game with the Hawkeyes, Michigan State will embark on its most arduous phase of the season, playing at Michigan and at Wisconsin before coming home to play Nebraska and Northwestern. That’s why winning this game against Iowa is so vital to the Spartans. The Legends Division champ is likely to have two losses—at the most—in Big Ten
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. I’ll be tracking all of the games and filing my usual Snap Reactions. Follow me on Twitter @BTNTomDienhart and drop me any questions at the bottom o this post. Be sure to also bookmark any of these links and get in-game updates on Saturday: Illinois
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. After six weeks, it’s BTN.com fans and Dienhart tied for the top spot, at 44-13, while Brent sits two games back. See our Week 7 predictions and choose your winners in this post. SEASON RECORDS BTN.com fans: 44-13; .772 Tom: 44-13; .772 Brent: 42-15; .737 Iowa (3-2, 1-0) at Michigan State (4-2, 1-1) – noon ET, ESPN Tom’s pick: Michigan State, 21-20 – The
Like all quarterbacks, Michigan State’s Andrew Maxwell watches his share of game film. He’s taken in plenty on Iowa, this week’s opponent, and on Tuesday’s “#BTNLive,” host Dave Revsine asked him what he’s seen. Maxwell’s thoughts: “Iowa’s interesting to watch on film, because they don’t do many things, but what they do do they do very well.” The junior also showed a strong knowledge of Iowa’s defensive philosophy and recent lineage. Listen to Tuesday’s full “#BTNLive” episode: Maxwell’s sharp analysis impressed our crew, so much that it had Revsine saying: “You better watch out, Howard!” Griffith isn’t too worried about
Week 7 is at our doorstep, but the questions keep coming. Here are my most vexing queries for each Big Ten team with Saturday just around the corner. 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. [RELATED: Week 7 Power Rankings | Week 7 Player Rankings | Week 7 Bowl Projections] Illinois Can the defense get on track? In each of the last three games, the Fighting Illini defense has yielded at least 31 points. And the defense has allowed at least 400