Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 10, 2014

Count Matt Hayes of Sporting News among those impressed by what Ohio State did to Michigan State. In fact, Hayes calls the Buckeyes the hottest team in college football. Can Ohio State be ? the best team in the land? Hmmm.

Credit Ohio State wunderkind QB J.T. Barrett, who continues to impress. It?s hard to believe he?s just a redshirt freshman.


Gutty effort by Michigan to grind out an ugly-and I mean an UGLY-win at Northwestern. Credit the defense. Guys like Frank Clark and Jake Ryan won?t let this season die. Good for them. This team just may yet go bowling. And that?s a credit to all involved.

"Thank God for the defense," Michigan center Jack Miller said after the team's 10-9 win at Northwestern.

Nick Baumgardner of notes that on three separate occasions in the third quarter, Northwestern started drives in Michigan territory. And every time, those drives came up empty. Michigan's defense racked up six sacks, and kept the Wildcats to minus-9 yards rushing on the day.


Speaking of defenses saving the day ? that?s exactly what Penn State?s did at Indiana.

David Jones of points out that because Penn State's rushing defense, top-ranked nationally, was dominant, the Lions won. It pitched a de-facto shutout as Indiana's only points came on a second-quarter pick-six of Christian Hackenberg. What might be more impressive is how the State defenders shut down one of the very best running backs in the country in Indiana's Tevin Coleman, ending his string of consecutive 100-yard rushing games at 10. PSU is now one win from bowl eligibility.


What to make of Iowa?s meltdown at Minnesota? The great Rick Brown of thinks the Hawkeyes are on the verge of underachieving.

I?m not going to disagree. This team has a good chance to finish 7-5 or maybe even 6-6. That?s far from what I expected from a squad I felt had the stuff to win the West.


Monster win for Minnesota, which crushed Iowa, 51-14. The Gophers now possess the Little Brown Jug and Floyd of Rosedale at the same time for the first time since 1967. Can the Gophers win Paul Bunyan?s Axe from Wisconsin later this season for a trophy trifecta? Let?s not get ahead of ourselves, with Ohio State coming to the Twin Cities this weekend. The key vs. the Buckeyes will be QB Mitch Leidner, who took his game to another level vs. the Hawkeyes.


Dan Hoppen of takes a look at five Nebraska players who need big finishes. Among those: QB Tommy Armstrong, who has been a bit uneven of late en route to completing just 53 percent of his passes with eight interceptions.


Any discussion of how far Wisconsin can go centers around the Badgers? ability to pass. Well, in the second quarter of Saturday?s win at Purdue, Wisconsin showed its passing game can be effective.

And the staff put a twist on the team?s two-quarterback system by playing both signal-callers in the same series, with Joel Stave and McEvoy trading spots within drives. McEvoy did what he does best, using his legs to create 42 yards on only four carries, and Stave took care of things through the air.

?Both of them did a nice job,? Gary Andersen said. ?I feel good about it and excited about the future.?

Me, too.


This is a fun read from the bright gang at, which looks at the ?fun bad? Northwestern-Michigan game with Vines.


In case you haven't noticed, Rutgers? Leonte Carroo is emerging as a top wideout in the Big Ten.

Dan Duggan of notes that even though the Scarlet Knights have lost three straight games, and the offense and defense have each played a role in the team being outscored 135-41 during the streak, a few individuals continue to post impressive statistics.

Most notably Carroo, who had 12 catches for 260 yards and a touchdown during the stretch to establish his standing among the top receivers in the Big Ten. And even though quarterback Gary Nova struggled through poor play and a knee injury, he remains near the top of numerous passing categories.