Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 16, 2015

How about Michigan QB Jake Rudock? Who saw this type of season coming from the former Iowa signal-caller? I didn?t. Nick Baumgardner of has a nice tribute to him after his six touchdown pass effort at Indiana.

In September, Baumgardner notes that Rudock had moments where he looked like a liability. In October, he looked like a game manager. But not much more. Now? Rudock's playing like a warrior. The best football of his life, on the biggest stage of his career with everything on the line and no margin for error. Mr. November.

"So good, so good," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after the double OT win on Saturday. "I don't have anything to compare it to. I really don't.
"He's been uniquely good."


Looky here: Iowa is 10-0 for the first time in school history. And as the great Rick Brown of notes, it hasn?t been easy.

One more victory, either at Kinnick Stadium at 11 a.m. against Purdue or Nov. 27 at Nebraska, will earn the Hawkeyes the West Division title and a berth in the Big Ten Championship game Dec. 5 in Indianapolis. Another Wisconsin loss would also do the trick. Raise your hand if you saw that coming at the start of the season.


The Michigan State offense is not clicking as the Spartans head to Ohio State for a huge game. Not good.

The great Mike Griffith of says a capable Connor Cook with a newfound chip on his shoulder might remedy the MSU passing game next Saturday. But the Spartans' lack of success on the ground is what's truly surprising. Michigan State had 141 yards on the ground against the Terps on 41 carries, an average of 3.4 yards per attempt behind an offensive line that Athlon Sports ranked No. 2 in the nation entering the season. MSU is gonna have to run it to win in Columbus.

ESPN?s Mark May unloaded on the MSU offensive line, saying it was ?horrendous? in protecting Cook.

"The biggest thing for Michigan State, if Connor Cook can play in this game, which he should be able to because he didn't play in the second half (against Maryland), they've got to protect him," May, a former NFL offensive lineman and Outland Trophy winner, said on ESPN's College Football Sunday show.


OK, Ohio State got to 10-0. Now, the hard part starts beginning with a visit from Michigan State.

And to beat the Spartans, the Buckeyes are going to need to pass. MSU has a young secondary (three freshmen start) and an offensive line that is banged up and struggling to protect Connor Cook. Against Michigan State and that front seven, notes that you cannot just run to win. Against Michigan and a top 10 run defense a week later, you cannot just run to win. Michigan State knows it, Michigan knows it and Urban Meyer knows it.

"That's our strength, that's where we're most consistent," Meyer said, "but we also know, to win the big one, you need to be balanced. And we're not quite there yet."


A nice photo gallery from that looks at how the Nittany Lions got to 7-3.


Nebraska has won two games in a row for the first time this season. Now, it?s off this week. Hope that doesn?t kill their mojo. Now, a 6-6 record is in sight. But to get there, the Huskers will have to beat an Iowa team that probably will come to Lincoln with an 11-0 record on Nov. 27.

NU needs to beat the Hawkeyes to guarantee itself a bowl game with six wins, although 5-7 still would give the Huskers a shot because there are 40 bowls and 80 bowl slots. But Nebraska made a goal, after an ugly loss to Purdue, to create a three-game season and go perfect in those games. Two down. One to go.

?We?re going to play with a little bit of attitude,? Tommy Armstrong said. ?That?s what we?ve been doing.?


The fight for respect continues for Indiana after it lost a heartbreaking game in double overtime to Michigan on Saturday.

This would have been a huge victory for Kevin Wilson and his push to get Indiana over the hump. He?s so close.


That?s four losses in a row for Minnesota. But, it has been so close in recent weeks as it battles through a rough part of the schedule that has seen the Golden Gophers lose to Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa. Maybe Minnesota can finish strong with home games vs. Illinois and Wisconsin.


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