Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, November 28, 2015
The final Saturday was busy, seeing Michigan State wrap up the East to set up a meeting with Iowa in the Big Ten title game. The first Urban-Harbaugh Bowl turned into a lopsided affair. And on a weekend when four teams had a shot to earn a sixth win and lock up a bowl, only one delivered: Indiana.
[ MORE: Best of Week 13 | Week 13 scores | Big Ten stats | Big Ten standings | Latest polls | Power Rankings | Dienhart: Fun Big Ten title matchup | What Tom Dienhart learned | Week 13 picks revisited | Gerry DiNardo tweets | Week 13 top performers | Michigan honors late Chad Carr, 5 | YouTube highlights ]
Here's my Week 13 wrap:
BEST OF WEEK 13
Top moment, Part I: Michigan honored Chad Carr, the 5-year-old grandson of Michigan legends Lloyd Carr and Tom Curtis who died Tuesday after a 15-month battle with brain cancer, with a moment of silence before hosting rival Ohio State. Read more about Carr.
Top moment, Part II: Jerry Kill was back at TCF Bank Stadium for the first time since retiring due to health concerns in late October, and he helped honor the seniors and led the team onto the field vs. rival Wisconsin.
Top hurdle: Devine Redding, Indiana. Redding is Indiana's backup running back, but that's only because the Hoosiers also boast Jordan Howard, the Big Ten's leader in yards rushing per game. Redding is very talented, and that was evident all day, including on his silly hurdle of a would-be tackler.
Top spin move: Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State. To be accurate, Burbridge ripped off two killer spin moves on his athletic touchdown vs. Penn State.
Top stiff arm: Jack Allen, Michigan State. You know things are going well when the center lines up in the backfield in the red zone and gets a carry. Allen used a nice stiff-arm to get into the end zone late in Michigan State's blowout win vs. Penn State.
Top catch: Leonte Carroo, Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights' standout became the first receiver in program history with multiple double-digit touchdown campaigns, but his biggest highlight came on a slick one-handed sideline catch .
Top player: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State. One week after being held to 33 yards rushing in a home loss to Michigan State, the star running back torched rival Michigan for 214 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win.
Don't think I ever ran harder than I did today ...— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) November 28, 2015
WEEK 13 GRADES
Michigan State: A
Ohio State: A
Penn State: D-
Biggest surprise: Wisconsin?s relatively easy win at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers had guaranteed bowl eligibility on the line: win vs. your biggest rival and you?re in. Instead, Minnesota got whipped, 31-21. That is 12 defeats in a row to the Badgers. Will the Gophers ever beat Wisconsin again and get back the Axe?
Biggest disappointment: Michigan. Yes, most felt the Wolverines wouldn?t beat Ohio State. But, most felt it would be competitive. Well, it wasn?t, as Urban Meyer schooled Jim Harbaugh in their first meeting, taking a convincing 42-13 win in Ann Arbor.
Play this again: Maryland trailed Rutgers, 31-13, at halftime. But the Terps rallied for 46-41 win at Piscataway, New Jersey. It gave interim coach Mike Locksley his first win in six games and snapped an eight-game overall losing streak for the Terps. Maryland finished with 401 yards rushing and had 656 yards in total offense, the first time it has passed the 600-yard mark since 2004. Consider this payback for Maryland, which lost a 25-point lead a season ago in the season final last year vs. Rutgers.
Never play this again: Michigan State needed to beat visiting Penn State to lock up the Big Ten East's berth in the Big Ten title game. And the Spartans dominated, taking a 55-16 decision. The stats were pretty even except for turnovers, as the Nittany Lions had four to the Spartans? one. That was the difference.
Did you see this? Illinois stripped the interim tag off Bill Cubit and signed him to a two-year contract hours before the Northwestern-Illinois rivalry game at Soldier Field.
Iowa. The Hawkeyes did it. They capped a perfect regular season with a 28-20 win at Nebraska. The 12 wins are the most in school annals, as the program has its first unbeaten regular season since 1922. Now, Iowa heads to the Big Ten title game looking for its first Big Ten title since 2004 and knowing a victory probably will mean a trip to the playoffs.
Michigan State. The Spartans punched their ticket to a third Big Ten title game with a resounding 55-16 win vs. Penn State. Michigan State has now won at least 11 games five times in the last six years, making a case that it is the top Big Ten program during the span.
Northwestern. Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats clinched the program's fourth 10-win season in a 24-14 win over rival Illinois at Soldier Field. As it has most of the season, Northwestern used a strong running game (204 yards rushing) and a stout defense (319 total yards) to register the win.
Ohio State. A week after that mind-numbing loss at home to Michigan State in which the offense generated 14 points and 132 yards, the Buckeyes fed Ezekiel Elliott, who amassed 221 of Ohio State's 482 yards in a 42-13 whipping of Michigan in Ann Arbor. OSU has now won 11 of the last 12 vs. Michigan.
Indiana. Let?s hear it for the Hoosiers! Indiana?s 54-36 whipping of Purdue not only allowed IU to keep the Old Oaken Bucket for a third year in a row, but it also made Indiana bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
The Bucket stays in Bloomington! pic.twitter.com/lxZqrdun7m— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) November 28, 2015
Nebraska. The Huskers fell at home, 28-20, to Iowa to finish 5-7. There is a chance they still could be offered a bowl bid, but would Nebraska accept one with a losing mark? This is the program?s third losing season since 2004.
Michigan. The Wolverines were dominated in every phase by Ohio State in a 42-13 loss. How bad was it? Michigan DB/WR Jabrill Peppers led the team in rushing with 29 yards and QB Jake Rudock got knocked out of the game. And the once-vaunted Michigan defense was shredded for 482 yards overall and 369 yards rushing.
Illinois & Minnesota: Like Nebraska, the Illini and Gophers needed a rivalry win to guarantee bowl eligibility. Will either or both make it with a 5-7 record.
WEEK 13 TOP NUMBERS
665, yards allowed by Purdue, the most ever to IU.
401, yards rushing for Maryland.
257, rushing yards for Wisconsin, which dwarfed Minnesota?s total of 53.
4, turnovers for Nebraska and Penn State.
3, years in a row Indiana has beaten Purdue. The last time IU won three in a row was during a four-year streak from 1944-47.
5, turnovers for Minnesota.
29, the largest margin of victory for Ohio State at Michigan since a 30-point win in 1961.
21, career 100-yard rushing games for Ezekiel Elliott, who surpassed Eddie George for second-most in Ohio State annals.
30, career wins for Joel Stave, tying him with Brooks Bollinger for most in Wisconsin history.
10, wins for Northwestern, just the fourth time NU has reached that plateau.
172, yards rushing for Northwestern RB Justin Jackson, on 37 carries
0, third-down conversions for Iowa on nine attempts
12, wins in a row for Wisconsin over Minnesota.
8, years since Indiana went to a bowl (2007). That drought is over.
4, home losses for Nebraska, the most since 1961
11, times in the last 12 years Ohio State has beaten Michigan.
1,186, yards that Rutgers and Maryland combined for. Maryland had 656; Rutgers had 530.
369, yards rushing for Ohio State compared to 57 for Michigan.
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