Big Week For Big Ten Football Bodes Well For Wisconsin


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The weekend that was in Big Ten football was a good one – especially if you’re from Wisconsin.

The Badgers of course highlighted all things with their rout of Bowling Green, racking up records offensively in their 68-17 demolishing.

Wisconsin as a team set a new UW record for most yards from scrimmage for a game with 758. It broke the previous record set back in 1999 at home against Indiana (705 yards)

The 646 yards rushing by Wisconsin Saturday, as a team, also set a new UW mark, surpassing the effort put fourth in 2012 in Bloomington against a Hoosiers when Wisconsin racked up 564 yards on the ground.

With his five touchdowns, tailback Melvin Gordon tied a Wisconsin Badgers record for most in a game. He now sits along with Billy Marek (vs. Minnesota, 11/23/1974), Anthony Davis (vs. Minnesota, 11/23/2002) and Brian Calhoun who did it twice; once vs. Bowling Green  in 2005 and again that season against Illinois in October.

The Badgers 68 -17 win over Bowling Green was the 31st consecutive home win over a non-conference opponent.

The team will go for number 32 in a row next week when they host South Florida at 11 a.m.

Overall, the strength of the B1G Ten conference took a step in the right direction which only bolsters the opportunity of one of the power schools getting into the NCAA playoff conversation.

The Badgers will need teams like Iowa, Rutgers and especially Nebraska to keep winning if their RPI wants to rise high enough to get into the power rankings picture.

Scanning The B1G Ten

Indiana 31 vs. Missouri 27: Across the board, there’s no doubt Indiana’s win over top-25 ranked Missouri was the biggest upset in the conference and maybe the country.

D’Angelo Roberts scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds remaining and Nate Sudfeld passed for 252 yards and a touchdown to help the Hoosiers upset the 18th-ranked Tigers 31-27.

After losing at Bowling Green last week, the Hoosiers badly needed a win if they wanted any chance at all of staying in the B1G Ten championship picture.

Miami 31 vs. Nebraska 41: In Lincoln, Nebraska, over 91,000 fans and National Championship alumni packed Memorial Stadium to watch the Ameer Abdullah show.

Abdullah ran 35 times for 229 yards to lead a punishing ground game, and the No. 24 Cornhuskers celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 1994 national title with a 41-31 victory.

Iowa 24 vs. Pitt 20: In Pittsburgh, the Hawkeyes of Iowa needed to rally late, coming back from a 10-point halftime deficit to seize their third win of the year.

Mark Weisman ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard plunge with 6:56 remaining as Iowa rallied for a 24-20 win.

Maryland 34 vs. Syracuse 20: The Terrapins showed everyone around the league that they might have a little something to say through the middle to late portion of the Eastern division race.

C.J. Brown threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns, cornerback William Likely returned an interception 88 yards for another score, and Maryland beat mistake-prone Syracuse team who lead 3-0 early but did little to follow it up.

Maryland (3-1) entered the game averaging 37.7 points per game, the highest in school history, held a solid 18-point lead at intermission and never had the outcome in doubt.

Michigan State 73 vs. Eastern Michigan 14: Wisconsin didn’t lead the only rout inside the league this weekend as Sparty ran away with things early in their in-State matchup, Saturday.

Connor Cook threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, all in the first quarter, as Michigan State (2-1) found the end zone on its first five possessions. The Spartans finished with their highest point total in 25 years. They beat Northwestern 76-14 in 1989 and blanked Arizona 75-0 in 1949.

Western Illinois 7 vs. Northwestern 24: Hard to believe that it had been seven consecutive games in Evanston since the Wildcats fans have been graced with a win.

Northwestern erased that embarrassing mark this weekend as they downed in-State rival Western Illinois 24-7.

Solomon Vault and Justin Jackson, both freshmen running backs, led the way as the Wildcats amassed 166 yards on the ground. Jackson had 21 carries for an average of 4.4 yards, while Vault had 31 yards on six carries, an average of 5.2.

Southern Illinois 13 vs. Purdue 35: Folks in Boilermakers country, still today aren’t sure if Purdue won Saturday or if Southern Illinois lost.

Either way, Danny Etling threw touchdown passes of 10 yards to DeAngelo Yancey and 44 yards to Danny Anthrop during the first quarter after a fumble by Southern Illinois running back Malcolm Agnew and then after an interception of Salukis Mark Iannotti.

The mistakes were insurmountable for the Salukies who which entered 3-0 for the first time since 2007.

U-Mass 7 vs. Penn State 48: The only loss in the B1G Ten this weekend came courtesy of the only inter-conference game played thus far in 2014.

Penn State (4-0)  didn’t wait until late in the game with anything this week after needing late-game drives to win two of its first three games of the year.

They displayed a run-pass balance for the first time this season as Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak rushed for a pair of touchdowns each, Christian Hackenberg threw for 179 yards. It was the most points Penn State scored since a 52-3 win over Eastern Illinois on Oct. 10, 2009.

San Jose State 7 vs. Minnesota 24: David Cobb raised himself to second on the B1G Ten rushing list so far this season with a standout performance at home, Saturday.

Cobb ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns and backup quarterback Chris Streveler ran for 161 yards and touchdown in his first career start on Saturday and Minnesota defeated San Jose State 24-7.

Even more impressive than the Gophers rushing numbers were the five turnovers it’s defense forced against a San Jose (1-2) squad which struggled putting points on the board.

Texas State 35 vs. Illinois 42: Those folks who came to Champaign to see a game, got more than what they bargained for Saturday.

Illinois needed a combination of two touchdowns and 190 yards rushing from Josh Ferguson together with a desperate, second-half comeback to escape Texas State, 42-35.

All three of the Fighting Illini (3-1) wins this season have come after trailing in the second half.