There were a few other games involving Big Ten teams while you were wondering when Arkansas State switched uniforms with Arkansas (dirty pool, man!), so Wha Happened?
Be prepared when JoePa leads the inevitable Zombie Revolution.
Penn State 35, Illinois 17
Worried about Daryll Clark after his utterly atrocious game against Iowa last week? Solution: don't let him throw the ball much. Clark went an efficient 17/25 for 175 through the air, but the Nittany Lions really did their damage on the ground: Stephfon Green led the way with 120 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, Evan Royster added 105 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and even Clark chipped in with 83 yards and two touchdowns on 7 carries. Shit, even someone named Brent Carter scored a touchdown for PSU. They stomped a mudhole in the Illini's not-so-Fightin' defense. The final score doesn't do justice to the Illini's offensive incompetence for much of the game, either -- it was 28-3 before they were able to tack on two late scores to make the scoreline look more respectable. Meanwhile, it was the third consecutive ugly loss to an FBS team to start the season for Illinois, and while all three losses occurred against ranked (or soon-to-be-ranked) teams, they've barely been competitive in any of the games and the possibility of a bounceback season after last year's 5-7 mess is looking less and less likely. Is the sun setting on the Zooker Era at Illinois? For obvious reasons, BHGP hopes not.
Michigan State 26, Michigan 20 (OT)
Tate Forcier taketh (17/32, 223 yards, and a pair of touchdowns on scoring drives in the final four-plus minutes to tie up the game), but he also giveth (a crucial interception in overtime). In other words, SuperTate the freshman wonder boy may have one hell of a knack for clutch play down the stretch... but he's not infallible either. The real story was the way Sparty's defense completely stifled Michigan's previously unstoppable rushing attack (28 yards on 28 carries yesterday) and completely dominated the game in terms of time of possession (39:46 to 20:14) and total offensive yardage (417 to 251). Mind you, they weren't exactly a paragon of offensive efficiency -- they only mustered 20 points in regulation with those considerable advantages -- but simply keeping Forcier and Michigan's high-powered offense off the field is an effective way of slowing them down, too. Hopefully the Iowa offense can find some semblance of consistency and do the same next week, but if not Adrian Clayborn and the Iowa defense will be salivating at the prospect of rending Forcier in two.
I have this strange feeling like I've seen this before...
justNorthwestern 27, Purdue 21
Hmm. justNorthwestern goes into an opposing team's field on Homecoming, gets outgained, racks up a massive advantage in the turnover department (6 to 1 yesterday), and escapes with a win after the home team failed to score a touchdown after reaching first and goal in the final minute. Now where have I seen that before? Purdue jumped out to a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter and appeared to be cruising to an easy win... then apparently forgot how to hold onto the ball, fumbling six times (and losing five of them) and throwing one interception. Despite the near-constant torrent of giveaways, jNWU couldn't take the lead in the game until two minutes remained in the fourth quarter. The jNWU running game was again a non-entity (87 yards on 43 carries) and Mike Kafka didn't contribute too much, either (28/44, 224 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions). The cliche says that good teams make their own luck... but sometimes you're just fucking lucky.
BADGER BADGER BADGER
Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 28
Hopefully Minnesota didn't spend too much on a new trophy case to hold their rivalry trophies at TCF Bank Stadium, because it sure as shit won't be getting much use. The Badgers kept Paul Bunyan's Axe (by far one of the coolest rivalry trophies in college football) for the sixth straight year and they did it with Scott Tolzien (the story of the year so far for the Badgers) having a pretty ho-hum day (16/26, 159 yards, one touchdown, one interception). No, they did it the old-school Wisconsin way: with pure cro-mag football, pounding the ball 49 times for 295 yards, led by John Clay with 184 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries. Minnesota's own rushing game went back into hibernation (57 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries) one week after a breakthrough performance against jNWU, meaning they were back down to The Eric Decker Show (who contributed 140 yards and a touchdown on eight catches). Up next for the Badgers: their toughest two-game stretch of the season, away to Ohio State and home to Iowa. They passed their first test (win on the road), but we'll soon find out how good their bona fides for being a Big Ten contender truly are. Meanwhile, Minnesota gets a one-week chance to rebound against Purdue before heading on the road to take on Penn State and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks (also known as "getting assraped by the Big Ten computers").
So much more interesting than Indiana football.
Ohio State 33, Indiana 14
Like the residents of Bloomington, Indiana, and the students at the University of Indiana, Wha Happened? cares only about Indiana football out of a sense of obligation, which is why Indiana has returned to its position at the bottom of this feature. Just about the only thing interesting about this game is the fact that Ohio State gave up a touchdown on the last play of the game that allowed this game to hit the over (on one set of lines; it was a push on others), which was TOTALLY NOT COOL AND NOPE WE'RE NOT BITTER ABOUT IT AT ALL. Ahem. Terrelle Pryor threw for three touchdowns but went an otherwise unremarkable 16/27 for 159 yards (and an interception), to go along with 63 yards rushing and a touchdown on 16 carries. Brandon Saine, filling in for "Boom" Herron, added 113 yards on 17 carries for the Buckeyes. On defense, OSU squeezed the life out of the Indiana rushing game (18 yards on 26 carries) and Ben Chappell couldn't do nearly enough in the passing game to compensate (20/34, 210 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions).
BETTER KNOW A NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT CORNER:
There are obviously no more non-conference games on the slate this year, so why not check in on some of our past vanquished foes? The mighty UNI wrecking machine continued its Sherman-esque march of terror and flaming annihilation through the FCS ranks with a 62-7 bludgeoning over Indiana State. Since falling to Iowa in Week One, UNI has won their next four games 66-7, 30-0, 35-7, and 62-7. The next two months look like a mere prelude to their real season: the FCS playoffs and their hunt for that elusive national championship.
But isn't there some other in-state school? Didn't they have a game on Saturday too? Wha Happened in that little Farmageddon tussle? Oh, nothing much. I mean, anytime you can give up a home game to play in a half-full pro football stadium in a pro sports town on a channel barely anyone gets and suffer a potentially bowl bid-crippling loss... well, shit, how can you say "no" to that? But, hey, on the bright side, thank god they got rid of that loser coach they had, right? Uh, about that... Chizik won yesterday to move to 5-0 on the season. Five wins would also be the grand total that Chizik had in his two years in Ames. And, hey, now he's got one more road win than he ever had at Iowa State, too. As always: