Big Ten Conference News and Notes

11:47 AM, Sep 9, 2013   |    comments
Michigan Wolverines running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (28) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a touchdown second quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Michigan Stadium. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

ILLINOIS: For the second straight week, the Fighting Illini put up more than 40 points, and the team is 2-0 on the young season after lambasting the visiting Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday afternoon, 45-17. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 312 yards and four TDs to fuel the offensive explosion, and he has now passed for more than 300 yards in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Martize Barr led the receivers with five catches for 72 yards and a score, while Donovonn Young paced the ground gainers with 64 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Jonathan Brown and Mason Monheim both recorded double-digit tackles, with the former logging 14 and latter 10, and they were both instrumental in logging the two sacks the team had on the day. A tough test looms this week as the Washington Huskies come to the Land of Lincoln to battle the Illini at Chicago's Soldier Field.

INDIANA: The Hoosiers fell behind early in their recent clash with Navy and could never catch up as they dropped a 41-35 decision to the visiting Midshipmen. As a result, Indiana is 1-1 on the year and will need to regroup as it looks ahead to this Saturday's clash with Bowling Green. It will be the third of four straight games the Hoosiers play at home to kick off the campaign. Nate Sudfeld had a career day against Navy, going 31-of-42 for 363 yards with four TDs and one INT, and he was also high man in the run game with 35 yards on six totes. Kofi Hughes led all receivers with six grabs for 102 yards and scores, while Ted Bolser caught a pair of TD passes. The Mids, who only attempted five passes in the game, churned out a whopping 444 yards on the ground, scoring five TDs along the way. Tim Bennett led the IU defense with 12 tackles, while four others finished with nine stops apiece.

IOWA: The Hawkeyes claimed their first victory of the young season over the weekend, doubling up FCS foe Missouri State at home, 28-14. Iowa tallied 489 yards of total offense, with 296 coming on the ground and 193 through the air. The UI defense limited the Bears to 197 yards, including just 67 in the first half, and forced a pair of turnovers. Mark Weisman turned a career-high 30 carries into 180 yards and two TDs, while Jake Ruddock threw for 193 yards with no TDs and one INT, but did manage to score twice on short runs in the first and fourth quarters. Iowa's next victory will be the 600th in program history, and the team will get the opportunity when its play at rival Iowa State this Saturday.

MICHIGAN: In one of the marquee matchups during the second week of the 2013 college football season, the Wolverines topped visiting Notre Dame under the lights at the Big House, 41-30. The win was the team's 16th straight at home, and its 400th at Michigan Stadium all-time. Devin Gardner was a man possessed for the Maize and Blue, throwing for 294 yards and four TDs, while rushing for a team-high 82 yards and a score in helping the Wolverines pile up 460 yards of total offense, compared to 410 for the Fighting Irish. Jeremy Gallon was Gardner's favorite target down field, hauling in eight balls for 184 yards and three TDs, the latter two setting new career marks for the fifth-year senior. Raymon Taylor led the UM defense with 11 tackles, while Blake Countess came up with a pair of INTs. Next up for the Wolverines is this Saturday's home clash with Akron.

MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans played host to the South Florida Bulls over the weekend, and fortunately the defense came to play as the MSU offense had trouble getting off the ground in what turned out to be a 21-6 victory. Shilique Calhoun scored on a fumble return and an interception return, helping make up for a lackluster offensive showing that saw the Spartans tally just 265 total yards. It was the second straight week in which the Michigan State defense scored a pair of TDs, and Calhoun, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound DE, also had a TD in the season-opening win over Western Michigan on a fumble return. MSU used three different QBs against the Bulls, but the trio wound up going just 12-of-24 for 94 yards with no TDs. Nick Hill led the ground attack with a career-best 63 yards, while Kurtis Drummond was high man on the defense with nine stops. The Spartans welcome the Youngstown State Penguins, a FCS squad, to East Lansing this Saturday.

MINNESOTA: The New Mexico State Aggies offered very little in the way of resistance on Saturday, as they came up considerably short in a 44-21 final versus the visiting Golden Gophers. Minnesota avenged a 28-21 loss to NMSU in the first meeting between the two teams a couple of seasons ago by rolling up 342 yards on the ground, 469 in all, and leading from start to finish. The Gophers had a pair players go over 100 yards in the game, as Roddrick Williams Jr. (148 yards, one TD) and Philip Nelson (122 yards, one TD) spearheaded a rushing attack that averaged 8.0 yards per attempt. Nelson also threw for 127 yards on only eight completions, hitting Derrick Engle twice for 51 yards. The Aggies were limited to 103 rushing yards, and the UM defense was led by Aaron Hill and his 10 tackles. He had one of the team's 10 TFL in the game, and added a 50-yard fumble recovery for a score in the fourth quarter. Marcus Jones returned a punt 65 yards for a TD just before halftime. Minnesota will try to move to 3-0 when it returns home to take on FCS foe Western Illinois this Saturday.

NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers cruised past visiting Southern Miss on Saturday, claiming a 56-13 decision to run their current home winning streak to 10 games. Nebraska finished with 479 yards of total offense, 285 of which came on the ground as Ameer Abdullah used his 17 carries to account for 114 yards and two TDs. QB Taylor Martinez wound up going 15-of-23 for 170 yards and three scores, one each going to Quincy Enunwa, Kenny Bell and Sam Burtch. The Golden Eagles managed just 62 rushing yards and 284 total, and they were guilty of four turnovers, all interceptions. Ciante Evans had two picks, one of which he returned for a TD, and Stanley Jean-Baptise also had a pick-six -- both scores coming in the first quarter. The Huskers were credited with a dozen TFL, with Josh Mitchell making three of his five total stops behind the line of scrimmage. Nebraska continues its five-game homestand to open the season when the UCLA Bruins come to Lincoln this Saturday.

NORTHWESTERN: The Wildcats put on another offensive clinic in their home opener against Syracuse on Saturday, totaling 581 yards in squeezing the Orange in a 48-27 final. Northwestern led 34-7 at halftime, and got outstanding individual performances from QBs Trevor Siemian (15-of-19, 259 yards, three TDs) and Kain Colter (15-of-18, 116 yards, one TD; 11 carries, 87 yards, one TD), WR Tony Jones (nine receptions, 185 yards, one TD) and RB Treyvon Green (14 carries, 66 yards, one TD). The NU defense allowed more than 300 passing yards, but that's mostly because the visitors were battling from behind the entire game. Damien Proby led the 'Cats with nine tackles, and four different players came up with an interception -- the team coming up with seven picks in the first two games, and 16 in the last five games dating back to last season. Northwestern plays the second of four straight home games this Saturday when it entertains the Western Michigan Broncos.

OHIO STATE: Extending the nation's longest winning streak proved to be relatively easy, as the Buckeyes blasted the visiting San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday afternoon, 42-7. Ohio State has won 14 straight games, and did so this week with starting QB Braxton Miller standing on the sideline for the majority of the contest after suffering a knee sprain early on. Kenny Guiton took over and had a career day in rushing for one score and throwing for two more, helping the Buckeyes out gain the Aztecs by a 445-280 margin. Devin Smith and Corey Brown caught 13 balls between them for a combined 119 yards. Brown was on the receiving end of both of Guiton's scoring strikes. In holding SDSU down for much of the day, the OSU defense was credited with four turnovers and three sacks. Miller, who is not believed to be seriously hurt, could return this weekend when Ohio State plays its first road game of the season at California.

PENN STATE: Despite spotting visiting Eastern Michigan a 7-0 lead, the Nittany Lions had very little trouble moving to 2-0 on the young season as they flew past the Eagles in a 45-7 final this past Saturday. EMU failed to produce an offensive score, getting its only points on a fumble recovery in the first quarter. In the end, Penn State rolled up 574 yards of total offense compared to only 183 for the visitors, who managed just 61 rushing yards in averaging a paltry 1.7 ypc. Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch both finished with 108 yards on the ground for PSU, combining for three scores, while Zach Zwinak scored twice on his seven totes. Christian Hackenberg finished 23-of-33 for a freshman school-record 311 yards, hitting Allen Robinson seven times for 129 yards and a TD. Glenn Carson led the Penn State defense with 10 tackles, while DaQuan Jones added nine. Nyeem Wartman broke up three passes for the Lions, who play the second of three straight home games this Saturday night against UCF.

PURDUE: It wasn't pretty, but Darrell Hazell recorded his first victory in charge of the Boilermakers as his team posted a 20-14 win over FCS foe Indiana State on Saturday afternoon. Akeem Hunt took the opening kickoff back 99 yards for a TD, helping Purdue lead 17-0 until late in the third quarter, and it needed a drive-stalling interception in the fourth to keep the Sycamores from pulling off the upset. Both teams finished with less than 300 yards of total offense, with the PU defense doing a particularly good job against the run (39 net yards allowed). The Boilermakers logged five sacks on the day, two each being credited to Bruce Gaston and Jalani Phillips. Offensively, the team was led by Hunt with his 82 yards on 22 carries, while Rob Henry threw for 150 yards. Gabe Holmes led the receiving corps with six grabs for 39 yards. Purdue will play another Hoosier State rival this coming Saturday when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pull into West Lafayette.

WISCONSIN: Gary Andersen improved to 2-0 in his tenure as Wisconsin's head coach, as the Badgers blanked visiting Tennessee Tech over the weekend, 48-0. The Badgers, who have never lost to a FCS opponent (12-0) and who have opened a season with consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1958, imposed their will from the outset, tallying 606 yards of total offense, compared to just 113 for the overmatched Golden Eagles. UW had three rushers go over 100 yards in the games, as Corey Clement (career-high 149 yards, two TDs), Melvin Gordon (140 yards, one TD) and James White (109 yards, one TD) all had a field day. Even Joel Stave enjoyed himself as he went 24-of-29 for 219 yards, career-high three TDs with one INT. Jared Abbrederis caught a career-best eight balls for 62 yards and a score, and first-time starter Conor O'Neill led the defense with nine tackles, including 1.5 TFL. The Badgers came up with a pair of takeaways in the game, but did not register a sack. UW has not allowed a TD in its last 11 quarters, dating back to the 2013 Rose Bowl, and the team hits the road for the first time this season when it plays at Arizona State on Saturday night.


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