Spartans slay previously unbeaten Badgers

Zach Silka

As the Badgers’ team buses pulled out of East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday night, No. 9 Wisconsin (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) waved goodbye to Spartan Stadium and its national championship hopes after a 49-14 loss to Michigan State.

The Badgers scored first on a 35-yard run from Anthony Davis 1:30 into the game, but Michigan State retook the momentum at the end of the first half.

Down 21-14 with only seconds remaining in the half, Wisconsin ran the ball on fourth down at the goal line. But two Michigan State defenders met Davis in mid-air and stopped him short.

“That was a big momentum shift,” Davis said. “When something like that happens you really have to pull together as a team and get that momentum back, somehow, some way. We didn’t do that.”

The Spartans (5-5, 4-3) went on to outscore Wisconsin 28-0 in the second half and seal the upset in their final home game.

Wisconsin came into the game with the top-ranked scoring defense in the country, which had allowed an average of 9.1 points per game, and hadn’t allowed any opponent to score more than 17 points this season.

Iowa 29, Minnesota 27

After making two game-winning field goals last season, Minnesota kicker Rhys Lloyd didn’t have any magic in his right foot for this game.

Lloyd’s 51-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide left with 28 seconds left, and No. 17 Iowa (8-2, 6-1) won its sixth straight.

The Hawkeyes move into a tie for second in the Big Ten with Wisconsin, with the pair meeting in the conference finale next weekend.

“With everything we’ve had to fight through, we’ve done a great job of keeping winning,” said Iowa quarterback Drew Tate, who completed 24-of-39 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns.

While the Hawkeyes lost their fifth running back of the season when Sam Brownlee left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, Minnesota’s rushing duo of Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney returned to their early-season form, totaling 323 yards and three touchdowns.

Now the Golden Gophers (6-5, 3-5) must wait to see if they receive a bowl bid after losing five of their final six games.

Purdue 24, Ohio State 17

Injured Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton made his return just in time for the Boilermakers (6-4, 3-4).

After sitting out the last two games with hip injuries, Orton entered the game midway through the fourth quarter and led the Boilermakers on an 80-yard, 13-play scoring drive on his first possession.

Orton finished seven of eight with 54 yards passing and connected with Dustin Keller with 2:17 left for the game-winning touchdown.

On its next possession, Ohio State (6-4, 3-4) committed its third turnover of the fourth quarter when quarterback Troy Smith’s pass deflected off the hands of freshman receiver Ted Ginn and Purdue defender Stanford Keglar intercepted it.

The win was Purdue coach Joe Tiller’s 100th career victory and clinched bowl eligibility for the Boilermakers, who had lost four straight.

Penn State 22, Indiana 18

The Nittany Lions’ offense scored just enough and turned the game over to the team’s strength, its defense, in the waning minutes.

Penn State (3-7, 1-6) stopped Indiana four times with the ball on the one-yard line with fewer than two minutes left and snapped its six-game losing streak.

Indiana (3-7, 1-6) never got the ball back, as Penn State punter Jeremy Kapinos stepped out of bounds with five seconds left for a safety instead of kicking the ball to the Hoosiers.

Running back Tony Hunt gave the Nittany Lions the lead on a two-yard run with 5:02 left.

Penn State scored more than one touchdown for the first time this season in conference play and has never lost to Indiana in 10 meetings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reach Zach Silka at [email protected]

Saturday’s Games

Illinois at Northwestern

Indiana at Purdue

Wisconsin at Iowa

Michigan at Ohio State

Michigan State at Penn State

Standings

Big Ten Overall

Team record record

Michigan 7-0 9-1

Wisconsin 6-1 9-1

Iowa 6-1 8-2

NU 4-3 5-5

Michigan State 4-3 5-5

Purdue 3-4 6-4

Ohio State 3-4 6-4

Minnesota 3-5 6-5

Indiana 1-6 3-7

Penn State 1-6 3-7

Illinois 1-6 3-7