Big Ten Week Four Roundup

Rebecca Friedman

Four Big Ten teams remain undefeated after Week Four of the college football season, including Michigan and Nebraska of the Legends Division. Illinois barely avoided a stunning loss, while Minnesota and Indiana were upset victims. With Northwestern now a game and a half back, the Daily gives you a look around the conference.

Penn State 34 – Eastern Michigan 6

Joe Paterno made his 2011 sideline debut with a dominant victory over the Eagles. Paterno watched his Nittany Lions defense take control of the game, forcing three turnovers in the first half and holding Eastern Michigan to only 68 yards rushing on the game. Penn State (3-1) started off slow offensively with only a field goal in the first quarter, but Matt McGloin, who finished with three touchdown passes, the first passing touchdowns of the season for the Nittany Lions, sparked the offense in the second quarter and led the team to a 31-0 lead at the end of third. The victory was tarnished for Penn State as it lost its leading tackler Michael Mauti for the season due to an ACL injury in the first quarter.

No. 22 Michigan 28 – San Diego State 7

For the fourth week in a row, quarterback Denard Robinson led the Wolverines’ rushing attack, finishing with 200 yards and three touchdowns. Robinson was responsible for all of the scoring in the first half, giving Michigan (4-0) a commanding 21-0 lead heading into halftime. San Diego State forced four Michigan turnovers, but was unable to capitalize on them. Michigan takes its unblemished record into next week’s game in Minnesota against arguably the worst Big Ten team and could head into Evanston in two weeks for their first road game still undefeated.

Michigan State 45 – Central Michigan 7

The Spartans effectively bounced back after their loss at Notre Dame last week. Even though they played against a much less formidable opponent this past weekend, it’s still notable that Michigan State (3-1) re-established its run game against the Chippewas. Leading rusher Le’Veon Bell finished with eight carries for 81 yards and three touchdowns, just in the first half, helping the Spartans to a 31-0 lead going into halftime. The Spartans defense was also able to force four Central Michigan turnovers, including a 37-yard pick-six by Isaiah Lewis in the second quarter.

Iowa 45 – Louisiana-Monroe 17

After its amazing comeback against Pittsburgh last week, Iowa (3-1) utilized its revitalized passing attack and no-huddle offense to defeat Lousiana-Monroe without much of a struggle. James Vandenberg led the Hawkeyes to a dominant victory finishing with 270 yards passing, three touchdowns through the air as well as a rushing touchdown. Marcus Coker was also a huge factor in the Iowa offense, finishing with two touchdowns and 112 yards rushing.

Ohio State 47 – Colorado 17

After last week’s loss to Miami, the Buckeyes reverted to freshman Braxton Miller to lead the struggling offense. Miller finished with only 83 yards passing, but threw two touchdown passes and rushed for 83 yards, leading Ohio State (3-1) to a victory over the Buffaloes. Jordan Hall ran for 84 yards and a touchdown as he continues to help lead Ohio State’s ground attack. The Buckeyes face tough conference play early, with games against Michigan State, Nebraska, Illinois and Wisconsin leading off their Big Ten schedule. The loss was Colorado’s ninth straight road loss, not having won on the road since Oct. 27, 2007 at Texas Tech.

No. 6 Wisconsin 59 – South Dakota 10

Russell Wilson led the Badgers in their rout of the Coyotes throwing for 345 yards and three touchdowns. Nick Toon had a career-high 155 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The game remained close throughout the first quarter and going into the second, with Wisconsin (4-0) only able to find the end zone once. Midway through the second quarter, the Badgers offense erupted with three touchdowns in the last 6:27 of the half, giving them a 31-3 lead at halftime. The Badgers added to the Coyotes’ pain with four more touchdowns in the second half. Wisconsin finished with 612 total yards of offense opposed to South Dakota’s 173. The No. 6 team in the nation looks to continue their dominance in conference play next week against Nebraska, certain to be one of the best Big Ten matchups of the year.

No. 24 Illinois 23 – Western Michigan 20

Illinois (4-0) went into its locker room at halftime to a chorus of boos and down 13-10 to Western Michigan. However, the Fighting Illini came out strong in the second half, as their running game bailed them out of what would have been a nightmare loss. Troy Pollard had a career-high 133 yards rushing and freshman Donovonn Young added 100 more and a touchdown. Two turnovers and messy special teams hurt the Illini and they hope to improve upon their sloppy play next week against Northwestern.

North Texas 24 – Indiana 21

Indiana (1-3) had a rough start and despite a late comeback attempt, fell to North Texas of the Sun Belt Conference. The Hoosiers were down 24-0 going into the fourth, and even with a last-quarter push, fell three points shy. Mark Murphy started off the scoring intercepting Derek Thompson and running it 37 yards for a touchdown. Dusty Kiel threw two touchdowns in the final six minutes, but it wasn’t enough for the Hoosiers. Indiana can only hope for miraculous improvement in its matchup next week against Penn State.

North Dakota State 37 – Minnesota 24

Minnesota (1-3) suffered its second loss to the FCS North Dakota State in four years. While the game remained close throughout the first two quarters, the Bison jumped ahead in the second and never looked back. Down 28-14 at halftime, the Gophers could only manage 10 second-half points against the Bison. North Dakota State didn’t commit a turnover all game as opposed to Minnesota’s two interceptions. Only a miracle could help the Gophers have a chance against Michigan next week.

No. 9 Nebraska 38 – Wyoming 14

The Cornhuskers (4-0) finished off a perfect out-of-conference schedule with a dominant win over Wyoming, representing a strong tune-up in advance of their Big Ten opener against Wisconsin next week. Nebraska piled up 490 yards of total offense against Wyoming, 333 of which came on the ground. Nebraska was led by Rex Burkhead who finished with 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Up only 14-7 at the half, the Cornhuskers continued to build on their lead in the second half and never gave Wyoming much of a chance to get back in it.

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