Every program Urban Meyer has coached this century (Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State) has performed exceptionally well and it was evident on Saturday night that the Buckeyes are the best team in the Big Ten this season, Meyers first year as head coach of Ohio State.
Although the Buckeyes are ineligible for postseason play, Ohio State can still be crowned champions of the leaders division. Ironically, Penn State is also ineligible for the postseason and has a chance to win this division as well.
While the leaders division could send a third place team within the division to the conference championship game, the legends division has become tighter with losses by Northwestern and Nebraska and victories by Michigan and Michigan State.
Wisconsin however, started its season in less than convincing fashion but could’ve saved its campaign with an impressive home victory. For Purdue and Indiana, the road to reaching Indianapolis has gotten longer after bad losses at home on Saturday.
Michigan State 31-Indiana 27
After trailing the Hoosiers 27-14 at halftime, the Spartans defense responded in the second half by keeping Indiana scoreless, and scored 17 unanswered points to record its first conference victory of the season. Michigan State was horrible on defense in the first half but managed to make adjustments after halftime to hold Indiana scoreless. With the win, the Spartans are closer to winning its second consecutive legends division championship.
Penn State 39-No. 24 Northwestern 28
The October demons returned for Northwestern on Saturday. After extending its lead to 28-17 in the third quarter due to Venric Mark’s second punt return for a touchdown this season, the Wildcats managed to revert to the past few seasons and let another lead slip away. The Nittany Lions scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to win its fourth consecutive game of the season. Penn State held Northwestern’s offense to 247 yards. The Wildcats couldn’t find much rhythm in the game as they trailed 10-0 midway through the second quarter. Although there were some positives in this contest for the Wildcats, the rushing defense and offense ultimately failed Northwestern on the road. Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin continued his impressive season with 282 yards passing, two touchdowns and a rushing score.
Wisconsin 31-Illinois 14
Montee Ball may no longer be a Heisman trophy candidate; he did have a solid effort in a crucial victory for the Badgers. Wisconsin with two losses on the season, could ill afford a loss to a struggling Illinois team. After trailing the Fighting Illini 7-0, the Badgers defense hammered down on Illinois while Ball had one of his better games of the season. Ball rushed for 116 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns. Nathan Scheelhaase had a good game with 178 yards passing and 108 yards rushing, but was sacked four times by Wisconsin.
Michigan 44-Purdue 13
The Wolverines haven’t had an easier victory over a respectable opponent this season other than this game. Michigan got off to a 28-3 start in this game and gained a much needed victory off its bye week after losing to Notre Dame on the road. Denard Robinson rushed for 239 yards while the Wolverines defense held the Boilermakers to 213 yards on offense. This loss could hurt the Boilermakers confidence as they were coming off a 51-41 victory at home the previous week.
No. 12 Ohio State 63-No. 20 Nebraska 38
The Buckeyes are unstoppable and possibly will be the best team to be ineligible for the postseason ever. Yes, I meant what I just wrote, ever. Ohio State put a beating on Nebraska who was looking to upend the Buckeyes for second consecutive season. Carlos Hyde of the Buckeyes had a career day with four rushing touchdowns and 140 yards on the ground. Braxton Miller had his typical spectacular outing with 200 yards rushing and two total touchdowns. The Cornhuskers will need to quickly erase any memories of this contest to have a chance at winning the legends division.