Penn State 46 Michigan 17
It took longer then Nittany Lions were comfortable with, but after digging themselves a 17-7 hole, Penn State got rid of the Michigan jinx in grand fashion. The Wolverine passing game remains utterly appalling. They netted only 89 passing yards and even a Big Ten traditionalist like me isn't ready to see the days of that kind of offense return. It served to negate a nice game by Brandon Minor. The Lions exhibited a balanced attack, led up by Evan Royster who had 174 rushing yards and Darryl Clark again ran the offense with cool efficiency. From a defensive standpoint, Jeff Rice of The Centre Daily Times says the Lions unleashed the linebackers. Penn State is now set to go to the Horseshoe next week for the Big Ten's game of the year.
Ohio State 45 Michigan State 7
The Buckeyes will arrive for the showdown in great shape themselves. Jim Tressel's team played its most complete game of the year in a complete thrashing of a good MSU team. While Chris Wells had a big game, the OSU defense was the star of the show. They shut down Javon Ringer, ended the Spartan back's hopes for the Heisman and altered the course of the race for conference MVP along with it. It was the kind of game everyone expected from the Bucks back in August. Bob Hunter of The Columbus Dispatch declares they've arrived just where you would have expected.
Iowa 38 Wisconsin 16
The one team expected to challenge the OSU-PSU duo for supremacy back in August and September continued its implosion. The University of Wisconsin football program is now in a mad race with Wall Street to see who can have the most brutal autumn. The Badgers lost the turnover battle 3-0, and Shon Greene continued to be the league's most pleasant surprise for the Hawkeyes. Greene rushed for 217 yards and again carried the Iowa offense. It was a win that Kirk Ferentz needed to keep his bowl hopes on track. And to everyone's amazement, missing a bowl entirely is not only possible for the 3-4 Badgers, but likely given how they have regressed each of the last four weeks.
Northwestern 48 Purdue 26
One of the teams looking to take UW's place in the hiearchy is Northwestern. The Wildcats may not have beaten anyone good yet, but they took a significant step on Saturday in showing they could decisively handle a mediocre squad. The Boilers turned it over five times, negating a 168-yard effort by Kory Sheets. NU is at 6-1. Who would have thought that in mid-October we'd be looking at the Northwestern-Minnesota game as one that might have a January bowl game hanging in the balance?
Illinois 55 Indiana 13
The Juice was on the loose again in Bloomington. Both he and Aurelious Benn had big games in routing the Hoosiers. But the surprise in the Illinois attack was freshman running back Jason Ford, who racked up 172 yards. IU proved to be the salve Illinois needed after letting one slip away last week against Minnesota. As for Indiana, after making a bowl game last year, they are back to their normal state of affairs of welcoming the opening of basketball practice. Hoops isn't likely to bring the usual solace to Hoosier Nation, but Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star opines that at least the hallowed program is clean again.