B1G Week 12 Review: The B1G Championship is Set

#22 Wisconsin 51 Indiana 3

Another year, another beating handed out by Wisconsin to Indiana. The Hoosiers are thankful Wisconsin will be going to another division next year because Indiana just plain stinks when they face them. This game was a squash from the opening kickoff. Indiana was shutdown in all facets of the game, while Wisconsin could pretty much run whatever plays they wanted to throughout. The Hoosiers only had 224 total yards and turned the ball over twice. Wisconsin racked up a whopping 554 yards and six touchdowns on the ground! Look at the rushing numbers:

-James White: 20 carries for 205 yards and a touchdown
-Melvin Gordon: 13 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown
-Corey Clement: 11 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns
-Jared Abbrederis: 3 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns

Yes, even Abbrederis joined in on the running parade. Wisconsin continues to be severely underrated by everybody. The screw job loss to Arizona State is killing them in the polls and it’s a real shame. The Badgers are one of the most balanced teams in the country and they don’t get the recognition they deserve. Whatever bowl game they get selected for won’t be good enough for them. And the team facing Wisconsin won’t have any idea what they’re in for when they take the field.

Penn State 45 Purdue 21

Kudos to Purdue for making this game much closer than people expected. The Boilermakers were only trailing by a touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter. In the end two factors cost Purdue the game: turnovers and the Penn State running game. Purdue turned the ball over twice, including two costly fumbles in the second half. Penn State racked up 289 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground. The star of the rushing attack was running back Zach Zwinak, who has been great for the Nittany Lions ever since he fixed his fumbling problems. Zwinak rushed for 149 yards and three touchdowns against the Boilermakers. Purdue quarterback Danny Etling deserves a shout out too for playing a good game and keeping his team alive for the win. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 223 yards and had two total touchdowns. It had to be an encouraging game for head coach Darrell Hazell and the Boilermaker fans because this was the best game Purdue has played in conference all season. I think Hazell has this team going in the right direction and they have two winnable games to close out the season to build upon for next season.

Michigan 27 Northwestern 19 (3 OT)

Field goals and punts! That sums up this game. If Jim Tressel was watching this game, he would’ve got aroused by all of the “action” in regulation because this was like his dream game. The rest of us did get some real excitement in regulation. It came at the very end when Michigan was out of timeouts and was down three. That gave us the following play:

I never knew kicking a field goal could be so dramatic. The Michigan special teams looked prepared for this too. That kick sent the game into overtime, where both teams were forced to score and mercifully end the game. Both teams traded points until the third overtime, where Michigan finally prevailed. The Wolverines got the ball first in triple overtime and drove down to the goal line where quarterback Devin Gardner ran in for the score. Gardner ran it in again to get the two-point conversion. The Wildcats offense stalled when they got the ball and just didn’t have enough to pull off the win. It was a heartbreaking sixth straight loss for Northwestern, who just can’t catch a break. Meanwhile the win for Michigan was a big one after losing in the two previous weeks. And the Wolverines rushed for positive yardage! So what exactly did Michigan do different? They benched senior starter Fitzgerald Toussaint and played two freshmen running backs. And it was a noticeable difference. Running backs Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith combined for 120 yards on 27 carries. So expect to see them get the bulk of the carries for the rest of the season. The real test will be this weekend when they travel to Iowa.

#16 Michigan State 41 Nebraska 28

Nebraska stood toe-to-toe with Michigan State and only trailed by six at the end of three-quarters. But when you turn the ball over five times it’s going to catch up with you at some point. And that’s what ultimately cost Nebraska. If the Huskers had managed to hang onto the ball better they may have won this game because that was the most the Spartans’ defense has been pushed around this season. How much should the five turnovers be attributed to Michigan State’s brutally good defense and how much to Nebraska players? A little of both, but mostly to the former. The Spartans gave up 28 points, 210 passing yards and 182 rushing yards. But they still physically imposed their will on the Huskers. Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah rushed for 143 yards, making him the first player to run for 100 yards against Michigan State this season. Michigan State has a pretty good running back emerging for them too. Spartans running back Jeremy Langford rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns, proving to be the best weapon for the offense. Michigan State is now in firm control of the Legend’s division. They’re expected to win out, finishing 11-1 (I still can’t believe they lost to Notre Dame, but Michigan didn’t) on the season and getting a shot at the Ohio State Buckeyes in the B1G Championship. That game should be a top 10 match-up and I can’t wait to watch it. The Spartans defense against the Ohio State offense will be entertaining to see.

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