B1G Week 13 Review: We’re Almost Done

#13 Michigan State 30 Northwestern 6

Michigan State put the final nail in the coffin for Northwestern’s bowl chances. And the Wildcats probably can’t wait for this nightmare season to finally end. Michigan State was in firm control for most of this game and Northwestern really wasn’t in it once the Spartans gained a two-score advantage. Michigan State’s defense played their usual great game, forcing three interceptions and holding the Wildcats’ running game to only 80 yards rushing. The Spartans offense had a good game also, racking up 464 total yards. Quarterback Connor Cook threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns and running back Jeremy Langford rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns. With the win, Michigan State officially clinched the Legend’s Division title and a spot in the B1G Championship game. The Spartans are firing on all cylinders right now and have a lot of momentum heading into their next two weeks against Minnesota and Ohio State.

Illinois 20 Purdue 16

Congratulations to Illinois for finally snapping their B1G losing streak, which was up to 20 games. Illinois probably should have won this game by two touchdowns at least, but they turned the ball over four times. When you turn it over that much any team can hang in the game, even a team like Purdue. I expected Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to be the difference in this game and that turned out to be the case. Despite throwing two picks, he still threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Josh Ferguson had a good game running for 115 yards. Purdue ultimately didn’t have enough on defense to slow down the Illini. One player that stood out for the Boilermakers was running back Akeem Hunt. Hunt has been surprisingly quiet this season, but on Saturday rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown. Neither Illinois or Purdue have a shot at making a bowl game, but look to cap off their seasons with wins over their respective rivals this upcoming weekend.

Nebraska 23 Penn State 20

It just wouldn’t be a 2013 Nebraska football game without drama and the game going down to the wire. That’s been the common theme for the Huskers and they continued it against Penn State. Nebraska tied the game with a field goal with over four minutes remaining and kicked another field goal in overtime to win it. After starter Tommy Armstrong sustained an ankle injury early, fifth year senior Ron Kellogg III came in and saved the day again for Nebraska. He threw for 191 yards and touchdown, with no turnovers. And you can’t forget their star running back Ameer Abdullah, who had another great game. Abdullah rushed for 147 yards, but once again no touchdowns (let this man score for crying out loud). Another running back that deserves a shout out is Penn State’s Zach Zwinak, who rushed for 149 yards. Nebraska has a chance to get their ninth win against rival Iowa this upcoming weekend, which would give head coach Bo Pelini and the Huskers their sixth straight nine-win season.

#19 Wisconsin 20 #25 Minnesota 7

Wisconsin wins every game in the exact same manner. Go back through this year’s schedule and look at the box scores. They look identical. The Badgers’ winning formula: Bludgeon the opposing defense into submission with the running game, have quarterback Joel Stave only throw the ball when necessary and have the defense make the other offense look pedestrian. I find myself saying the same thing about Wisconsin every single week because they’re so consistent. Badgers running back James White rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown, which is just a typical game for White. Instead of talking about the always dominant running game, let’s talk about the Badgers’ domination on defense. For the third time in four weeks, Wisconsin held it’s opponent to zero offensive touchdowns. The Golden Gophers only score came when Aaron Hill picked off Stave and returned it for a touchdown. The heart and soul of the Wisconsin defense is Chris Borland, who racked up 12 tackles and continues to feast on opposing offenses. If I’m an NFL team, I draft this guy in a heartbeat. It was a tough loss for Minnesota, who had been on a four game winning streak. The Gophers just couldn’t get anything going and were out of sync the entire game. They’ll need to figure out their problems because Michigan State awaits them in the season finale.

Iowa 24 Michigan 21

And the season continues to get worse for Michigan. The Wolverines’ defense forced four turnovers and yet Michigan still found a way to lose the game. It’s probably because their offense only managed a paltry 158 total yards. Credit both the Iowa defense and Michigan’s paper offensive line. Quarterback Devin Gardner only threw for 98 yards and the Michigan running backs combined for 60 yards. On the flip side, Iowa’s running game rushed for 168 yards, including 88 yards from Mark Weisman. Weisman seemed to have no problem running all over the Wolverines’ defense and seemed to get big runs at the most opportune times for the Hawkeyes. Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock was erratic, but did enough to get the win and that’s all you can really ask for. Iowa has a shot to reach eight wins and possibly get a New Year’s Day bowl bid. It’s a nice bounce back season for head coach Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa football program. As for Michigan, the best way to describe their situation? Chaos. There is so much confusion and anger up in Michigan right now that it’s hard to tell what direction the program is going. Not exactly the best place to be heading into “The Game.”

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