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Big Ten Report - Week 11

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Big Ten · ACC · Pac-12

Week 10 in the Big Ten watched the favorites go 5-1 straight up and 3-3 against the spread, three of those margins decided by double digits. The lone underdog to win outright was Minnesota (+7 ½), who knocked off Indiana, 42-39 on the road. Both Ohio State and Wisconsin won in dominating fashion as road favorites. Total bettors watched the 'under' go 5-1 last weekend.

2013 BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team SU Conference  ATS Over/Under
Illinois 3-5 0-4 4-4 4-4
Indiana 3-5 1-3 3-5 7-1
Iowa 5-4 2-3 5-4 5-4
Michigan 6-2 2-2 4-4 5-3
Michigan State 8-1 4-0 5-3-1 3-6
Minnesota 7-2 3-2 6-3 6-3
Nebraska 6-2 3-1 4-4 4-4
Northwestern 4-5 0-5 3-6 3-6
Ohio State 9-0 5-0 6-2-1 6-3
Penn State 5-3 2-2 3-5 5-3
Purdue 1-7 0-4 2-6 3-5
Wisconsin 6-2 4-1 7-0-1 3-5


Michigan (-7, 58) vs. Nebraska (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET)
How will Nebraska respond on the road after its final play hail mary win over Northwestern last week? The Huskers fell behind 21-7 early in the game and backup QB's Armstrong and Kellogg struggled with accuracy (23-of-42 passing with 4 INT). The defense delivered by allowing just three points the final 40 minutes and also returning and INT for a TD. The Huskers also received another strong performance by RB Abdullah (127 rush yards). It was a huge win for Nebraska after its surprising defeat at Minnesota in its prior week and it keeps the Huskers in the Legends Division hunt with key games against Michigan and Michigan State on deck. Michigan is off of its second loss in three games, this one to in-state rival Michigan State - and it was an ugly one. The Wolves were held to just 168 yards, 12 first downs, and 6 total points against the nation's top defense. They tallied -48 rush yards for the game (including sack yards lost) and were just 2-of-14 on 3rd down. Michigan's defensive issues have become a big concern after allowing 394 yards and 29 points to a previously-mediocre MSU offense. The Wolves have now allowed 39.6 PPG over their previous three games. Michigan's hopes of a Big Ten title have taken a serious hit as it will now need some major help to represent the Legends Division in the Big Ten title game. Michigan returns home, where it has never lost under Hoke, to face Nebraska this weekend. These two have split the only two meetings since Nebraska became a member of the Big Ten. Michigan won at home in 2011, 43-17. Nebraska won at home in 2012, 23-9. Nebraska is just 7-13 ATS in its last 20 games as a road underdog. The Wolves are 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games as a home favorite of seven points or more.

Wisconsin (-7 ½, 55) vs. BYU (ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Wisconsin gets a rare midseason non-conference game at home against BYU this weekend. The Badgers are off of a win against Iowa that was closer than the 28-9 final score indicates. Wisconsin struggled on offense for the better part of three quarters before two late touchdowns put the game away. Star RB Gordon had his worst game of the season with just 62 rush yards. QB Stave (2 TD passes) and RB White (132 rush yards & 2 TD) picked up the slack. Defensively this was one of the best performances of recent memory for Wisconsin. Despite playing without its top defender, LB Borland, the Badgers held Iowa to 289 yards and 9 points. The Hawks managed just 110 rush yards on 3.5 YPC and QB's Rudock & Beathard completed just 16-of-40 passes for 179 yards with 0 TD and 2 INT. BYU is not a familiar opponent, but new head coach Gary Anderson, previously the HC at Utah State, faced BYU each of the past four seasons. The Cougars have won five straight games (4-1 ATS) after starting the season 1-2. They've had a couple weeks off after their previous game and will be well rested for this trip to Madison. Led by do-everything QB Taysom Hill (2,019 pass yards, 841 rush yards, 20 total TD), this offense ranks 12th in yards per game and has scored 31+ points in five straight games. BYU operates at break-neck speed on offense, leading the nation with 92.8 plays per game. Defensively the Cougars have allowed over 200 rush yards in two of the last three weeks and that has to be a concern traveling to Wisconsin to face the nation's 10th ranked rush offense. Wisconsin is 27-0 SU in its last 27 home games against non-conference opponents. BYU is 4-0 ATS in its last four as a road underdog of 7+ points.

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Minnesota (-2 ½, 48) vs. Penn State (ESPN2, 12:00 p.m. ET)

The Minnesota magic continues, thanks in large part to an inexcusable crunch-time blunder by Indiana last week. Minnesota blew a 22-point 2nd half lead but was able to rally behind strong play from QB Nelson, who established himself as the unquestioned QB leader with 298 pass yards and four touchdowns - including the game-winning 50-yard TD pass with 3:06 remaining. It was a rough second half for the defense, but it came up with a stop when needed and overall it performed well against an Indiana offense that averages 42 points per game. Minnesota has now won three consecutive B1G games and appears to be a major player in the Legends Division. Penn State bounced back after its 49 point loss to Ohio State with an overtime win over Illinois at home last week. It wasn't pretty, but PSU got a strong passing day from freshman QB Hackenberg (240 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) and RB Belton (201 rush yards, 1 TD). Defensively they allowed too many passing yards yet again (321 pass yards) despite playing against a quarterback that had averaged 162 pass yards over his past three games. The Nittany Lions will need to clean up the defense before they travel to Minnesota to play the Gophers who are riding a ton of momentum. Penn State is 4-1 SU & 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings with Minnesota. These two haven't met since 2010, a 12-point Penn State win in Minneapolis.

Iowa (-14 ½, 45 ½) @ Purdue (Big Ten, 12:00 p.m. ET)
The Hawkeyes battled tough with Wisconsin for three quarters, but there were again too many deficiencies on offense for the team to overcome. Drives repeatedly stalled as QB's Rudock & Beathard couldn't convert on 3rd downs. Those two combined to complete just 16-of-40 passes for 179 yards with 2 INT. The team was 4-of-18 on 3rd downs and failed to find the endzone. The defense played well against one of the top offenses in the Big Ten. Wisconsin added a couple of rushing touchdowns late in the game, but Iowa held its own for the most part. The defense is good enough to get Iowa a few more wins, but unless the offense to start scoring, it's going to be another average finish for the Hawkeyes. QB Rudock is back at practice and will play this week at Purdue. Purdue headed into its bye week on a somewhat high-note after a solid defensive performance against Michigan State. It didn't translate over as the Boilers were shutout at home against Ohio State last week, 0-56. Purdue managed just 116 total yards and 10 first downs. Not many teams can slow down Ohio State's offense, but Purdue looked downright helpless. OSU QB's completed 28-of-36 passes for 5 TD and the Bucks also rushed for 345 yards on 8.4 YPC. Purdue has been shut out in consecutive games and has scored just 17 points in four Big Ten contests. Purdue has covered three of the last four over Iowa. Iowa is just 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games as a road favorite of 14 points or more.

Indiana (-10, 76) vs. Illinois (Big Ten, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Indiana's bowl hopes took a serious hit with its home loss to Minnesota last week. The Hoosiers had the ball inside the 10 yard line down by three points. A touchdown would have given them a likely win and at the very least, Indiana would be able to send the game into overtime with a field goal. Instead, the Hoosiers turned the ball over and lost a "must-win" game. The Hoosiers now sit at 3-5, three wins away from bowl eligibility with four to play. Two of those games are at Wisconsin and at Ohio State. It's difficult to envision Indiana winning one of those games, as well as two others, to become bowl eligible. Indiana's offense again was strong, despite only controlling the ball for 22 minutes of game time. The Hoosiers tallied 496 total yards, including 227 on the ground. QB Sudfeld outplayed QB Roberson and that further complicates the decision making of the offense after Roberson clearly looked like the better talent the previous weeks. IU's defense allowed four touchdown passes to Minnesota's QB Nelson and also surrendered 248 rush yards to the Gophers. After Illinois' overtime loss to Penn State last week, the Illini's Big Ten losing streak has now reached 18 games - and it's hard to find another loss that stung as bad as Saturday's loss. Illinois had numerous early opportunities to put points on the board, took a late lead in the game, and couldn't hold on to it as PSU tied the game with 41 seconds left and won the game in overtime. QB Scheelhaase threw his first touchdown pass since September 28th and the offense moved the ball fluidly through the air. The rushing attack mustered just 90 yards on 24 carries (3.8 YPC) and the defense had one of its poorer showings. PSU freshman QB Hackenberg tossed for 240 yards and the Nittany Lions gained 250 rush yards. The Illini can take some positives away from a near victory in Happy Valley, but now the Illini have to win three of their final four to become bowl eligible. Illinois is 4-2 SU & ATS in its last six meetings with Indiana. Indiana is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games as a favorite of 10 points or more. Illinois is 14-7 ATS in its last 21 as an underdog of 10 points or more.

Ohio State - BYE
Ohio State won its 21st consecutive game under coach Urban Meyer with a 56-0 thrashing of Purdue in Ross-Ade Stadium. Ohio State scored 28 first-quarter points and 42 in the first half. QB's Miller, Guiton, and Jones combined to complete 28-of-36 passes for 295 yards and 5 TD and the Bucks tallied 345 rush yards on 8.4 YPC. Ohio State needs to keep winning with "style" as they currently sit at 4th in the BCS standings with little chance of surpassing any of the top three teams. The Buckeyes are off this week before visiting Illinois on Nov. 16.

Michigan State - BYE
The Spartans reclaimed their superiority against in-state rival Michigan in style last week and now look like the front-runner to represent the Legends Division in the Big Ten Title game. Michigan State held the Wolverines to just 168 yards, 12 first downs, and two field goals. Michigan was just 2-for-14 on 3rd down and tallied -48 rushing yards! They sacked Michigan seven times and absolutely suffocated the Michigan offense. Offensively QB Cook continued to impress with 252 pass yards while RB Langford rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth straight game. They have an open week before a key road trip to Nebraska on Nov. 16.

Northwestern - BYE
Nothing is going right for Northwestern during its five game losing streak. This time it was a Hail Mary at the buzzer that sent the Wildcats home with a loss. It was their third consecutive loss by seven points or fewer and now Northwestern is in serious danger of missing out on bowl eligibility altogether. Northwestern was outgained by 146 yards and had 12 fewer first downs against Nebraska. QB's Colter and Siemian continue to struggle through the air, combining to complete just 8-of-21 passes for 81 yards with 0 TD and 1 INT. Northwestern has an off week to regroup before hosting Michigan on Nov. 16.

  
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