The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11A
Big Ten busts out with full slate
By Sara Livingston
and Kevin Wright
For the Daily
What a crazy three weeks it's been with Big Ten powerhous-
es looking shaky. Arizona State poached the Iowa Hawkeyes
44-7, and Michigan barely survived the upset attempt by San
Diego State 24-21. Also, in the first week of the sea-
son, Michigan State lost to Rutgers, which in turn
lost to Division 1-AA New Hampshire. Buckle up,
fans, because this Big Ten season is going to be a
roller coaster ride.
Penn State (2-1) at No. 20 Wisconsin (3-0), 5:45
has played well in the first three weeks of the season, throw-
ing for 428 yards and four touchdowns. On the other sideline,
Michigan State has yet to find a permanent quarterback and a
consistent offense. This game will be close and ugly. And in
close games, the team with the better quarterback usually wins.
Give this one to the Hoosiers.
Indiana 14, Michigan State 10
Northwestern (1-2) at No. 19 Minnesota (3-0),
After blowing out Toledo in its season opener,
barely beating Illinois State and then rushing for
360 yards and scorching Colorado State, Minnesota
has high expectations going into its Big Ten opener
against a constantly struggling Northwestern team.
Northwestern, the perennial embarrassment of the Big Ten,
centers its offense around junior quarterback Brett Basanez,
who managed to throw three interceptions for every one of his
four touchdowns last season. After a 6-7 record last year, the
Wildcats slogged into this season with losses to unranked TCU
and Arizona State. The Golden Gophers will head in with their
dominant running game led by junior Marion Barber III and
sophomore Laurence Maroney. Northwestern is clearly eager
to prove itself in the Big Ten - something which seems to be
its motto every season. On the other hand, Minnesota will be
looking to make a statement to the rest of the Big Ten.
Minnesota 40, Northwestern 17
Who's wearing those weighty glasses on the Penn State
sideline? That's right, it's coach Joe Paterno, back for another
season. His Nittany Lions, mediocre in the last few years, need
to go to a bowl game to prove their coach still has the magic
touch. Beating Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium would be
a good starting point. Both of these two teams are looking for
redemption from past failures and chance to return to Big Ten
glory, which makes this a crucial game. Penn State features
senior quarterback Zach Mills, while the Badgers rely on an
untested sophomore in John Stocco. Wisconsin almost slipped
last week with a close 9-7 win against Arizona, but expect the
Badgers to protect their home field and hold off Penn State with
a late fourth quarter touchdown.
Wisconsin 28, Penn State 21
No. 15 Purdue (2-0) at Illinois (2-1), noon
Illinois already has won more games than it did last sea-
son. Quarterback Jon Beutjer has played up to potential, and
running backs Pierre Thomas and E.B. Hasley have carried
the offensive load. However, the Illini face a real challenge in
Purdue. The Boilermakers remain untested as they have rolled
over both Syracuse and Ball State, and Kyle Orton - the best
quarterback in the Big Ten - is firing on all cylinders. He has
* thrown for 616 yards and nine touchdowns. Illini fans better
celebrate while they can because the future looks bleak for the
Fighting Illini. Look for Orton to pick apart the Illinois second-
ary and Purdue's defense to shut down Beutjer.
Purdue 35, Illinois 10
Michigan State (1-2) at Indiana (2-1), noon
So far this season, Michigan State's best highlight has been
John L. Smith's climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro shown dur-
ing the Rutgers game. The Spartans come into the Big Ten sea-
son having just lost to Notre Dame and hope to jumpstart their
season with a win over Indiana. Meanwhile, Indiana, usually a
Big Ten doormat, has shown life this season, beating Central
Michigan and Oregon at Eugene - a feat Michigan couldn't
accomplish last year. Indiana's quarterback, Matt LoVecchio,
Purdue's Bernard Pollard (31) celebrates a blocked punt.
Continued from page 10A
While you're waiting, here's a fun
fact: Michigan beat Iowa 107-0 in
OK, we're back. 1998. Michigan
was the defending national champion
but, thanks to an 0-2 start to the
year, the Wolverines had just barely
cracked the polls. So they headed to
Iowa. And on a cold and rainy day,
the defenses ruled.
It was 10-9 Michigan late in the
fourth quarter, when the Wolverines
punted if away, trying to pin Iowa
deep in its own territory. But, sur-
prise, su ftle - sofnething unusual
happened. Iowa's Kahlil Hill fielded
the punt at his own five, tried to
make a great play happen, ran back
into the endzone and was tackled for
a safety. It was like risking all your
money on a Daily Double in Jeopar-
dy, then having your podium explode
before you could answer. Michigan
And finally, 1997. The Wolverines
were down 14-7 with just a couple
of seconds left in the first half. So
Michigan, of course, decided to
punt right to Iowa return man Tim
Dwight who, of course, ran it back
for a touchdown. Iowa led 21-7 at
halftime, as Michigan was abysmal
on offense in the first 30 minutes.
But the Wolverines put up 21 in
the second half to survive despite,
again, kicking right at Dwight, who
nearly took another back while set-
ting up an Iowa field goal. Michigan
There it is. Five ridiculous games
between Michigan and Iowa.
What's in store for this year? With
this history, who can tell?
One thing's for sure, though: You
don't want to miss it.
Chris Burke tried to run the fum-
ble-rooskie during a game of Electric
Football once and his player spun
around until he fumbled. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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