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October 07, 2004 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-07

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 7, 2004 - 13A

Bucks, Badgers do battle

By Tyler Hagls and
Dan Ording
Daily Sports Writers

A major showdown between Wiscon-
sin and Ohio State highlights this week's

Big Ten action. Purdue hopes to
continue its strong play against
Penn State, while Northwest-
ern could goes for two in a row
against Indiana. Illinois travels
to Michigan State to round out
the Big Ten slate on Saturday.

Aga
NI3

No. 15 Wisconsin (2-0, 5-0) at No.
18 Ohio State (0-1, 3-1) - 3:30 p.m.,
ABC
It was not quite the "Curse of the
Bambino" being lifted, but a major
streak was broken last week in the Ohio
State-Northwestern game. The Buck-
eyes finally lost a close game, and Mr.
Reliable - Mike Nugent - missed a
field goal in overtime.
The Buckeyes have struggled mightily
on offense this season, especially at quar-
terback. Justin Zwick, one of the most
highly-touted recruits in the nation out of
high school, has not lived up to expecta-
tions. With the defense that Ohio State
has, Zwick just has to read the Trent Dilfer
playbook and play smart. If he continues
to throw interceptions (five already this
year), the Buckeyes will continue to have
trouble in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin fans are beginning to see
visions of Ron Dayne and Brooks Bol-
linger in the Rose Bowl days of the late
1990s. Anthony Davis came back from
an eye injury with a vengeance last week
- with 213 rushing yards against Illinois
- and helped restore the balance to the
Badger offense. The defense has needed
no help - it has not given up more than
seven points in a game this season.

State has no one like him.
Wisconsin 21, Ohio State 9
No. 10 Purdue (1-0, 4-0) at Penn
State (0-2,2-3) - 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Purdue made a statement last week
with its 41-16 thumping of Notre
Dame in South Bend - a game
that proved it's a legitimate
top-10 team. The Boilermakers
will look to keep their record
unblemished as they head into
Happy Valley to face Joe Pater-
no and his struggling group of Nittany
Lions.
Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton is
having a stellar season and contin-
ues to lead many experts' Heisman
Trophy race. This should come as no
surprise since he has already thrown
for 17 touchdowns and, even more
impressively, a big fat goose egg in
the interception column. Six-foot
wide receiver Taylor Stubblefield has
caught 10 of those touchdown tosses
and can become the Big Ten's all-
time receptions leader with just three
more grabs.
For the Nittany Lions to win, they're
going to need a lot of points. The only
problem is, they've scored a grand total
of 10 in their last two games. Quarter-
back Zack Mills has more interceptions
(eight) than touchdowns (five) this year,
and would have to flip that stat around
for his team to have any sort of hope.
This won't happen as Purdue's defense
will rebound from its performance last
week, when Notre Dame passed for
460 yards.
Purdue will run away with the win as
Orton will have another huge day. How-
ever, he will throw his first interception
of the year, but only because he wore a
pink polo on ESPN2's Cold Pizza.
Man up, Kyle, man up.
Purdue 38, Penn State 7
Illinois (0-2, 2-3) at
Michigan State (1-1,
2-3) - noon, ESPN2
Two struggling
2-3 teams
match up
this Satur-
day in East
Lansing
AA- to decide
p which team
is more medi-
ocre. No. 15
-;Wisconsin's
-* swarming
defense com-
pletely shut

down Illinois last week in a 24-7 vic-
tory. Illinois was held to a meager 206
total yards and quarterback Jon Beutjer
threw for just 85 yards. Luckily for the
Illini offense, their next opponent is the
Spartans, who have given up 58 points
in the last two games.
Michigan State sophomore quarterback
Drew Stanton, a poor man's Mike Vick,
has been destroying his competition. He
leads Michigan State in running and pass-
ing yards, finally establishing himself as
the quarterback of the future in East Lan-
sing. If he can avoid the troubles that fol-
lowed Jeff Smoker, Stanton could lead this
team to a Big Ten title.
While Illinois' offense has been
superb for most of the year, the defense
has given up 29 points per game against
I-A teams. Beutjer, more like Kurt
Kittner than Vick, has not thrown an
interception this season, but he and his
offensive teammates cannot overcome
the team's porous defense.
The Spartans seem to have the talent
edge in every major area. But they have
been inconsistent this season, so no one
knows how they will perform. Look for
the team that overcame Indiana in the sec-
ond half two weeks ago.
Michigan State 35, Illinois 17
Indiana (0-2, 2-3) at Northwestern
(2-3) - noon
Last week, Northwestern shocked Ohio
State in overtime, beating the Buckeyes
for the first time in 33 years, 33-27. Come
Saturday, it will try to beat Indiana for the
first time since ... last year.
Watch for the Wildcats to come out
strong in hopes of avoiding a letdown
after such a huge win. They'll do so by
starting right where they left off - with
senior running back Noah Herron. Her-
ron tasted the end zone three times last
weekend, including the game-winning
score, and should add to his season tally of
six total touchdowns on Saturday. Quar-
terback Brett Basanez will look to pick
apart Indiana's swiss cheese defense that
gave up over 330 yards through the air to
Michigan last week.
For the Hoosiers to have any
chance, their offense must step up
its production. Their best bet may
be forcing the issue on the ground to
eat up some clock and keep the ball
away from the Wildcats. They can do
so with BenJarvus Green-Ellis (3.5
yards a carry and three touchdowns)
who has one of the coolest first names
in college football. But the reality is
that Indiana has little to no chance,
and Northwestern should run away
with another home victory.
Note to Evanston: Don't storm the field
after this one. Indiana is bad at football.
Northwestern 27, Indiana 10

AP PHOTO

Basanez

Iq

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