Miami (OH) (4-7, 3-4) LOST at Central Michigan, 30-16. The Redhawks outgained the Chips 434-386 behind another strong outing by Zac Dysert (343 yards, TD, INT), but couldn't keep him upright (5 sacks), or stop the run. Zurlon Tipton ran for 113 yards and 2 TDs, as Central Michigan kept their bowl hopes alive for another week, which is more than we can say for the Redhawks. It'll be interesting to see how the boys in Oxford fare after they graduate one of their best QBs in program history at the end of the year. Miami will face Ball State in their season finale.
UCF (8-3, 6-1) LOST to Tulsa, 23-21. The Knight's hope for an unbeaten CUSA season and home field advantage are up in smoke, but their season isn't lost at all. The Golden Hurricane's defense swallowed up UCF's rushing attack, limiting them to only 66 yards on the game, while Trey Watts ran for 122 yards for Tulsa. If UCF can beat UAB next week, they can still qualify for a rematch against Tulsa in the CUSA Championship Game.
Cal (3-9, 2-7) LOST AT Oregon State, 62-14. The embarrassments for the Golden Bears just keep piling up, as it becomes harder and harder to justify how they almost beat Ohio State this season. The Beavers piled up 559 yards of total offense, behind a career day from Shawn Mannion (325 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT). Cal continued to do Cal things, like turn the ball over (4 times), or commit ridiculous amount of penalties (172 yards). The Golden Bear's season, and probably Jeff Tedford's tenure in Northern California, is just about over.
UAB (3-8, 2-5) LOST to Memphis, 46-9. I remember after I wrote the offseason "Know your enemy" articles, I caught a little bit of flack on some CUSA boards for disrespecting UAB. Now, UAB has given up over 100 points to Tulane and Memphis, and to that I say, "respect must be earned." No FBS team should ever lose to Memphis by more than 30 at home, period. UAB was held to only 213 yards on offense, and Jacob Karam throw 3 TD passes. UAB will have a chance to partially redeem themselves if they can deny UCF a chance at the CUSA title game next week.
Michigan State (5-6, 2-5) LOST to Northwestern, 23-20. I was watching this game, and after seeing Northwestern go three-and-out for three consecutive drives in the fourth quarter, consistently giving Sparty great field position, I thought I was going to see yet another Wildcat fourth quarter collapse. Apparently, "Sparty No!" > Northwestern's inability to finish, as a costly pass interference penalty late allowed the Wildcats to hang on. Northwestern running back Venric Mark missed the second half due to injury, and the Wildcats struggled to move the ball without him, but Trevor Siemian made just enough throws to win. Michigan State outgained Northwestern by over 100 yards, and Le'Veon Bell ran for 133, but they lost the turnover battle 4-0, and welp, it's hard to win football games that way. Michigan State will try to get bowl eligible against Minnesota in their season finale. Northwestern will play Illinois, and holy crap guys, Northwestern is gonna win 9 games.
#14 Nebraska (9-2, 6-1) BEAT, Minnesota 38-14. This game wasn't even that close. Nebraska jumped to a 38-0 lead, held Minnesota to 177 total yards, and Taylor Martinez threw for 308 and 2 TDs in a total route. Martinez is now Nebraska's career passing leader, which feels strange to say. Minnesota's Phillip Nelson struggled mightily, going 8/23 with 2 INTs and only 59 yards, but hey, Nebraska is the favorite to go to the Rose Bowl. Minnesota will try to solidify their bowl standing next week against Michigan State, while Nebraska will face Iowa in Farmageddon.
Indiana (4-7, 2-5) LOST at Penn State, 45-22. No conspiracy needed here, as Penn State's offense had a big night, blowing open a close game in the 3rd quarter to sail to an easy victory. Matt McGloin threw for 395 yards and 4 TDs (and a pick), just short of the Penn State school record, and Allen Robinson had a huge day, catching 10 passes for 197 yards and 3 scores. Indiana's Chase Coffman threw for a whopping 454 yards and 2 TDs, but also threw two costly interceptions, and can't play defense. Penn State star linebacker Michael Mauti left the game with a knee injury, and could be done for the year. Penn State faces Wisconsin next week, while Indiana plays Purdue.
Purdue (5-6, 2-5) BEAT Illinois, 20-17. Crazy to think that as bad as Purdue has been this year, they might still make a bowl and possibly save Danny Hope's job. The Boilermakers had 202 rushing yards as a team, and Robert Marve did just enough to keep Purdue's drives alive (173 yards, 1 TD, no turnovers). Illinois improved running the football, but turned the ball over 3 times. Illinois has now lost 13 Big Ten games in a row. They face Northwestern next week, while Purdue tries to get to a bowl against Indiana.
Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3) LOST to Ohio State, 21-14 (OT). Wisconsin will face Penn State next week, and then likely Nebraska in the Big Ten title game.
#21 Michigan (8-3, 6-1) BEAT IOWA, 42-17. Iowa is out of the bowl hunt, thanks to a dominating performance by Michigan's new look offense. Denard Robinson lined up at running back and ran for 98 yards, and new QB Devin Gardner threw for 314 yards and 3 TDs (and a pick), and also ran for 3 more. Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan's regular running back, will miss the Ohio State game due to injury. Iowa let Michigan score on their first 6 possessions, something we probably won't see next week. Iowa plays Nebraska next week, but the only game we care about is *THE* GAME.
It's officially Michigan Week now, kids. Beat That School Up North.