The grades are in: Fourth quarter report card for UM and the Big Ten

The grades are in: Fourth quarter report card for UM and the Big Ten

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on December 7th, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Ten teams in the Big Ten are bowl eligible: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin. Only Indiana and Minnesota failed to make bowl games; Minnesota finished the season strong while Indiana – not so much.

 

It’s time to look at the fourth quarter of the season report card for Big Ten teams; the regular season is over, heading into the bowl season. The report card will factor in each team’s success (or lack thereof) offensively and defensively, while keeping their win-loss record in mind. In the event a team is playing in a bowl game, it will be noted.

Note: No predictions were done for the conference title.

 

Readers have suggested I reference the previous quarters’s report card; those grades will be duly noted. To see the first quarter report card, click here. To see the second quarter grades, click here. To see the third quarter grades, click here.

 

To see articles like this and more, visit my website at Before Visiting the Sportsbook (note the new web address; content is updated daily).

 

Illinois – Projected Record: (8-4); Actual Record: (6-6)

Total Offense: 358.17 yards/game; 86th.

Run Offense: 171.17 yards/game; 42nd. Pass Offense: 187.00 yards/game; 91st.

Total Defense: 291.75 yards/game; 7th.

Run Defense: 132.67 yards/game; 42nd. Pass Defense: 159.08 yards/game; 4th.

Notes: The Illini started off the season on fire, starting 6-0 with an average MOV of 16.8; since that time, Illinois was 0-6 with an average MOD of 11.3. The six game slide led to the Zooker being canned. The Illini’s potential candidates include Tim Beckman (Toledo), Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois), Ron English (Eastern Michigan), Hugh Freeze (Arkansas State), Butch Jones (Cincinnati), and Pat Narduzzi (D.C. Michigan State). Illinois will travel to San Francisco to play UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Illinois is led offensively by QB Nathan Scheelhaase (2485 total yards, 63.6% completion, 18 total TDs, but 7 INTs), RB Jason Ford (600 rushing yards, 3.9/carry, and 7 rushing TDs), and WR A.J. Jenkins (1196 receiving yards, 14.2/catch, and 7 receiving TDs). Illinois made it to a bowl game, mainly because the Big Ten has numerous bowl tie-ins, but also because Illinois draws more fans than other potential candidates, which isn’t saying much. The Illini have non-conference games against Western Michigan, at Arizona State, Charleston Southern, and Louisiana Tech. Winnable home games exist against Indiana, Minnesota, and Purdue; unfortunately for Illinois, all of the road games could be losses, with trips to Wisconsin and Michigan on back-to-back weeks, then visits to Ohio and Northwestern later in the season. Don’t expect Illinois to be bowl eligible in 2012.

Wins: Arkansas State (33-15); South Dakota State (56-3); #22 Arizona State (17-14); Western Michigan (23-20); Northwestern* (38-35); @ Indiana* (41-20).

Losses: Ohio* (7-17); @ Purdue* (14-21); @ #19 Penn State (7-10); #24 Michigan* (14-31); #17 Wisconsin* (17-28); @ Minnesota* (7-27).

Current Grade: C-.

 

Indiana – Projected Record: (3-9); Actual Record: (1-11)

Total Offense: 360.42 yards/game; 85th.

Run Offense: 161.00 yards/game; 58th. Pass Offense: 199.40 yards/game; 80th.

Total Defense: 458.67 yards/game; 109th.

Run Defense: 243.67 yards/game; 118th. Pass Defense: 215.00 yards/game; 51st.

Notes: The Hoosiers had their worst year since 1984, when they were winless. Coach Kevin R. Wilson’s first year couldn’t have gone any worse, as their average MOD in Big Ten play was 24.4. Indiana’s three best conference games might have been against Penn State, Purdue, and Ohio. QB Tre Robinson (791 total yards, 59.7% completion, 4 total TDs, but 2 INTs) is the third quarterback for the Hoosiers this season. RB Stephen Houston (577 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) and WR Duwyce Wilson (217 receiving yards, 12.8/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) lead the Hoosiers offensively. The Hoosiers have lost 29 of their last 32 conference games, dating back to the 2008 season (Hoosiers went to a bowl game in 2007, went 3-5 in the Big Ten that year). Indiana’s goal for next year? Winning a conference game? Winning two games total? You decide. (In case you were wondering, Indiana’s last winning record in conference play was in 1993 – 5-3 that year – under Coach Bill Mallory). The Hoosiers have non-conference games against Indiana State, at Massachusetts, Ball State, and at Navy. There are potential wins, in conference play, against Illinois and Purdue, both on the road. Indiana will exceed their 2011 win total, in 2012, though it may not be by much.

Wins: South Carolina State (38-21).

Losses: vs. Ball State (20-27); Virginia (31-34); @ North Texas (21-24); Penn State* (10-16); #19 Illinois* (20-41); @ #4 Wisconsin *(7-59); @ Iowa* (24-45); Northwestern* (38-59); @ Ohio* (20-34); @ #15 Michigan State* (3-55); Purdue* (25-33).

Current Grade: F.

 

Iowa – Projected Record: (8-4); Actual Record: (7-5)

Total Offense: 379.17 yards/game; 70th.

Run Offense: 142.83 yards/game; 77th. Pass Offense: 236.30 yards/game; 56th.

Total Defense: 387.58 yards/game; 68th.

Run Defense: 159.50 yards/game; 64th. Pass Defense: 228.08 yards/game; 66th.

Notes: Iowa will be in their fourth straight bowl game and 10th in the last 11 years. With that said, this year hasn’t been a good one for Iowa, they have posted their lowest win total since 2007, when they missed a bowl game. Iowa draws #14 Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl. The Hawkeyes have been led by Junior QB James Vandenberg (2806 passing yards, 59.4% completion, and 26 total TDs), RB Marcus Coker (1384 rushing yards, 4.9/carry, and 15 rushing TDs), and WR Marvin McNutt (1269 receiving yards, 16.3/catch, and 12 receiving TDs). Since missing the 2007 bowl game, Iowa’s recruiting rankings in the Big Ten have been 8th (2008), 10th (2009), 5th (2010), and 3rd (2011). Currently, Iowa has four-4 star verbal commits. After a soft non-conference schedule this year, Iowa plays Northern Illinois (@ Chicago, IL), Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Central Michigan. Nice to see Iowa picked up their rivalry with Northern Iowa again, right? Iowa faces tough home games against Penn State and Nebraska. Tough road games exist at Michigan State and Michigan. Iowa has a great shot at topping seven wins in 2012.

Wins: Tennessee Tech (34-7); Pittsburgh (31-27); Louisiana-Monroe (45-17); Northwestern* (41-31); Indiana* (45-24); #15 Michigan* (24-16); @ Purdue* (31-21).

Losses: @ Iowa State (41-44 OT); @ Penn State* (3-13); @ Minnesota* (21-22); #17 Michigan State* (21-37); @ #21 Nebraska* (7-20).

Current Grade: C.

 

Michigan – Projected Record: (8-4); Actual Record: (10-2)

Total Offense: 423.08 yards/game; 34th.

Run Offense: 235.67 yards/game; 12th. Pass Offense: 187.40 yards/game; 90th.

Total Defense: 317.58 yards/game; 18th.

Run Defense: 129.08 yards/game; 35th. Pass Defense: 188.50 yards/game; 16th.

Notes: Michigan has their highest win total in a season since 2006, when the Wolverines finished 11-2, starting 11-0 before losing to Ohio and USC in the Rose Bowl. Michigan also knocked off Ohio for the first time since 2003. Michigan also made their first BCS bowl since 2006, facing #11 Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. QB Denard Robinson (3219 total yards, 56.1% completion, and 34 total TDs, but 14 INTs), RBs Fitzgerald Toussaint (1011 rushing yards, 5.8/carry, and 9 rushing TDs) and Vincent Smith (296 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 2 rushing TDs) led the Wolverine ground attack. WR Junior Hemingway (636 receiving yards, 19.9/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) and TE Kevin Koger (235 receiving yards, 11.2/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) led Michigan’s aerial attack. Michigan finished undefeated at home this season, the first time since 2006. The Wolverines were third in recruiting in the Big Ten in 2011, picking up six-4 stars, including DB Blake Countess, RB Justice Hayes, and DE Brennen Beyer. To date, Michigan has the top recruiting class for 2012 in the Big Ten (and one of the best in the country), with one-5 star (OL Kyle Kalis) and ten-4 star recruits (including OL Blake Bars, WR Amara Darboh, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, OL Erik Magnuson, and DE Tom Strobel), all verbals. Michigan’s non-conference schedule next season is among the toughest in the Big Ten, if not the entire country; games against Alabama (@ Arlington, TX), Air Force, Massachusetts, and at Notre Dame provide Michigan with three possible losses. Michigan State and Iowa at home could be tough, as well as road games against Nebraska and Ohio. If Michigan can come anywhere near their ten wins this season, next year, it would be shocking.

Wins: Western Michigan (34-10); Notre Dame (35-31); Eastern Michigan (31-3); San Diego State (28-7); Minnesota* (58-0); Northwestern* (42-24); Purdue* (36-14); @ Illinois* (31-14); #16 Nebraska* (45-17); Ohio* (40-34).

Losses: @ #23 Michigan State* (14-28); @ Iowa* (16-24).

Current Grade: A-.

 

Michigan State – Projected Record: (8-4); Actual Record: (10-3)

Total Offense: 390.38 yards/game 60th.

Run Offense: 142.92 yards/game; 76th. Pass Offense: 247.50 yards/game; 44th.

Total Defense: 272.69 yards/game; 5th.

Run Defense: 104.31 yards/game; 12th. Pass Defense: 168.38 yards/game; 11th.

Notes: Michigan State has their first back-to-back nine or more win seasons for the first time since 1965-1966. The Spartans have been a different team at home than on the road, though. MSU is 7-0 at home with an average MOV of 26.1, but 3-2 on the road with an average MOD of 1. Outside of last season, when Michigan State also was 7-1 in conference, the last time Michigan State was as strong on conference play was 1999, when Michigan State was 6-2, under Coach Nick Saban. 1999 was the last year Michigan State beat Ohio, Michigan, and Notre Dame all in the same season. Michigan State’s 42-39 loss in Indianapolis to Wisconsin knocked the Spartans out of the BCS. Michigan State will face Georgia in the Outback Bowl, in a battle of conference runner-ups. Senior QB Kirk Cousins (2735 passing yards, 64.3% completion, 21 passing TDs, but 6 INTs) RBs Edwin Baker (624 rushing yards, 4.0/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) and Le’Veon Bell (794 receiving yards, 5.4/carry, and 10 rushing TDs), and WR B.J. Cunningham (1125 receiving yards, 16.8/catch, and 9 receiving TDs) led the Spartans offensively. After a mediocre non-conference schedule this year, Michigan State opens up with Boise State, at Central Michigan, Notre Dame, and Eastern Michigan. The Spartans welcome in the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers, while visiting the Wolverines and Badgers, on back-to-back weeks, nonetheless. Expecting ten wins with a new quarterback and #1 wide receiver will be extremely tough.

Wins: Youngstown State (28-6); Florida Atlantic (44-0); Central Michigan (45-7); @ Ohio* (10-7); #11 Michigan* (28-14); #6 Wisconsin* (37-31); Minnesota* (31-24); @ Iowa* (37-21); Indiana* (55-3); @ Northwestern* (31-17).

Losses: @ Notre Dame (13-31); @ #14 Nebraska* (3-24); vs. #15 Wisconsin* (39-42).

Current Grade: A-.

 

Minnesota – Projected Record: (3-9); Actual Record: (3-9)

Total Offense: 310.33 yards/game; 109th.

Run Offense: 160.00 yards/game; 59th. Pass Offense: 150.30 yards/game; 108th.

Total Defense: 403.08 yards/game; 77th.

Run Defense: 186.42 yards/game; 93rd. Pass Defense: 216.67 yards/game; 52nd.

Notes: When we last checked in, Minnesota had just beaten Iowa. Excluding the win over Iowa, Minnesota was 0-3 in conference with an average MOD of 39; they had been double-digit underdogs in five of their eight games this season, through that point. Since that time, Minnesota went 1-3, being outscored an average of 27-19.25. QB Marqueis Gray (2461 total yards, 50.7% completion, 14 total TDs, but 8 INTs) and RBs Duane Bennett (639 rushing yards, 3.8/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and Donnell Kirkwood (229 rushing yards, 3.6/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) led the Golden Gopher offense. Minnesota was ninth in recruiting in the Big Ten last year; as it stands right now, Minnesota is at the bottom of the Big Ten for recruiting heading into next season. Coach Jerry Kill will need to bring in more help if he wants to turn the Golden Gophers into a bowl eligible team, and eventually and Legends Division contender. The non-conference schedule for next year is very favorable, as the Gophers travel to UNLV to open the season, then host New Hampshire, Western Michigan, and Syracuse. Minnesota hosts Northwestern and Purdue, both of which are winnable games. Minnesota also has potential winnable games on the road against Iowa and Illinois. Don’t be surprised if the Gophers are bowl eligible next season; if they aren’t, they should be very close.

Wins: Miami (Ohio) (29-23); Iowa* (22-21); Illinois* (27-7).

Losses: @ USC (17-19); New Mexico State (21-28); North Dakota State (24-37); @ #19 Michigan* (0-58); @ Purdue* (17-45); #13 Nebraska* (14-41); @ #17 Michigan State (24-31); #18 Wisconsin* (13-42); @ Northwestern* (13-28).

Current Grade: D.

 

Nebraska – Projected Record: (11-1); Actual Record: (9-3)

Total Offense: 390.50 yards/game; 59th.

Run Offense: 223.92 yards/game; 13th. Pass Offense: 166.60 yards/game; 103rd.

Total Defense: 350.67 yards/game; 36th.

Run Defense: 161.58 yards/game; 66th. Pass Defense: 189.08 yards/game; 17th.

Notes: Nebraska entered the season as favorites to win the Legends Division. Nebraska laid an egg in their opener, got thrashed at Michigan, and, in between, lost at home to Northwestern. The Northwestern loss snapped an eight game home win streak. Nebraska accepted an invite to the Capital One Bowl and will face #9 South Carolina. QB Taylor Martinez (2810 total yards, 55.9% completion, 21 total TDs, but 7 INTs), RB Rex Burkhead (1268 rushing yards, 4.9/carry, and 15 rushing TDs), and WR Kenny Bell (408 receiving yards, 14.1/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) led the Cornhuskers offensively. Nebraska was second in recruiting in the Big Ten last year, netting 11-4 star players, including RB Aaron Green and QB Jamal Turner. The ‘Huskers play Southern Miss, at UCLA, and Arkansas State in non-conference play, with one game left to be decided. Nebraska does have tough games against Ohio, Michigan State, and Iowa on the road; Nebraska has tough home games against Wisconsin, Michigan, and Penn State. Nebraska has a good chance to at least equal, if not exceed, nine wins in 2012.

Wins: Chattanooga (40-7); Fresno State (42-29); Washington (51-38); @ Wyoming (38-14); Ohio* (34-27); @ Minnesota* (41-14); #11 Michigan State* (24-3); @ #12 Penn State* (17-14); Iowa* (20-7).

Losses: @ #7 Wisconsin* (17-48); Northwestern* (25-28); @ #18 Michigan* (17-45).

Current Grade: B.

 

Northwestern – Projected Record: (7-5); Actual Record: (6-6)

Total Offense: 432.75 yards/game; 31st.

Run Offense: 176.17 yards/game; 36th. Pass Offense: 256.60 yards/game; 35th.

Total Defense: 407.58 yards/game; 80th.

Run Defense: 185.42 yards/game; 90th. Pass Defense: 222.17 yards/game; 58th.

Notes: Northwestern has one game left in the Dan Persa era, before, presumably, anointing Kain Colter as the starter. Persa’s tenure has been a successful one. He made a bowl game in each of his four years behind center. Northwestern had never made a bowl game in four straight years, and has only been to a bowl game ten times. Northwestern draws Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. QB Dan Persa (2163 passing yards, 74.2% completion, and 17 passing TDs), all-purpose player/QB Kain Colter (1703 total yards, 67.1% completion, and 16 total TDs) and WR Jeremy Ebert (1025 receiving yards, 14.4/catch, and 11 receiving TDs) led Northwestern. Now Persa has one record left to shatter – Northwestern’s bowl winless streak. Northwestern hasn’t won a bowl game since the 1948 Rose Bowl! Only Coach Pat Fitzgerald has been a part of more of Northwestern’s bowl games (played in the 1995 and 1996 bowl games; coached in 2003 and 2005; head coach in 2008, 2009, 2010, and this year’s bowl game). In Fitzgerald’s tenure at Northwestern, the ‘Cats have finished in the bottom third in terms of recruiting in the Big Ten every year; simply put, Fitzgerald has found a way to do more with less. Northwestern’s non-conference schedule next year is forgiving, with a visit to Syracuse, and hosting Vanderbilt, Boston College, and South Dakota. The ‘Cats have winnable home games against Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois; there are winnable road games against Penn State and Minnesota. Northwestern has a great shot to improve on six wins, provided the defense improves. Six wins seems a good starting point for 2012, for now.

Wins: @ Boston College (24-17); Eastern Illinois (42-21); @ Indiana* (59-38); @ #10 Nebraska* (28-25); Rice (28-6); Minnesota* (28-13).

Losses: @ Army (14-21); @ #24 Illinois* (35-38); #12 Michigan* (24-42); @ Iowa* (31-41); #21 Penn State* (24-34); #14 Michigan State* (17-31).

Current Grade: C.

 

Ohio – Projected Record: (9-3); Actual Record: (6-6)

Total Offense: 319.75 yards/game; 107th.

Run Offense: 195.67 yards/game; 27th. Pass Offense: 124.10 yards/game; 116th.

Total Defense: 328.58 yards/game; 24th.

Run Defense: 142.42 yards/game; 52nd. Pass Defense: 186.17 yards/game; 15th.

Notes: Entering the season, Ohio, Penn State, and Wisconsin were virtually equal favorites to win the Leaders Division. Coming down the stretch, all three teams were alive; then Ohio lost to Purdue. In fact, Ohio lost their last three games, by an average of 29-24. Ohio is in the midst of their worst season since 1999, 6-6, then-Coach John Cooper’s second to last season. You have to go back to 1988, when Ohio last had a losing record, 4-6.  Ohio faces Florida in the Gator Bowl. Freshman QB Braxton Miller (1692 total yards, 50.0% completion, 18 total TDs, but 4 INTs), RB Carlos Hyde (549 rushing yards, 5.4/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) and TE Jake Stoneburner (193 receiving yards, 13.8/catch, and 7 receiving TDs) led Ohio offensively. Ohio has now made 12 straight bowl games, last missing a bowl game in 1999. Urban Meyer takes over in Columbus; he will have recruits from the 2011 class at his disposal, including 5-star LB Curtis Grant. Meyer currently have verbal commits, for 2012, from 4-star players RB Warren Ball, RB Bri’onte Dunn, LB Josh Perry, DB De’Van Bogard, WR Michael Thomas, and DE Adolphus Washington. The Buckeyes have made some scheduling changes for the 2012 season. The non-conference schedule is Miami (OH), UCF, California, and UAB, all at home. The Buckeyes open Big Ten play at Michigan State and travel to Penn State and Wisconsin later in the season. Ohio does have tough home games against Nebraska and Michigan. Ohio should be able to exceed six wins, easily, next season; the Buckeyes should open as the favorite to win the Leaders Division in 2012.

Wins: Akron (42-0); Toledo (27-22); Colorado (37-17); @ #16 Illinois* (17-7); #15 Wisconsin* (33-29); Indiana* (34-20).

Losses: @ Miami (Florida) (6-24); Michigan State* (7-10); @ #14 Nebraska* (27-34); @ Purdue* (23-26 OT); #21 Penn State* (14-20); @ #15 Michigan* (34-40).

Current Grade: C-.

 

Penn State – Projected Record: (7-5); Actual Record: (9-3)

Total Offense: 345.42 yards/game; 94th.

Run Offense: 165.08 yards/game; 54th. Pass Offense: 180.30 yards/game; 96th.

Total Defense: 300.92 yards/game; 10th.

Run Defense: 138.75 yards/game; 48th. Pass Defense: 162.17 yards/game; 5th.

Notes: Despite all of the off the field problems that unfolded for Penn State in the last month, the Nittany Lions put together a rather nice season. Penn State entered the Nebraska game 8-1, but without their long time coach; they finished the schedule 1-2, being outscored an average of 25-14. Now, Penn State Coach Tim Bradley will presumably have one more chance to prove he should be the head-man in State College. Penn State draws #19 Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. The Nittany Lion offense is led by QB Matt McGloin (1571 passing TDs, 54.1% completion, 8 passing TDs, but 5 INTs), RB Silas Redd (1188 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 7 rushing TDs), and WR Derek Moye (654 receiving yards, 16.4/catch, and 3 receiving TDs). Penn State has made their seventh straight bowl game, but the more important concern is the future of the program. Some candidates have been mentioned, with Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) being presumably at the top. The Nittany Lions will have to shore up their recruiting class for 2012, as some recruits have elected to go elsewhere. Penn State opens with Ohio University, at Virginia, Navy, and Temple, a non-conference schedule that is tougher than this year’s. With road trips to Iowa City and Lincoln, coupled with home games against Ohio and Wisconsin, don’t expect Penn State to match, let alone exceed, this year’s win total, in 2012.

Wins: Indiana State (41-7); @ Temple (14-10); Eastern Michigan (34-6); @ Indiana* (16-10); Iowa* (13-3); Purdue* (23-18); @ Northwestern* (34-24); Illinois* (10-7); @ Ohio* (20-14).

Losses: #3 Alabama (27-11); #19 Nebraska* (14-17); @ #16 Wisconsin* (7-45).

Current Grade: B.

 

Purdue – Projected Record: (8-4); Actual Record: (6-6)

Total Offense: 371.42 yards/game; 79th.

Run Offense: 174.67 yards/game; 39th. Pass Offense: 196.8 yards/game; 82nd.

Total Defense: 388.50 yards/game; 69th.

Run Defense: 185.67 yards/game; 91st. Pass Defense: 202.83 yards/game; 38th.

Notes: Purdue is in their first bowl game since 2007. This will be Coach Danny Hope’s first bowl game as head coach of Purdue. Purdue will travel to Detroit to take on Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl. Purdue has played QB Caleb TerBush (1804 passing yards, 61.7% completion, 12 passing TDs, but 6 INTs) as compared with QB Robert Marve (557 passing yards, 53.9% completion, 3 passing TDs, but 5 INTs). The ground game has paced the Boilermakers, led by RBs Ralph Bolden (674 rushing yards, 4.6/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) and Akeem Shavers (370 rushing yards, 4.2/carry, and 6 rushing TDs). Purdue has been in the bottom third of the Big Ten in recruiting, with their highest ranking being 7th in the Big Ten. Purdue will need to get better recruits if they hope to compete with Ohio and Wisconsin in the Leaders Division. Purdue’s non-conference schedule next year is relatively soft, with games against Eastern Kentucky, at Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, and Marshall. Purdue also has winnable games at home against Indiana and Penn State, and potential road wins at Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Assuming Purdue stays healthy, they are capable of at least matching their win total from this year, but they are an injury or two away from not being bowl eligible. Right now, I think Purdue will likely fail to be bowl eligible in 2012.

Wins: Middle Tennessee (27-24); SE Missouri State (59-0); Minnesota* (45-17); #23 Illinois* (21-14); Ohio* (26-23 OT); @ Indiana* (33-25).

Losses: @ Rice (22-24); Notre Dame (10-38); @ Penn State* (18-23); @ #18 Michigan* (14-36); @ #20 Wisconsin* (17-62); Iowa* (21-31).

Current Grade: C-.

 

Wisconsin – Projected Record: (10-2); Actual Record: (11-2)

Total Offense: 466.92 yards/game; 15th.

Run Offense: 237.38 yards/game; 10th. Pass Offense: 229.50 yards/game; 63rd.

Total Defense: 293.00 yards/game; 8th.

Run Defense: 138.00 yards/game; 47th. Pass Defense: 155.00 yards/game; 3rd.

Notes: Wisconsin has never had back-to-back-to-back 10+ win seasons. Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema has led the Badgers to their best seasons in their program history. Wisconsin won the inaugural Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis over #13 Michigan State, 42-39. Wisconsin, by virtue of being Big Ten Champions, earning a spot in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers will Oregon. Wisconsin is led by QB Russell Wilson (2033 passing yards, 71.3% completion, and 22 total TDs), RB Montee Ball (853 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 18 rushing TDs), and WR Jared Abbrederis (595 receiving yards, 16.5/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). Wisconsin has generally been right around the middle in recruiting in the Big Ten, but no higher than 6th. Bielema has found a way to due more with less in Madison; home field advantage certainly doesn’t hurt, as the Badgers have not lost at home since October 17, 2009. Wisconsin is 39-3 at home under Bielema. Wisconsin’s schedule isn’t exactly tough next year: Northern Iowa, at Oregon State, Utah State, and UTEP. Wisconsin does travel to Nebraska and Penn State, but hosts Ohio and Michigan State. Wisconsin is poised for another run at a double-digit win season in 2012, despite losing players at key positions.

Wins: UNLV (51-17); Oregon State (49-7); vs. Northern Illinois (49-7); South Dakota (59-10); #8 Nebraska* (48-17); Indiana* (59-7); Purdue* (62-17); @ Minnesota* (42-13);@ Illinois* (28-17); #19 Penn State* (45-7); vs. #13 Michigan State* (42-39).

Losses: @ #16 Michigan State* (31-37); @ Ohio* (29-33).

Current Grade: A.

The grades are in: Third quarter report card for UM and the Big Ten

The grades are in: Third quarter report card for UM and the Big Ten

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on November 2nd, 2011 at 8:24 PM

 

Every Big Ten team has played at least eight games, with Penn State, Illinois, and Indiana playing nine. The Big Ten and SEC have the most teams who are currently bowl eligible, with six – Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Iowa and Ohio can become bowl eligible with wins this weekend, over Michigan and Indiana, respectively, and Purdue is two wins away.

 

It’s time to look at the third quarter of the season report card for Big Ten teams, now nine weeks into the season. The report card will factor in each team’s success (or lack thereof) offensively and defensively, while keeping their win-loss record in mind. I’ll also provide a few games to look at over the next three games for each team. I included my percentages for teams to make the Big Ten Title Game, these are in no way scientific. The Mathlete put a lot of work in to his percentages, I did not.

 

Readers have suggested I reference the previous quarter’s report card; those grades will be duly noted. To see the first quarter report card, click here. To see the second quarter grades, click here.

 

To see articles like this and more, visit my blog at Before Visiting the Sportsbook.

 

 

Illinois – Projected Record: (6-3); Actual Record: (6-3)

Total Offense: 402.56 yards/game; 58th. Quarter 2-[448 yards/game; 33rd.]; Quarter 1-[410 yards/game; 60th.]

Run Offense: 198.44 yards/game; 26th. Quarter 2-[226 yards/game; 13th.]; Quarter 1-[223 yards/game; 22nd.]

Pass Offense: 209.9 yards/game; 83rd. Quarter 2-[224 yards/game; 65th.]; Quarter 1-[187 yards/game; 83rd.]

 

Total Defense: 280.11 yards/game; 9th. Quarter 2-[297 yards/game; 15th.]; Quarter 1-[269 yards/game; 17th.]

Run Defense: 102.89 yards/game; 15th. Quarter 2-[80 yards/game; 9th.]; Quarter 1-[63 yards/game; 7th.]

Pass Defense: 177.22 yards/game; 11th. Quarter 2-[217 yards/game; 56th.]; Quarter 1-[205 yards/game; 59th.]

 

Notes: The Illini started off the season on fire, starting 6-0 with an average MOV of 16.8, since that time, they are 0-3 with an average MOD of 6.7. While they are bowl eligible, Illinois is looking to go to a more prestigious bowl than the Texas Bowl they attended last year, when they were 6-6. Illinois is led offensively by QB Nathan Scheelhaase (2188 total yards, 63.9% completion, 17 total TDs, but 5 INTs), RB Jason Ford (492 rushing yards, 3.9/carry, and 6 rushing TDs), and WR AJ Jenkins (1030 receiving yards, 15.1/catch, and 7 receiving TDs). The Illini are on a bye this week and finish with rival Michigan at home, Wisconsin at home, and Minnesota on the road. Their best bet for a win is probably Minnesota, but they have lost two of the last four meetings and one of those two wins was by three points.

 

Big Ten Championship?: With losses to Ohio and Penn State, Illinois is mathematically eliminated from a trip to Indianapolis.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 0%

 

Wins: Arkansas State (33-15); South Dakota State (56-3); #22 Arizona State (17-14); Western Michigan (23-20); Northwestern* (38-35); @ Indiana* (41-20).

Losses: Ohio* (7-17); @ Purdue* (14-21); @ #19 Penn State (7-10).

Quarter 1 Grade: A-.

Quarter 2 Grade: A-.

Current Grade: C+.

 

 

Indiana – Projected Record: (3-6); Actual Record: (1-8)

Total Offense: 378 yards/game; 75th. Quarter 2-[369 yards/game; 82nd.]; Quarter 1-[417 yards/game; 55th.]

Run Offense: 163.56 yards/game; 54th. Quarter 2-[119 yards/game; 92nd.]; Quarter 1-[169 yards/game; 55th.]

Pass Offense: 214.40 yards/game; 75th. Quarter 2-[256 yards/game; 44th.]; Quarter 1-[247 yards/game; 38th.]

 

Total Defense: 458.33 yards/game; 112th. Quarter 2-[422 yards/game; 97th.]; Quarter 1-[373 yards/game; 73rd.]

Run Defense: 234.67 yards/game; 117th. Quarter 2-[210 yards/game; 109th.]; Quarter 1-[177 yards/game; 87th.]

Pass Defense: 223.67 yards/game; 62nd. Quarter 2-[212 yards/game; 48th.] Quarter 1-[195 yards/game; 48th.]

 

Notes: Indiana is in the midst of a rebuilding year, but even by Indiana standards, this year is exceptionally bad. The Hoosiers are in the midst of their worst year since 1984, when they were winless. Despite the bad year, Indiana has only been blown out in a handful of games, with their first four losses coming by seven points or less. Unfortunately, their average MOD since then is 28.75, with none of the losses being by less than 21 points. QB Tre Robinson (791 total yards, 59.7% completion, 4 total TDs, but 2 INTs) is the third quarterback for the Hoosiers this season. RB Stephen Houston (577 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) and WR Duwyce Wilson (217 receiving yards, 12.8/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) lead the Hoosiers offensively. Indiana will be hard pressed to win even one of their final games, likely giving them their worst record since 2003, playing in Columbus, East Lansing, and home to Purdue.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Indiana has been mathematically eliminated.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 0%

 

Wins: South Carolina State (38-21).

Losses: vs. Ball State (20-27); Virginia (31-34); @ North Texas (21-24); Penn State* (10-16); #19 Illinois* (20-41); @ #4 Wisconsin *(7-59); @ Iowa* (24-45); Northwestern* (38-59).

Quarter 1 Grade: D.

Quarter 2 Grade: D-.

Current Grade: F.

 

 

Iowa – Projected Record: (7-1); Actual Record: (5-3)

Total Offense: 402.63 yards/game; 57th. Quarter 2-[388 yards/game; 70th.]; Quarter 1-[411 yards/game; 59th.]

Run Offense: 159.13 yards/game; 60th. Quarter 2-[129 yards/game; 78th.]; Quarter 1-[127 yards/game; 82nd.]

Pass Offense: 243.5 yards/game; 50th. Quarter 2-[281 yards/game; 28th.]; Quarter 1-[284 yards/game; 22nd.]

 

Total Defense: 402.25 yards/game; 76th. Quarter 2-[388 yards/game; 66th.]; Quarter 1-[397 yards/game; 88th.]

Run Defense: 163.63 yards/game; 69th. Quarter 2-[152 yards/game; 64th.]; Quarter 1-[157 yards/game; 76th.]

Pass Defense: 238.63 yards/game; 81st. Quarter 2-[235 yards/game; 80th.]; Quarter 1-[240 yards/game; 82nd.]

 

Notes: With numerous losses offensively, including QB Ricky Stanzi and WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, the Hawkeyes knew this would be a tough year. Fortunately for them, the non-conference schedule was Snuggie soft, allowing them to pick up three of their five wins to date. The Hawkeyes have been led by Junior QB James Vandenberg (1918 passing yards, 62.2% completion, and 20 total TDs), RB Marcus Coker (969 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 10 rushing TDs), and WR Marvin McNutt (858 receiving yards, 17.9/catch, and 9 receiving TDs). Iowa needs one more win to be bowl eligible, and they missed the potential to do that last weekend, with a loss to lowly Minnesota. Iowa finishes up with Michigan and Michigan State visiting Iowa City and visits to Purdue and Nebraska. A loss to Minnesota, because of how awful the Gophers are, takes Iowa from what could have been a C or C+ down to a D+. Could Iowa miss their first bowl game since 2007?

 

Big Ten Championship?: Despite two losses, Iowa controls their own destiny. Wins over Michigan, Michigan State, and Nebraska (as well as Purdue) would create, at most, a three way tie for first, and Iowa would be 2-0 over its competitors. Any loss down the stretch likely eliminates Iowa.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 10%

 

Wins: Tennessee Tech (34-7); Pittsburgh (31-27); Louisiana-Monroe (45-17); Northwestern* (41-31); Indiana* (45-24).

Losses: @ Iowa State (41-44 OT); @ Penn State* (3-13); @ Minnesota* (21-22).

Quarter 1 Grade: C.

Quarter 2 Grade: C-.

Current Grade: D+.

 

 

Michigan – Projected Record: (6-2); Actual Record: (7-1)

Total Offense: 463.14 yards/game; 21st. Quarter 2-[491 yards/game; 14th.]; Quarter 1-[461.5 yards/game; 24th.]

Run Offense: 253.29 yards/game; 8th. Quarter 2-[270 yards/game; 7th.]; Quarter 1-[245 yards/game; 13th.]

Pass Offense: 209.9 yards/game; 79th. Quarter 2-[168 yards/game; 105th.]; Quarter 1-[177 yards/game; 87th.]

 

Total Defense: 340.57 yards/game; 35th. Quarter 2-[348 yards/game; 39th.]; Quarter 1-[374.5 yards/game; 76th.]

Run Defense: 144.29 yards/game; 55th. Quarter 2-[142 yards/game; 58th.]; Quarter 1-[202.5 yards/game; 103rd.]

Pass Defense: 196.29 yards/game; 26th. Quarter 2-[206 yards/game; 39th.]; Quarter 1-[172 yards/game; 26th.]

 

Notes: Michigan has now equaled last year’s win total, having their most wins since 2007. Since 2007, Michigan is 5-9 against its rivals (4-1 against Notre Dame, 1-4 against Michigan State, and 0-4 against Ohio), a number that could improve with the last game of the regular season. QB Denard Robinson (2104 total yards, 53.5% completion, and 21 total TDs, but 11 INTs) still continues to make errors throwing the ball. RBs Fitzgerald Toussaint (423 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) and Vincent Smith (268 rushing yards, 6.5/carry, and 2 rushing TDs) lead the Wolverine ground attack. Michigan now hits the road for two games, at Iowa and Illinois, before returning home for clashes with Nebraska and Ohio to end the year. Wins in two of those remaining games allows the Wolverines to match their 2007 win total, wins in three allows them to exceed it, and wins in all four may give them a trip to Indianapolis.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Michigan is very much alive in their chances to represent the Legends Division in Indianapolis, but they will need some help. First, Michigan likely needs to win out, as Michigan State holds the tiebreaker over them. Secondly, they will need Michigan State to lose at least one (the best opportunities are at Iowa and at Northwestern).

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 19%

 

Wins: Western Michigan (34-10); Notre Dame (35-31); Eastern Michigan (31-3); San Diego State (28-7); Minnesota* (58-0); Northwestern* (42-24); Purdue* (36-14)

Losses: @ #23 Michigan State (14-28).

Quarter 1 Grade: B.

Quarter 2 Grade: B+.

Current Grade: A-.

 

 

Michigan State – Projected Record: (5-3); Actual Record: (6-2)

Total Offense: 363.63 yards/game 84th. Quarter 2-[398 yards/game; 61st.]; Quarter 1-[396 yards/game; 67th.]

Run Offense: 133.38 yards/game; 81st. Quarter 2-[129 yards/game; 79th.]; Quarter 1-[125 yards/game; 83rd.]

Pass Offense: 230.3 yards/game; 60th. Quarter 2-[269 yards/game; 34th.]; Quarter 1-[270 yards/game; 26th.]

 

Total Defense: 228.75 yards/game; 2nd. Quarter 2-[173 yards/game; 1st.]; Quarter 1-[192 yards/game; 4th.]

Run Defense: 101.50 yards/game; 14th. Quarter 2-[64 yards/game; 3rd.]; Quarter 1-[88 yards/game; 28th.]

Pass Defense: 127.25 yards/game; 1st. Quarter 2-[109 yards/game; 2nd.]; Quarter 1-[104 yards/game; 3rd.]

 

Notes: Michigan State hasn’t had back-to-back nine or more win seasons since 1965-1966, but right now, they have the potential to do just that. To do that, though, will require Michigan State to win at least one road game; MSU is 5-0 at home with an average MOV of 24.8, but 1-2 on the road with an average MOD of 12. Senior QB Kirk Cousins (1693 passing yards, 63.6% completion, 11 passing TDs, but 5 INTs) RB Edwin Baker (472 rushing yards, 4.3/carry, and 2 rushing TDs), and WR BJ Cunningham (723 receiving yards, 15.1/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) lead the Spartans offensively. The Spartans are already bowl eligible, but have their sights set on a trip to Indianapolis. The Spartans would have had an A- even with a respectable loss to Nebraska, except they were dominated. Michigan State finishes with Minnesota visiting East Lansing, a visit to Iowa City, Indiana coming into town, and a visit to Evanston to end the year.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Michigan State was in the driver’s seat to represent the Legends Division until a trip to Lincoln. Now the Spartans will need Nebraska to lose at least once, and Michigan State to likely win out. Michigan State has the softest schedule left, giving them the advantage over Nebraska, despite Nebraska controlling their own destiny. Nebraska has trips to Penn State and Michigan on back-to-back weeks. If Nebraska wins in Happy Valley, will Dantonio be forced to hope for a Michigan win, this time?

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 40%

 

Wins: Youngstown State (28-6); Florida Atlantic (44-0); Central Michigan (45-7); @ Ohio* (10-7); #11 Michigan* (28-14); #6 Wisconsin* (37-31).

Losses: @ Notre Dame (13-31); @ #14 Nebraska* (3-24).

Quarter 1 Grade: C+.

Quarter 2 Grade: C+.

Current Grade: B+.

 

 

Minnesota – Projected Record: (3-5); Actual Record: (2-6)

Total Offense: 303.38 yards/game; 113th. Quarter 2-[300 yards/game; 110th.]; Quarter 1-[373 yards/game; 78th.]

Run Offense: 147.25 yards/game; 72nd. Quarter 2-[145 yards/game; 65th.]; Quarter 1-[175 yards/game; 48th.]

Pass Offense: 156.1 yards/game; 107th. Quarter 2-[164 yards/game; 107th.]; Quarter 1-[197 yards/game; 77th.]

 

Total Defense: 430.75 yards/game; 97th. Quarter 2-[414 yards/game; 91st.]; Quarter 1-[399 yards/game; 90th.]

Run Defense: 201.75 yards/game; 103rd. Quarter 2-[167 yards/game; 77th.] Quarter 1-[93 yards/game; 31st.]

Pass Defense: 229 yards/game; 67th. Quarter 2-[248 yards/game; 91st.] Quarter 1-[305 yards/game; 112th.]

 

Notes: Minnesota showed signs of life last week, defeating Iowa for the second straight year; Minnesota has now won three of the last six meetings. Excluding the win over Iowa, Minnesota is 0-3 in conference with an average MOD of 39; they have been double-digit underdogs in five of their eight games this season. Minnesota has also lost a game despite being more than a three-touchdown favorite. QB Marqueis Gray (1440 total yards, 50.8% completion, 7 total TDs, but 4 INTs) and RBs Duane Bennett (406 rushing yards, 4.1/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and Donnell Kirkwood (190 rushing yards, 3.7/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) lead the Golden Gopher offense. Minnesota could be bowl eligible if they win the final four games, but with a trip to East Lansing, playing host to Wisconsin, visiting Evanston, and host to Illinois, they will lucky to win even one of those games. One win in the final four games will allow the Gophers to equal their win total from last season.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Minnesota’s chances for making a trip to Indianapolis aren’t dead yet. Despite losses to Michigan and Nebraska, (1) if both Michigan and Nebraska end up with four losses, (2) Michigan State with at least three losses, (3) Iowa losing at least one more, and (4) Minnesota winning out, Minnesota could represent the Legends Division. The chances of that happening? Virtually zero.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 1%

 

Wins: Miami (Ohio) (29-23); Iowa* (22-21).

Losses: @ USC (17-19); New Mexico State (21-28); North Dakota State (24-37); @ #19 Michigan* (0-58); @ Purdue* (17-45); #13 Nebraska* (14-41).

Quarter 1 Grade: D+.

Quarter 2 Grade: F.

Current Grade: D-.

 

 

Nebraska – Projected Record: (7-1); Actual Record: (7-1)

Total Offense: 412.38 yards/game; 51st. Quarter 2-[419 yards/game; 46th.]; Quarter 1-[422 yards/game; 51st.]

Run Offense: 252.13 yards/game; 9th. Quarter 2-[247 yards/game; 8th.]; Quarter 1-[252 yards/game; 11th.]

Pass Offense: 160.3 yards/game; 106th. Quarter 2-[168 yards/game; 104th.]; Quarter 1-[169 yards/game; 92nd.]

 

Total Defense: 334.63 yards/game; 29th. Quarter 2-[373 yards/game; 59th.]; Quarter 1-[364 yards/game; 67th.]

Run Defense: 155 yards/game; 63rd. Quarter 2-[168 yards/game; 80th.] Quarter 1-[132 yards/game; 61st.]

Pass Defense: 179.63 yards/game; 12th. Quarter 2-[205 yards/game; 37th.]; Quarter 1-[232 yards/game; 78th.]

 

Notes: Nebraska was welcomed to the Big Ten with a 48-17 thrashing in Madison. Since then, Nebraska is 3-0 with a 18.3 average MOV, looking for their third back-to-back-to-back double digit win season, their first since 1999-2001. QB Taylor Martinez (1915 total yards, 54.9% completion, 17 total TDs, but 7 INTs) continues to panic when getting pressured. RB Rex Burkhead (882 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 12 rushing TDs) has come up big when needed the most, totaling 249 yards and 5 total TDs against Michigan State and Ohio; he has five 100 yard rushing or more games to date. Nebraska finishes with Northwestern, visits to Happy Valley and Ann Arbor, and playing host to Iowa in the Heroes Game.

 

Big Ten Championship?: As it stands, Nebraska leads in the three way tie, by virtue of divisional record (2-0) (Michigan State is 1-1 in division and Michigan is 2-1). Nebraska is in the driver’s seat; if they win out, they will be in Indianapolis. However, road games in Happy Valley, and, more importantly, Ann Arbor, could easily put them behind Michigan State and Michigan.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 30%

 

Wins: Chattanooga (40-7); Fresno State (42-29); Washington (51-38); @ Wyoming (38-14); Ohio* (34-27); @ Minnesota* (41-14); #11 Michigan State* (24-3).

Losses: @ #7 Wisconsin* (17-48).

Quarter 1 Grade: B+.

Quarter 2 Grade: C+.

Current Grade: A-.

 

 

Northwestern – Projected Record: (5-3); Actual Record: (3-5)

Total Offense: 431.75 yards/game; 37th. Quarter 2-[387 yards/game; 71st.]; Quarter 1-[390 yards/game; 71st.]

Run Offense: 187.75 yards/game; 33rd. Quarter 2-[188 yards/game; 37th.] Quarter 1-[220 yards/game; 24th.]

Pass Offense: 244 yards/game; 49th. Quarter 2-[167 yards/game; 106th.]; Quarter 1-[169 yards/game; 93rd.]

 

Total Defense: 431.63 yards/game; 98th. Quarter 2-[439 yards/game; 104th.]; Quarter 1-[394 yards/game; 87th.]

Run Defense: 193.63 yards/game; 95th. Quarter 2-[176 yards/game; 87th.]; Quarter 1-[205 yards/game; 105th.]

Pass Defense: 238 yards/game; 78th. Quarter 2-[264 yards/game; 97th.]; Quarter 1-[188 yards/game; 39th.]

 

Notes: The Wildcats were hoping to be a Legends Division contender, but opening conference play with four straight losses wasn’t the way to go about it. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, either, as the remaining three teams on their schedule are a combined 7-5 in conference play. QB Dan Persa (1251 passing yards, 75.5% completion, and 9 passing TDs) is now healthy, and won his first game of the season this past week, in Bloomington. All-purpose player/QB Kain Colter (1269 total yards, 66.7% completion, and 11 total TDs) and WR Jeremy Ebert (569 receiving yards, 12.6/catch, and 7 receiving TDs) lead Northwestern. Northwestern has made three straight bowl games, but haven’t won a bowl game since the 1948 Rose Bowl. They have their work cut out for them if they want to make a fourth straight, and snap that bowl losing streak. Games at Nebraska, home to Rice, Minnesota, and Michigan State loom; Northwestern will need to win at least three of those to be bowl eligible.

 

Big Ten Championship?: A loss to Nebraska officially will eliminate Northwestern from a chance to play in the inaugural Big Ten Title Game. As it stands, the following need to happen in order for Northwestern to make Indianapolis: (1) Northwestern needs to win their remaining three Big Ten games, (2) Michigan must lose their remaining four conference games, (3) Nebraska needs to lose their remaining three conference games, but beat Michigan, (4) Michigan State needs to lose two of their remaining three conference games (beside Minnesota), and (5) Iowa needs to lose three of their remaining four conference games. Hope is still alive, but Nebraska must beat Michigan, Iowa needs to beat Nebraska, and Michigan State needs to lose to Indiana and Minnesota. Northwestern won’t make the title game.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 0%

 

Wins: @ Boston College (24-17); Eastern Illinois (42-21); @ Indiana* (59-38)

Losses: @ Army (14-21); @ #24 Illinois* (35-38); #12 Michigan* (24-42); @ Iowa* (31-41); #21 Penn State* (24-34).

Quarter 1 Grade: B-.

Quarter 2 Grade: C.

Current Grade: D.

 

 

Ohio – Projected Record: (6-2); Actual Record: (5-3)

Total Offense: 309.63 yards/game; 110th. Quarter 2-[315 yards/game; 105th.]; Quarter 1-[342 yards/game; 86th.]

Run Offense: 186.63 yards/game; 36th. Quarter 2-[169 yards/game; 48th.]; Quarter 1-[170 yards/game; 53rd.]

Pass Offense: 123 yards/game; 116th. Quarter 2-[154 yards/game; 111th.]; Quarter 1-[172 yards/game; 91st.]

 

Total Defense: 309.5 yards/game; 17th. Quarter 2-[308 yards/game; 22nd.]; Quarter 1-[263 yards/game; 14th.]

Run Defense: 113.13 yards/game; 26th. Quarter 2-[167 yards/game; 36th.]; Quarter 1-[107 yards/game; 37th.]

Pass Defense: 196.38 yards/game; 27th. Quarter 2-[192 yards/game; 21st.]; Quarter 1-[156 yards/game; 17th.]

 

Notes: The Buckeyes started the season 3-3, but now find themselves with a shot to win the Leaders Division. To do that, though, they will need a little help. Freshman QB Braxton Miller (834 total yards, 52.4% completion, 8 total TDs, but 2 INTs) is under center for the Buckeyes. Ohio has also had contributions from RB Carlos Hyde (408 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and TE Jake Stoneburner (150 receiving yards, 12.5/catch, and 6 receiving TDs). Ohio has made 11 straight bowl games, last missing a bowl game in 1999 (John Cooper’s second to last year); expect that streak to continue. Big wins at Illinois and home to Wisconsin in the recent weeks elevate the Buckeyes to a B. Indiana visits Columbus this week, Ohio will visit Purdue the following week, welcome in Penn State for their home finale, and visit Michigan on the final week of the regular season.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Ohio’s two losses in conference are from Legends Divisions members. Ohio will need to (1) win out (a loss to Michigan makes things all the more difficult) and (2) need another Penn State loss OR (1) defeat Purdue, Indiana, and Penn State, (2) need two more Penn State losses, and (3) need one more loss from Wisconsin. Despite being two and a half games behind Penn State, they are in decent shape, as Penn State still plays Nebraska at home and Wisconsin on the road in addition to Ohio.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 30%

 

Wins: Akron (42-0); Toledo (27-22); Colorado (37-17); @ #16 Illinois* (17-7); #15 Wisconsin* (33-29).

Losses: @ Miami (Florida) (6-24); Michigan State* (7-10); @ #14 Nebraska* (27-34).

Quarter 1 Grade: C.

Quarter 2 Grade: D.

Current Grade: B.

 

 

Penn State – Projected Record: (7-2); Actual Record: (8-1)

Total Offense: 356.67 yards/game; 88th. Quarter 2-[374 yards/game; 81st.]; Quarter 1-[306 yards/game; 103rd.]

Run Offense: 162.44 yards/game; 56th. Quarter 2-[162 yards/game; 53rd.]; Quarter 1-[148 yards/game; 66th.]

Pass Offense: 194.2 yards/game; 91st. Quarter 2-[222 yards/game; 66th.]; Quarter 1-[158 yards/game; 100th.]

 

Total Defense: 282.33 yards/game; 10th. Quarter 2-[251 yards/game; 4th.]; Quarter 1-[242 yards/game; 9th.]

Run Defense: 111.89 yards/game; 24th. Quarter 2-[93 yards/game; 17th.]; Quarter 1-[111 yards/game; 42nd.]

Pass Defense: 170.44 yards/game; 8th. Quarter 2-[158 yards/game; 5th.]; Quarter 1-[130 yards/game; 7th.]

 

Notes: Penn State has at least eight wins in their first nine games for the third time since 2008. Penn State also holds in the advantage in the Leaders Division, having a two and a half game lead over their nearest competitors. The Nittany Lion offense is led by QB Matt McGloin (1193 passing TDs, 55.6% completion, 7 passing TDs, but 3 INTs), RB Silas Redd (1006 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 7 rushing TDs), and WR Derek Moye (514 receiving yards, 17.1/catch, and 3 receiving TDs). Penn State will make their seventh straight bowl game. Because Penn State is 7-1, with their only loss to the #2 team in the nation, I feel obligated to give Penn State some kind of A; however, Penn State has had some real nail-biters in the recent weeks, playing teams with a combined 5-9 record in conference play. They’ll earn an A-, for now. The schedule gets much tougher for Penn State, with Nebraska visiting Penn State next week. Penn State then hits the road for its final two games, to Columbus and then to Madison.

 

Big Ten Championship?: If Penn State wins out, they will represent the Leaders Division. Even if Penn State goes 2-1 down the stretch they will represent the Leaders Division. If Penn State only wins one, it gets a bit more complicated, as a win over Nebraska would give them a divisional record of 3-2, but a win over Ohio or Wisconsin would put them at 4-1. The Nebraska game means the least out of the last three. Three losses down the stretch likely eliminates Penn State.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 45%

 

Wins: Indiana State (41-7); @ Temple (14-10); Eastern Michigan (34-6); @ Indiana* (16-10); Iowa* (13-3); Purdue* (23-18); @ Northwestern* (34-24); Illinois* (10-7).

Losses: Alabama (27-11).

Quarter 1 Grade: B-.

Quarter 2 Grade: B.

Current Grade: A-.

 

 

Purdue – Projected Record: (6-2); Actual Record: (4-4)

Total Offense: 377.5 yards/game; 76th. Quarter 2-[412 yards/game; 50th.]; Quarter 1-[471 yards/game; 22nd.]

Run Offense: 181.75 yards/game; 42nd. Quarter 2-[215 yards/game; 20th.]; Quarter 1-[258 yards/game; 9th.]

Pass Offense: 195.8 yards/game; 89th. Quarter 2-[207 yards/game; 81st.]; Quarter 1-[212 yards/game; 64th.]

 

Total Defense: 374.63 yards/game; 53rd. Quarter 2-[346 yards/game; 36th.]; Quarter 1-[321 yards/game; 43rd.]

Run Defense: 169.50 yards/game; 75th.Quarter 2-[143 yards/game; 59th.]; Quarter 1-[109 yards/game; 40th.]

Pass Defense: 205.13 yards/game; 40th. Quarter 2-[203 yards/game; 32nd.]; Quarter 1-[212 yards/game; 63rd.]

 

Notes: Purdue is two wins away from making a bowl game, but may fall short. Two of Purdue’s losses are by a combined seven points, losing on a blocked field goal to Rice (on the final play of the game) and by five at Penn State. Purdue has played QB Caleb TerBush (1283 passing yards, 62.2% completion, and 10 passing TDs, but 4 INTs) as compared with QB Robert Marve (283 passing yards, 54.5% completion, 3 passing TDs, but 2 INTs). The ground game has paced the Boilermakers, led by RBs Ralph Bolden (420 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and Akeem Shavers (328 rushing yards, 5.0/carry, and 5 rushing TDs). Purdue has games remaining at Wisconsin, home to Ohio and Iowa, and a road game at Indiana to wrap up the regular season. Games against Wisconsin and Ohio will likely yield losses, so Purdue will most likely need to end the season on a two game winning streak to make a bowl game for the first time since 2007.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Given that Purdue has already lost to Penn State, one more loss will eliminate Purdue from a potential trip to Indianapolis. Purdue needs (1) to win out and (2) Penn State to lose out. Unlike other teams, Purdue’s task is simple, and Penn State could very well lose out, but Purdue won’t win out.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 1%

 

Wins: Middle Tennessee (27-24); SE Missouri State (59-0); Minnesota* (45-17); #23 Illinois (21-14).

Losses: @ Rice (22-24); Notre Dame (10-38); @ Penn State* (18-23); @ #18 Michigan (14-36).

Quarter 1 Grade: C.

Quarter 2 Grade: C-.

Current Grade: D+.

 

 

Wisconsin – Projected Record: (6-2); Actual Record: (6-2)

Total Offense: 490.5 yards/game; 10th. Quarter 2-[523 yards/game; 9th.]; Quarter 1-[505 yards/game; 14th.]

Run Offense: 231.75 yards/game; 13th. Quarter 2-[243 yards/game; 9th.]; Quarter 1-[238 yards/game; 17th.]

Pass Offense: 258.8 yards/game; 35th. Quarter 2-[280 yards/game; 29th.]; Quarter 1-[267 yards/game; 27th.]

 

Total Defense: 295.5 yards/game; 11th. Quarter 2-[264 yards/game; 7th.]; Quarter 1-[271 yards/game; 18th.]

Run Defense: 139.5 yards/game; 53rd. Quarter 2-[103 yards/game; 22nd.]; Quarter 1-[77 yards/game; 18th.]

Pass Defense: 156 yards/game; 4th. Quarter 2-[161 yards/game; 6th.]; Quarter 1-[193 yards/game; 44th.]

 

Notes: Wisconsin started the season talking about a national championship. They started the season at 6-0, averaging 50.1 points per game. Since then, Wisconsin is 0-2, averaging 30 points per game. At one point, Wisconsin controlled their own destiny, now they must rely on other teams to help them get to Indianapolis. Wisconsin is led by QB Russell Wilson (2033 passing yards, 71.3% completion, and 22 total TDs), RB Montee Ball (853 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 18 rushing TDs), and WR Jared Abbrederis (595 receiving yards, 16.5/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). Wisconsin is two plays away from still being undefeated. Their defense was exposed against UNLV and further exposed in the last two games. The exposed defense and mistakes by Russell Wilson allow Wisconsin’s grade to drop by a letter. Wisconsin will make their tenth straight bowl game, the question is whether it will be a BCS bowl, January 2nd bowl, or a lower tier bowl game. Games against Purdue, at Minnesota and Illinois, and home to Penn State will decide Wisconsin’s holiday destination.

 

Big Ten Championship?: Wisconsin will need some help from teams playing Penn State now. Wisconsin will need to (1) win out, (2) Penn State losing at least one game in addition to the finale, and (3) an Ohio loss OR (1) Wisconsin winning the divisional games and losing to Minnesota, (2) Penn State losing out, and (3) Ohio losing two games. Wisconsin is in trouble.

Maize_in_Spartyland’s % chance to win division: 24%

 

Wins: UNLV (51-17); Oregon State (49-7); vs. Northern Illinois (49-7); South Dakota (59-10); #8 Nebraska* (48-17); Indiana* (59-7).

Losses: @ #16 Michigan State* (31-37); @ Ohio* (29-33).

Quarter 1 Grade: A.

Quarter 2 Grade: A.

Current Grade: B.

The grades are in: Second quarter report card for UM and the Big Ten

The grades are in: Second quarter report card for UM and the Big Ten

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on October 10th, 2011 at 12:09 AM

For many teams, this marks the midpoint of the season. Some teams are pleased with their progress, others are ready to hit the reset button. Regardless, no Big Ten team can avoid the inevitable second quarter report.

 

It’s time to look at the second quarter of the season report card for Big Ten teams, now six weeks into the season. The report card will factor in each team’s success (or lack thereof) offensively and defensively, while keeping their win-loss record in mind. I’ll also provide a few games to look at over the next three games for each team.

 

Readers have suggested I reference the previous quarter’s report card; those grades will be duly noted. To see the first quarter report card, click here.

 

To see articles like this and more, visit my blog at Before Visiting the Sportsbook.

 

Illinois – Projected Record: (6-0); Actual Record: (6-0)

Total Offense: 448 yards/game; 33rd. Quarter 1-[410 yards/game; 60th.]

Run Offense: 226 yards/game; 13th. Quarter 1-[223 yards/game; 22nd.] Pass Offense: 224 yards/game; 65th. Quarter 1-[187 yards/game; 83rd.]

Total Defense: 297 yards/game; 15th. Quarter 1-[269 yards/game; 17th.]

Run Defense: 80 yards/game; 9th. Quarter 1-[63 yards/game; 7th.] Pass Defense: 217 yards/game; 56th. Quarter 1-[205 yards/game; 59th.]

Notes: Illinois had their streak of three point wins snapped, with a 21 point win over Indiana, in less than impressive fashion. The passing offense has significantly improved under QB Nathan Scheelhaase (1238 passing yards, 66.7% completion, and 14 total TD). Before the season began, I had the Illini at 8-4, but I think they are VERY capable of double-digit regular season wins. Games at home to rival Ohio and on the road at Penn State will give a better idea.

Wins: Arkansas State (33-15); South Dakota State (56-3); #22 Arizona State (17-14); Western Michigan (23-20); Northwestern* (38-35); @ Indiana* (41-20).

Losses: None.

Quarter 1 Grade: A-.

Current Grade: A-.

 

Indiana – Projected Record: (3-3); Actual Record: (1-5)

Total Offense: 369 yards/game; 82nd. Quarter 1-[417 yards/game; 55th.]

Run Offense: 119 yards/game; 92nd. Quarter 1-[169 yards/game; 55th.] Pass Offense: 256 yards/game; 44th. Quarter 1-[247 yards/game; 38th.]

Total Defense: 422 yards/game; 97th. Quarter 1-[373 yards/game; 73rd.]

Run Defense: 210 yards/game; 109th. Quarter 1-[177 yards/game; 87th.] Pass Defense: 212 yards/game; 48th. Quarter 1-[195 yards/game; 48th.]

Notes: The Hoosiers haven’t been .500 in conference play since 2001, so even by Indiana standards, this year will be a bad one. Indiana has tried to one-up Penn State and Ohio’s use of two quarterbacks by now employing the use of three quarterbacks, Edward Wright-Baker (925 passing yards, 62% completion, 4 TD, but 2 INT), Dusty Kiel (427 passing yards, 47.6% completion, 3 TD, but 1 INT), and Tre Roberson (148 passing yards, 64.7% completion, 1 total TD, but 1 INT), none of which have been effective. Make no mistake, if he ends up in Bloomington next year, Gunner Kiel will put the QB controversy to rest. Since the Hoosiers don’t play Minnesota, we may never know the worst team in the Big Ten, but the Hoosiers can show a lot of heart at Iowa and home to Northwestern.

Wins: South Carolina State (38-21).

Losses: vs. Ball State (20-27); Virginia (31-34); @ North Texas (21-24); Penn State* (10-16); #19 Illinois* (20-41).

Quarter 1 Grade: D.

Current Grade: D-.

 

Iowa – Projected Record: (4-1); Actual Record: (3-2)

Total Offense: 388 yards/game; 70th. Quarter 1-[411 yards/game; 59th.]

Run Offense: 129 yards/game; 78th. Quarter 1-[127 yards/game; 82nd.] Pass Offense: 281 yards/game; 28th. Quarter 1-[284 yards/game; 22nd.]

Total Defense: 388 yards/game; 66th. Quarter 1-[397 yards/game; 88th.]

Run Defense: 152 yards/game; 64th. Quarter 1-[157 yards/game; 76th.] Pass Defense: 235 yards/game; 80th. Quarter 1-[240 yards/game; 82nd.]

Notes: I like James Vandenberg (1264 passing yards, 60.1% completion, and 13 total TD), a lot, so pardon me when I say that he might be Iowa’s best throwing quarterback since Brad Banks. With that said, after the Penn State game, he has a lot to prove, only mustering a pathetic three points. Penn State’s defense is good, but even Eastern Michigan put three on the board. Senior leadership from WR Marvin McNutt (486 receiving yards, 16.8/catch, and 4 TD) and TE Brad Herman would certainly help. This week’s game against Northwestern will help to show the Hawkeyes’ potential.

Wins: Tennessee Tech (34-7); Pittsburgh (31-27); Louisiana-Monroe (45-17).

Losses: @ Iowa State (41-44 OT); @ Penn State* (3-13).

Quarter 1 Grade: C.

Current Grade: C-.

 

Michigan – Projected Record: (5-1); Actual Record: (6-0)

Total Offense: 491 yards/game; 14th. Quarter 1-[461.5 yards/game; 24th.]

Run Offense: 270 yards/game; 7th. Quarter 1-[245 yards/game; 13th.] Pass Offense: 168 yards/game; 105th. Quarter 1-[177 yards/game; 87th.]

Total Defense: 348 yards/game; 39th. Quarter 1-[374.5 yards/game; 76th.]

Run Defense: 142 yards/game; 58th. Quarter 1-[202.5 yards/game; 103rd.] Pass Defense: 206 yards/game; 39th. Quarter 1-[172 yards/game; 26th.]

Notes: Through six games last year, Michigan averaged roughly 37 points per game, and gave up an average of almost 27/game. This year, Michigan is averaging almost 1 point more per game (including the Western game), but is giving up on average only 12.5/game. The 1997 National Title team gave up, on average, 9.5/game. The defense could certainly use some help from Denard Robinson (1850 total yards, 57.3% completion, 18 total TD, but 9 INT), who is now averaging an interception per game. The Wolverines have been impressive, but they miss out on the A-, by virtue of the passing game.

Wins: Western Michigan (34-10); Notre Dame (35-31); Eastern Michigan (31-3); San Diego State (28-7); Minnesota* (58-0); Northwestern* (42-24).

Losses: None.

Quarter 1 Grade: B.

Current Grade: B+.

 

Michigan State – Projected Record: (3-2); Actual Record: (4-1)

Total Offense: 398 yards/game; 61st. Quarter 1-[396 yards/game; 67th.]

Run Offense: 129 yards/game; 79th. Quarter 1-[125 yards/game; 83rd.] Pass Offense: 269 yards/game; 34th. Quarter 1-[270 yards/game; 26th.]

Total Defense: 173 yards/game; 1st. Quarter 1-[192 yards/game; 4th.]

Run Defense: 64 yards/game; 3rd. Quarter 1-[88 yards/game; 28th.] Pass Defense: 109 yards/game; 2nd. Quarter 1-[104 yards/game; 3rd.]

Notes: Statistically, the Spartan defense has been impressive, improving already gaudy numbers in the past three weeks. The problem? Florida Atlantic’s offense ranks 118th, Central Michigan’s ranks 88th, Ohio’s ranks 105th, and Youngstown is an FCS team. The only good offense they faced, Notre Dame, 21st, was a game Michigan State lost. The teams Michigan State has beaten are a combined 7-15. The offensive line needs to improve for QB Kirk Cousins (1197 passing yards, 67.8% completion, 6 TD, but 4 INT) and RB Le’Veon Bell (267 rushing yards, 5.1/carry, and 6 TD). In each of the next three games, Michigan State faces teams with winning records and who are ranked. In fact, the next three opponents, #11 Michigan, #4 Wisconsin, and @ #14 Nebraska, are a combined 16-1! Needless to say, each game is key.

Wins: Youngstown State (28-6); Florida Atlantic (44-0); Central Michigan (45-7); @ Ohio* (10-7).

Losses: @ Notre Dame (13-31).

Quarter 1 Grade: C+.

Current Grade: C+.

 

Minnesota – Projected Record: (3-3); Actual Record: (1-5)

Total Offense: 300 yards/game; 110th. Quarter 1-[373 yards/game; 78th.]

Run Offense: 145 yards/game; 65th. Quarter 1-[175 yards/game; 48th.] Pass Offense: 164 yards/game; 107th. Quarter 1-[197 yards/game; 77th.]

Total Defense: 414 yards/game; 91st. Quarter 1-[399 yards/game; 90th.]

Run Defense: 167 yards/game; 77th. Quarter 1-[93 yards/game; 31st.] Pass Defense: 248 yards/game; 91st. Quarter 1-[305 yards/game; 112th.]

Notes: You’ve got to feel for Coach Jerry Kill. Between his well-documented health problems, secondary with almost as much experience as I have (note: I didn’t even play high school ball), and an anemic offense, its been an awful year for him. One wonders whether Minnesota’s high point was almost knocking off USC, week 1. Injury to QB Marqueis Gray (625 passing yards, 48.4% completion, 4 total TD, but 4 INT) forced freshman Max Shortell (309 passing yards, 49% completion, 2 TD, but 2 INT) into action. I’m honestly not sure that Minnesota will be able to be within 21 points of any game left on their schedule, maybe they can keep it close against Iowa?

Wins: Miami (NTM) (29-23).

Losses: @ USC (17-19); New Mexico State (21-28); North Dakota State (24-37); @ #19 Michigan* (0-58); @ Purdue* (17-45).

Quarter 1 Grade: D+.

Current Grade: F.

 

Nebraska – Projected Record: (5-1); Actual Record: (5-1)

Total Offense: 419 yards/game; 46th. Quarter 1-[422 yards/game; 51st.]

Run Offense: 247 yards/game; 8th. Quarter 1-[252 yards/game; 11th.] Pass Offense: 168 yards/game; 104th. Quarter 1-[169 yards/game; 92nd.]

Total Defense: 373 yards/game; 59th. Quarter 1-[364 yards/game; 67th.]

Run Defense: 168 yards/game; 80th. Quarter 1-[132 yards/game; 61st.] Pass Defense: 205 yards/game; 37th. Quarter 1-[232 yards/game; 78th.]

Notes: Ground control to Lincoln, your run defense has gotten worse. After being outscored 75-23 in 97:36 against Wisconsin and Ohio, the Huskers finally got their act together, outscoring the Buckeyes 28-0 over the last 22:23 of Saturday. Nebraska will breathe a sigh of relief, facing Minnesota in two weeks and welcoming Michigan State to Lincoln. QB Taylor Martinez (1598 total yards, 54.3% completion, 15 total TD, but 6 INT) and RB Rex Burkhead (635 rushing yards, 5.9/carry, and 10 TD) have paced the run game.

Wins: Chattanooga (40-7); Fresno State (42-29); Washington (51-38); @ Wyoming (38-14); Ohio* (34-27).

Losses: @ #7 Wisconsin* (17-48).

Quarter 1 Grade: B+.

Current Grade: C+.

 

Northwestern – Projected Record: (3-2); Actual Record: (2-3)

Total Offense: 387 yards/game; 71st. Quarter 1-[390 yards/game; 71st.]

Run Offense: 188 yards/game; 37th. Quarter 1-[220 yards/game; 24th.] Pass Offense: 167 yards/game; 106th. Quarter 1-[169 yards/game; 93rd.]

Total Defense: 439 yards/game; 104th. Quarter 1-[394 yards/game; 87th.]

Run Defense: 176 yards/game; 87th. Quarter 1-[205 yards/game; 105th.] Pass Defense: 264 yards/game; 97th. Quarter 1-[188 yards/game; 39th.]

Notes: Going into the Michigan game, the Wildcats went 3-1 without QB Dan Persa (454 passing yards, 72.4% completion, and 4 TD), with a surprising loss to Army. Leading 24-14 at half, Northwestern was completely shutdown in the second half, being outscored 28-0. All-purpose Kain Colter (758 total yards and 6 total TD) and WR Jeremy Ebert (324 receiving yards and 5 TD) have led the way for the Wildcats. Games at Iowa and home to Penn State will give a better idea of what kind of team Northwestern is.

Wins: @ Boston College (24-17); Eastern Illinois (42-21)

Losses: @ Army (14-21); @ #24 Illinois* (35-38); #12 Michigan* (24-42).

Quarter 1 Grade: B-.

Current Grade: C.

 

Ohio – Projected Record: (4-2); Actual Record: (3-3)

Total Offense: 315 yards/game; 105th. Quarter 1-[342 yards/game; 86th.]

Run Offense: 169 yards/game; 48th. Quarter 1-[170 yards/game; 53rd.] Pass Offense: 154 yards/game; 111th. Quarter 1-[172 yards/game; 91st.]

Total Defense: 308 yards/game; 22nd. Quarter 1-[263 yards/game; 14th.]

Run Defense: 167 yards/game; 36th. Quarter 1-[107 yards/game; 37th.] Pass Defense: 192 yards/game; 21st. Quarter 1-[156 yards/game; 17th.]

Notes: Who knew that Angry Michigan hating God took up residence in Columbus? Since the end of last season, the Bucks have lost a QB, a WR for 10 games, RB for 10 games, and a lineman for 5. RB Carlos Hyde (400 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 5 TD) has led the way for Ohio. The Bucks have also lost three games and are viewed as the biggest NCAA violators, which is saying a lot, considering Miami (YTM) is included in that group. Ohio has averaged 35 points/game in their wins, but only 14/game in their losses. If you happened to listen to Buckeye Roundtable, Jim Lachey predicts the Bucks will be lucky to win 6-7 games this season. Games at Illinois and home to Wisconsin will provide clues as to whether Lachey is correct.

Wins: Akron (42-0); Toledo (27-22); Colorado (37-17).

Losses: @ Miami (YTM) (6-24); Michigan State* (7-10); @ #14 Nebraska* (27-34).

Quarter 1 Grade: C.

Current Grade: D.

 

Penn State – Projected Record: (5-1); Actual Record: (5-1)

Total Offense: 374 yards/game; 81st. Quarter 1-[306 yards/game; 103rd.]

Run Offense: 162 yards/game; 53rd. Quarter 1-[148 yards/game; 66th.] Pass Offense: 222 yards/game; 66th. Quarter 1-[158 yards/game; 100th.]

Total Defense: 251 yards/game; 4th. Quarter 1-[242 yards/game; 9th.]

Run Defense: 93 yards/game; 17th. Quarter 1-[111 yards/game; 42nd.] Pass Defense: 158 yards/game; 5th. Quarter 1-[130 yards/game; 7th.]

Notes: Based on the Iowa game, it looks as if Penn State has settled on a QB, Matt McGloin (758 passing yards, 58.9% completion, and 5 TD). Workhorse RB Silas Redd (574 rushing yards 4.8/carry, and 4 TD) and WR Derek Moye (485 receiving yards, 17.3/catch, and 3 TD) have chipped in offensively between the QB competition. The Nittany Lions have key games upcoming, at Northwestern and home to Illinois.

Wins: Indiana State (41-7); @ Temple (14-10); Eastern Michigan (34-6); @ Indiana* (16-10); Iowa* (13-3).

Losses: Alabama (27-11).

Quarter 1 Grade: B-.

Current Grade: B.

 

Purdue – Projected Record: (5-0); Actual Record: (3-2)

Total Offense: 412 yards/game; 50th. Quarter 1-[471 yards/game; 22nd.]

Run Offense: 215 yards/game; 20th. Quarter 1-[258 yards/game; 9th.] Pass Offense: 207 yards/game; 81st. Quarter 1-[212 yards/game; 64th.]

Total Defense: 346 yards/game; 36th. Quarter 1-[321 yards/game; 43rd.]

Run Defense: 143 yards/game; 59th. Quarter 1-[109 yards/game; 40th.] Pass Defense: 203 yards/game; 32nd. Quarter 1-[212 yards/game; 63rd.]

Notes: Purdue has averaged 32.6 points/game this year. Setting aside the Southeast Missouri State and Minnesota games, who are a combined 2-9 (and Purdue beat a combined 104-17), the Boilermakers are averaging 19.6 points/game. It looks as if QB Caleb TerBush (787 passing yards, 64.1% completion, and 6 total TD) will be the starter, but QB Robert Marve (182 passing yards, 53.3% completion, 1 TD) will get his snaps. The Purdue run game has been led by the tandem of Ralph Bolden (273 yards 4.8/carry, and 3 total TD) and Akeem Shavers (242 yards 5.5/carry, and 5 total TD). Games at Penn State, home to #16 Illinois, and @ #11 Michigan should give a better idea of whether or not this is a bowl team.

Wins: Middle Tennessee (27-24); SE Missouri State (59-0); Minnesota* (45-17).

Losses: @ Rice (22-24); Notre Dame (10-38).

Quarter 1 Grade: C.

Current Grade: C-.

 

Wisconsin – Projected Record: (5-0); Actual Record: (5-0)

Total Offense: 523 yards/game; 9th. Quarter 1-[505 yards/game; 14th.]

Run Offense: 243 yards/game; 9th. Quarter 1-[238 yards/game; 17th.] Pass Offense: 280 yards/game; 29th. Quarter 1-[267 yards/game; 27th.]

Total Defense: 264 yards/game; 7th. Quarter 1-[271 yards/game; 18th.]

Run Defense: 103 yards/game; 22nd. Quarter 1-[77 yards/game; 18th.] Pass Defense: 161 yards/game; 6th. Quarter 1-[193 yards/game; 44th.]

Notes: Wisconsin has continued to destroy teams, increasing their MOV from 37 points/game to 38.2/points game. QB transfer Russell Wilson (1391 passing yards and 13 passing TD; 140 rushing yards and 2 TD) has played pitch-and-catch with WR Nick Toon (447 receiving yards, 17.9/catch, and 6 TD) and TE Jacob Pedersen (224 yards 16.0/catch, and 4 TD). RB Montee Ball (511 yards 5.5/carry and 14 total TD) and James C. White (329 rushing yards, 5.59/carry, and 3 TD) have led the running attack. Wisconsin faces their first road test in two weeks at #23 Michigan State; Wisconsin hasn’t won at Michigan State since 2002, losing three straight in East Lansing.

Wins: UNLV (51-17); Oregon State (49-7); vs. Northern Illinois (49-7); South Dakota (59-10); Nebraska* #8 (48-17).

Losses: None.

Quarter 1 Grade: A.

Current Grade: A.

The grades are in: First quarter report card for UM opponents, UM and the Big Ten

The grades are in: First quarter report card for UM opponents, UM and the Big Ten

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on September 18th, 2011 at 8:55 PM

In high school, every nine or so weeks a report card would come out. When the report card was good, nothing needed to be said. But when it was bad, some “spin” would occur (student-teacher conflict, tests were unfair, etc.).

It’s time to look at the first quarter of the season report card for Big Ten teams (and other Michigan opponents), now three weeks into the season. The report card will factor in each team’s success (or lack thereof) offensively and defensively, while keeping their win-loss record in mind. I’ll also provide a few games to look at over the next three games for each team.

 

Illinois – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (3-0)

Total Offense: 410 yards/game; 60th.

Run Offense: 223 yards/game; 22nd. Pass Offense: 187 yards/game; 83rd.

Total Defense: 269 yards/game; 17th.

Run Defense: 63 yards/game; 7th. Pass Defense: 205 yards/game; 59th.

Notes: Jason Ford has been impressive for the Fighting Illini (3.6/carry and 4 TD). Nathan Scheelhaase has raised his completion percentage from 58.7% to 71.7%. Western Michigan and Northwestern should provide a good idea as to the capability of this team.

Wins: Arkansas State (33-15); South Dakota State (56-3); #22 Arizona State (17-14).

Losses: None.

Grade: A-

 

Indiana – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (1-2)

Total Offense: 417 yards/game; 55th.

Run Offense: 169 yards/game; 55th. Pass Offense: 247 yards/game; 38th.

Total Defense: 373 yards/game; 73rd.

Run Defense: 177 yards/game; 87th. Pass Defense: 195 yards/game; 48th.

Notes: Demarlo Blecher has been one of the few bright spots for Indiana (13.6/catch and 1 TD). Ted Bolser (2 catches) has had virtually no involvement in an offense with lacks a leader at QB. Indiana could very well not win another game this season. With that said, games against North Texas and Illinois should provide a better measure of the ceiling for Indiana.

Wins: South Carolina State (38-21).

Losses: vs. Ball State (20-27); Virginia (31-34).

Grade: D

 

Iowa – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 411 yards/game; 59th.

Run Offense: 127 yards/game; 82nd. Pass Offense: 284 yards/game; 22nd.

Total Defense: 397 yards/game; 88th.

Run Defense: 157 yards/game; 76th. Pass Defense: 240 yards/game; 82nd.

Notes: Iowa could/should be 1-2. Iowa’s defense and run offense have been disappointments thus far. A loss to cellar-dweller/rival Iowa State was surprising.  Hawkeyes rallied back against a poor Pittsburgh pass defense to get the win. James Vandenberg (869 yards; 8.51/pass and 7 TD) and Marvin McNutt (17.4/catch and 2 TD) have led the way for the Iowa offense. Louisiana-Monroe (Kolton Browning is a solid Sun Belt QB who will test the Iowa secondary) and Northwestern should provide a good measure as to Iowa’s team this year.

Wins: Tennessee Tech (34-7); Pittsburgh (31-27).

Losses: @ Iowa State (41-44 OT).

Grade: C

 

Michigan – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (3-0)

Total Offense: 461.5 yards/game; 24th.

Run Offense: 245 yards/game; 13th. Pass Offense: 177 yards/game; 87th.

Total Defense: 374.5 yards/game; 76th.

Run Defense: 202.5 yards/game; 103rd. Pass Defense: 172 yards/game; 26th.

Notes: Denard Robinson’s arm has not been impressive (49.1% completion percentage with 6 TD and 4 INT). Can you believe Roy Roundtree has only 29 yards receiving to date? The run game, however, has been very good; Vincent Smith (132 yards 11/carry), Denard Robinson (352 yards 7/carry and 2 TD), and Fitz Toussaint (126 yards 5.7/carry and 3 TD) have led the way.

Wins: Western Michigan (34-10); Notre Dame (35-31); Eastern Michigan (31-3). San Diego State and Northwestern will provide insight into Michigan’s potential, before the showdown in East Lansing.

Losses: None.

Grade: B

 

Michigan State – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 396 yards/game; 67th.

Run Offense: 125 yards/game; 83rd. Pass Offense: 270 yards/game; 26th.

Total Defense: 192 yards/game; 4th.

Run Defense: 88 yards/game; 28th. Pass Defense: 104 yards/game; 3rd.

Notes: If I was a Spartan fan, the Notre Dame game would be concerning to me. Cousins threw 53(!) times and the Spartan run game was limited to 23 carries for a total of 29 yards (1.3/carry) with a long of 8 yards. Dion Sims (7 catches for 65 yards and 2 TD), BJ Cunningham (26 catches for 361 yards and 1 TD), and Le’Veon Bell (30 carries for 136 yards and 3 TD) have been the bright spots on offense. Games at Ohio at home to Michigan will determine if this team is a contender or merely feasts on inferior competition.

Wins: Youngstown State (28-6); Florida Atlantic (44-0).

Losses: @ Notre Dame (13-31).

Grade: C+

 

Minnesota – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (1-2)

Total Offense: 373 yards/game; 78th.

Run Offense: 175 yards/game; 48th. Pass Offense: 197 yards/game; 77th.

Total Defense: 399 yards/game; 90th.

Run Defense: 93 yards/game; 31st. Pass Defense: 305 yards/game; 112th.

Notes: Minnesota kept the USC game closer than expected, but followed that up with a loss at home to the Aggies (Minnesota was a 21 point favorite). The Gophers are clearly a program in transition and are 2-3 years away from being competitive. Marqueis Gray (468 yards passing and 328 yards rushing; 3 TD, but 2 INT) and Da’Jon McKnight (16 catches for 221 yards and 1 TD) have been the stars on the offensive side. Games at Michigan and at Purdue will provide a gauge as to the upside of this team.

Wins: Miami (NTM) (29-23).

Losses: @ USC (17-19); New Mexico State (21-28).

Grade: D+

 

Nebraska – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (3-0)

Total Offense: 422 yards/game; 51st.

Run Offense: 252 yards/game; 11th. Pass Offense: 169 yards/game; 92nd.

Total Defense: 364 yards/game; 67th.

Run Defense: 132 yards/game; 61st. Pass Defense: 232 yards/game; 78th.

Notes: Yes, the Huskers have averaged 46.5 against two FBS bowl opponents. But let’s talk about the defense. Robbie Rouse (Fresno State) gashed the blackshirts for 169 yards on the ground; Chris Polk (Washington) ran for 130 yards last week. The run defense has not been great; Wisconsin is two Saturdays away – at Camp Randall. Taylor Martinez is completing under 50% of his passes, but his feet (384 yards and 6 TD) and Rex Burkhead (250 yards and 5 TD) have led the offense. Games at Wyoming and at Wisconsin, before Lincoln matchup with Coach Pelini’s alma mater, will determine whether the Nebraska run defense has improved. Wyoming has two decent running backs in Ghaali Muhammad (160 yards 10.0/carry and 1 TD) and Brandon Miller (160 yards 7.6/carry and 1 TD).

Wins: Chattanooga (40-7); Fresno State (42-29); and Washington (51-38).

Losses: None.

Grade: B+

 

Northwestern – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 390 yards/game; 71st.

Run Offense: 220 yards/game; 24th. Pass Offense: 169 yards/game; 93rd.

Total Defense: 394 yards/game; 87th.

Run Defense: 205 yards/game; 105th. Pass Defense: 188 yards/game; 39th.

Notes: Take this with a grain of salt; Dan Persa has been hurt. Kain Colter (65% completion percentage and 237 yards rushing with 4 TD) has done a good job of getting Jeremy Ebert (162 yards 16.2/catch and 2 TD) and Mike Trumpy (119 yards 5.2/carry and 1 TD) the ball. The Wildcats gave up 381 yards on the ground to Army’s triple option offense last week, but limited Boston College to 104 yards on the ground in week 1. Neither game is indicative of Northwestern’s team as a whole. Games against the 22nd and 13th run offenses, Illinois and Michigan, respectively, will give a better idea of Northwestern’s potential.

Wins: @ Boston College (24-17); Eastern Illinois (42-21)

Losses: @ Army (14-21)

Grade: B-

 

Ohio – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 342 yards/game; 86th.

Run Offense: 170 yards/game; 53rd. Pass Offense: 172 yards/game; 91st.

Total Defense: 263 yards/game; 14th.

Run Defense: 107 yards/game; 37th. Pass Defense: 156 yards/game; 17th.

Notes: Who knew how much Terrelle Pryor hurt the Bucks? QB decision-making/play-calling from Ohio has been awful. Jake Stoneburner, TE, has 93 yards and 4 TD. Joe Bauserman’s completion percentage has been bad (50%), but has 4 TD passes. Eric Page (Toledo) had 145 yards receiving and 2 TD against Ohio. Lamar Miller (184 yards 7.1/carry) and the Canes made viewers wonder whether a Hurricane Warning prevented Ohio from even making it to the game. Believe it or not, Colorado can present problems for the Buckeyes with All-PAC-12 WR Paul Richardson (360 yards 20/catch and 4 TD), but Ohio should win. The schedule only gets tougher with Michigan State visiting and a visit to Lincoln.

Wins: Akron (42-0); Toledo (27-22).

Losses: @ Miami (YTM) (6-24).

Grade: C

 

Penn State – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 306 yards/game; 103rd.

Run Offense: 148 yards/game; 66th. Pass Offense: 158 yards/game; 100th.

Total Defense: 242 yards/game; 9th.

Run Defense: 111 yards/game; 42nd. Pass Defense: 130 yards/game; 7th.

Notes: Will Joe Paterno and/or Jay Paterno, for the sake of Nittany Lion Nation, please decide on a QB? Lucky for Penn State, they have workhorse Silas Redd (255 yards 5.1/carry and 4 TD) and Derek Moye (220 yards 15.7/catch) leading the way offensively. The only key game of the next three is Iowa, given the trouble Penn State has had with Iowa (Hawkeyes have won the last 3 meetings). For the sake of ending the QB competition, either the games against Eastern Michigan or Indiana may be relevant, too.

Wins: Indiana State (41-7); @ Temple (14-10).

Losses: Alabama (27-11).

Grade: B-

 

Purdue – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 471 yards/game; 22nd.

Run Offense: 258 yards/game; 9th. Pass Offense: 212 yards/game; 64th.

Total Defense: 321 yards/game; 43rd.

Run Defense: 109 yards/game; 40th. Pass Defense: 212 yards/game; 63rd.

Notes: Purdue could very well be 1-2, coming back late to beat Middle Tennessee. Caleb TerBush (63% completion 546 yards and 3 TD) has done well filling in for Rob Henry and Robert Marve. But with Marve back, there may be a QB competition in West Lafayette. But the Purdue offense has been led by the tandem of Ralph Bolden (223 yards 5.7/carry and 2 TD) and Akeem Shavers (186 yards 6.4/carry and 3 TD). Games against Notre Dame and at Penn State should give a better idea of whether or not this is a bowl team.

Wins: Middle Tennessee (27-24); SE Missouri State (59-0).

Losses: @ Rice (22-24).

Grade: C

 

Wisconsin – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (3-0)

Total Offense: 505 yards/game; 14th.

Run Offense: 238 yards/game; 17th. Pass Offense: 267 yards/game; 27th.

Total Defense: 271 yards/game; 18th.

Run Defense: 77 yards/game; 18th. Pass Defense: 193 yards/game; 44th.

Notes: Hard to find any flaws with the Badgers. But giving up 17 to UNLV seemed worrisome, that is, until Hawaii (-18) lost to UNLV last week (40-20). QB transfer Russell Wilson (791 passing and 8 passing TD; 110 rushing and 1 TD) has played pitch-and-catch with Nick Toon (198 yards 14.1/catch and 3 TD) and Jacob Pedersen (164 yards 16.4/catch and 4 TD). The combination of Montee Ball (272 yards 5.7/carry and 7 TD) and James C. White has been lethal (208 yards 5.8/carry and 2 TD). Circle the game against Nebraska as being a key game. It’s one of the few roadblocks to an undefeated regular season. Circle the Indiana game, too - only for the purposes of seeing if Wisconsin can score more than 83 this year.

Wins: UNLV (51-17); Oregon State (49-7); vs. Northern Illinois (49-7).

Losses: None.

Grade: A

 

Non-Conference Opponents

Eastern Michigan – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 358 yards/game; 83rd.

Run Offense: 289 yards/game; 6th. Pass Offense: 68 yards/game; 118th.

Total Defense: 298 yards/game; 29th.

Run Defense: 153 yards/game; 75th. Pass Defense: 145 yards/game; 11th.

Notes: Eastern has been the epitome of winning the games they should and losing the game they should lose. Eastern Michigan held Michigan to 95 yards passing, granted it was largely due to Denard Robinson’s inaccuracy. As good as the pass defense was, the run defense game up 376 yards and 2 TD. Alex Gillett has not been good, completing less than 50% of his passes with 3 TD and 2 INT. However, Javonti Greene (346 yards 6.1/carry and 1 TD), Dominique Sherrer (231 yards 7.7/carry and 2 TD) and Alex Gillett (211 yards 6.6/carry and 1 TD) have paced an impressive Eagle run offense.  Penn State and Silas Redd should shred the Eagles’ defense, but Akron will provide a better indication as to whether Coach Ron English can add to his win total this year.

Wins: Howard (41-9); Alabama State (14-7).

Losses: @ Michigan (3-31).

Grade: B-

 

Notre Dame – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (1-2)

Total Offense: 432 yards/game; 37th.

Run Offense: 143 yards/game; 70th. Pass Offense: 289 yards/game; 20th.

Total Defense: 354 yards/game; 58th.

Run Defense: 89 yards/game; 30th. Pass Defense: 265 yards/game; 97th.

Notes: Trying to say something positive about the Irish pass defense . . . um, they aren’t Turnover Tommy Rees (772 yards 69.7% 6 TD and 5 INT)? In fact, if you count the INT as completed passes, Rees has a 74% completion percentage . . . to someone. Michael Floyd (397 yards 12.8/catch and 2 TD), TJ Jones (126 yards 10.5/catch and 2 TD), Theo Riddick (101 yards 10.1/catch and 2 TD), and Cierre Wood (299 yards 5.0/carry and 4 TD) have made up for Rees’ misgivings. But as long as Gary Gray and Robert Blanton are on the field, the Irish have a shot at losing, despite the offensive talent and Manti Te’o. After giving up 108 yards on the ground to Denard Robinson and 338 yards through the air, Pittsburgh and Air Force are the key games. Pittsburgh Coach Todd Graham won at Notre Dame last year, having coached Tulsa. Air Force triple option offense will give the Irish defense fits, just look at the Navy v. Notre Dame games in recent years.

Wins: #15 Michigan State (31-13).

Losses: South Florida (20-23); Michigan (31-35).

Grade: C

 

San Diego State – Projected Record: (3-0); Actual Record: (3-0)

Total Offense: 428 yards/game; 42nd.

Run Offense: 220 yards/game; 24th. Pass Offense: 207 yards/game; 71st.

Total Defense: 383 yards/game; 80th.

Run Defense: 197 yards/game; 98th. Pass Defense: 186 yards/game; 38th.

Notes: Army offense shredded the Aztec run defense to the tune of 403 yards! Triple option aside, the Aztec run defense has done a pretty decent job (held Washington State to 82 rushing yards, less sacks). RB Ronnie Hillman (497 yards 6.5/carry and 8 TD(!)) rushed for 191 yards against Washington State and 117 against Army.

Wins: Cal Poly (49-21); @ Army (23-20); Washington State (42-24). Besides Hillman, Ryan Lindley (622 yards 53.7% and 7 TD), Colin Lockett (254 yards 21.2/catch and 2 TD) and Dylan Denso (140 yards 15.6/catch and 2 TD) have paced the Aztec offense. San Diego State enters a dangerous stretch, playing at Michigan, home to #20 TCU and at Air Force. Each presents its own unique problems, namely, the Aztec former coach, a dominant defense, and a triple option offense, respectively.

Losses: None.

Grade: B+

 

Western Michigan – Projected Record: (2-1); Actual Record: (2-1)

Total Offense: 420.5 yards/game; 53rd.

Run Offense: 150 yards/game; 63rd. Pass Offense: 231 yards/game; 43rd.

Total Defense: 273.5 yards/game; 19th.

Run Defense: 136 yards/game; 64th. Pass Defense: 137.5 yards/game; 8th.

Notes: Western Michigan was impressive in its win over Central Michigan, in the Battle for the Victory Cannon. Having the 8th ranked pass defense is a bit misleading, as the Michigan game did not even make it through three quarters. Alex Carder (681 yards 72.1% and 5 TD), Jordan White (363 yards 12.5/catch and 2 TD), and Robert Arnheim (109 yards 10.9/catch and 1 TD) have led the Bronco offense. The Broncos have a chance to make a statement in their next two games: @ #24 Illinois and @ Connecticut. Splitting the next two games puts the Broncos in a position to win at least 8, if not, 9 games, this year.

Wins: Nicholls State (38-7); Central Michigan (44-14).

Losses: @ Michigan (10-34).

Grade: B