This Week in the Big Ten
Jan. 1, 2018

[ONE // when wisconsin red matches with florida orange]
Alex Hornibrook's first pass of the night was a wobbler, one that seemed to slip out of his hand. Nearly everything else he threw was just about perfect. Hornibrook threw four touchdown passes, three to Danny Davis, and Wisconsin capped off the winningest season in school history by topping Miami 34-24 in the Orange Bowl on Saturday night. Jonathan Taylor ran for 130 yards on 26 carries for the Badgers (13-1), who rallied from an early 14-3 deficit. Taylor finished the year with an FBS-freshman-record 1,977 yards. RECAP

[TWO // nittany lions up for a fiesta]
Converting on third downs had been a sore spot at Penn State, so coach James Franklin made it a point of emphasis in spring ball and fall camp. The Nittany Lions kept working at it during the season and kept getting better, peaking at the perfect time. Trace McSorley threw for 342 yards and had both of his touchdown passes to DaeSean Hamilton on third-down plays, helping Penn State outlast Washington 35-28 in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. RECAP

[THREE // buckeyes don’t tread lightly in goodyear cotton bowl]
Damon Webb returned an interception for a touchdown after recovering a fumble to set up an early score and the Buckeyes beat Southern California 24-7 on Friday night in a matchup that traditionally has been in the Rose Bowl instead of deep in the heart of Texas. The Big Ten and Pac-12 champions would usually play New Year's Day in Pasadena, but the Rose Bowl is a College Football Playoff semifinal game this season. Ohio State (12-2) instead quickly settled in at the NFL stadium where three years ago it won the first national championship in the four-team CFP format. RECAP

[FOUR // northwestern wins wildcats battle in music city]
Northwestern broke up Kentucky's late 2-point conversion attempt and held off Kentucky 24-23 on Friday in the Music City Bowl. Justin Jackson ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns as Northwestern (10-3) finished off back-to-back bowl wins in consecutive years for the first time in program history. The Wildcats notched their second 10-win season in three years and third in six under Fitzgerald. The senior class also won its 27th game for the best stretch in more than a decade. RECAP

[FIVE // sparty parties in san diego]
Brian Lewerke threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns, and LJ Scott ran for 110 yards and two scores for Michigan State, which routed Washington State 42-17 in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night. Lewerke also rushed for 73 yards for Michigan State (10-3), which reached double digits in wins for the eighth time in program history. Lewerke threw the first of two TD passes to Cody White, a 7-yarder midway through the second quarter, when he was flushed to the left but found the receiver in the back of the end zone. RECAP

[SIX // iowa invades big apple]
Akrum Wadley had never been to Yankee Stadium, even though he grew up about 20 miles across the river in New Jersey. On his first visit, he seemed to bring out all of Newark to cheer him on. He had all his fans in New Jersey to the ones freezing inside Yankee Stadium to the black-and-gold faithful in Iowa that packed bars roaring in approval: Wadley's homecoming ended with an MVP trophy that helped put the Hawkeyes' bowl misery on ice. Wadley rushed, received and returned in dazzling fashion on a frozen field and Iowa beat Boston College 27-20 in the frigid Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday night to snap a five-game bowl losing streak. RECAP

[SEVEN // bowling boilers end season right at foster farms]
Elijah Sindelar threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Mahoungou with 1:44 remaining and Purdue capped coach Jeff Brohm's first season in dramatic style with a 38-35 victory over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl on Wednesday night. The Boilermakers (7-6) had squandered a 17-point halftime lead when Khalil Tate threw his fifth TD pass with 3:21 remaining to give the Wildcats (7-6) the lead. But Sindelar responded with a 75-yard drive that ended with the deep throw into the end zone to Mahoungou. Sindelar threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns, with Mahoungou (118 yards) and Gregory Phillips (149) each topping the 100-yard mark and catching two TD passes. RECAP

[EIGHT // women’s hoops opens big ten play; men nearly flawless in non-conference action]
Big Ten women’s basketball programs closed out the calendar year in style with conference openers on both Thursday and Sunday. Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State and Rutgers are all out to a 2-0 start in league competition, while six schools are 1-1 on the young season. Among the notable wins this past week, No. 23/31 Iowa topped No. 21/19 Michigan 82-72 in Iowa City, while Rutgers scored a 61-58 victory at Michigan. On the men’s side, the league was nearly flawless, capturing 15 of the 16 games contested. Michigan State heads into 2018 with a conference-best 14-1 overall record, followed closely behind by Purdue at 13-2, and Maryland, Michigan and Minnesota at 12-3. Gearing up to resume conference play, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue remain 2-0 in Big Ten action. State, with both teams receiving votes outside the nation’s top 25 poll.

[NINE // hawkeyes claim another midlands title]
Congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeyes, who went five-for-five in the finals to roll to their 27th team title at the 2017 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Saturday night inside the Sears Centre Arena. Brandon Sorensen (149), Michael Kemerer (157), Alex Marinelli (165), Cash Wilcke (197), and Sam Stoll (285) all won titles at their respective weight classes. It marked the first time in school history Iowa crowned five individual champions at the Midlands Championships. The Hawkeyes scored 156.5 points, 47 or more than second place Rutgers (109.5). It was Iowa's largest margin of victory since scoring a tournament record 189 points and winning by 58.5 points in 2014. In addition, Rutgers’ Nick Suriano (125) and Illinois’ Emery Parker (184) were also crowned champions of their weight class bracket.

[TEN // a hoosier hello]
Finally this week, Indiana announced Wednesday that Steve Aird has been hired as the new head volleyball coach for the Hoosiers. A two-time NCAA champion as an assistant coach at Penn State, Aird is an elite recruiter who has spent the last four seasons successfully turning around the Maryland program as its head coach.