Big Ten Weekly Football Release - Oct. 14
Oct. 14, 2013
B1G MOMENTS IN ROSE BOWL HISTORY - Jan. 1, 1994 - Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16: In the Badgers' first Rose Bowl Game appearance since 1963, Brent Moss rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns en route to winning MVP honors. Quarterback Darrell Bevell scored what would be the game-deciding touchdown early in the fourth quarter. UCLA's late rally stalled inside the Badger 20-yard line as time expired, giving Wisconsin its first Rose Bowl Game victory.
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Michigan's Jon Jansen: Winner of the 1999 Big Ten Medal of Honor, Jansen was a two-time All-Big Ten performer at Michigan and helped lead the Wolverines to a national title in 1997. Serving as captain during his junior and senior seasons, Jansen earned All-America status as a senior, while also garnering Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 1997 and 1998. Following his collegiate career, Jansen was drafted in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and became a model of consistency during his 10-year career. He started 125 of the 137 games in which he played and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2005.
Breaking Down the Legends Division: Each Legends Division squad has played two conference games, with Michigan State and Nebraska holding the top spot with matching 2-0 marks. Michigan and Iowa are tied for third in the division race with 1-1 Big Ten records and Minnesota and Northwestern are two games back at 0-2. Michigan State welcomes Purdue on Saturday, the second in a series of three cross-divisional matchups for the Spartans. The Huskers have a bye this weekend before returning to action on Oct. 26 at Minnesota in the first of four straight Legends Division matchups.
Breaking Down the Leaders Division: Ohio State carries the lone perfect conference record in the Leaders Division, boasting a 2-0 Big Ten mark heading into this weekend's contest against Iowa. Wisconsin is second in the division race with a 2-1 mark, but the Buckeyes' hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Badgers following the teams' Sept. 28 meeting in Columbus. Indiana and Penn State are tied for third in the division with 1-1 Big Ten marks, while Illinois and Purdue are tied for fifth.
Ahead of the Pack: Boasting the conference's lone unblemished record at 6-0, Ohio State has the nation's longest active winning streak at 18 games. The current stretch is the fourth-longest in program history, trailing the 22 straight wins from 1967-69. A Buckeye victory on Saturday would match the second-longest streak in program history, equaling the 19 straight triumphs during the 2005-06 and 2002-03 seasons. The 19 victories would rank as the eighth-longest stretch in Big Ten annals. Conference programs have combined for seven stretches of at least 20 or more wins, with the 1901-03 Michigan squads holding the conference record of 29 consecutive victories. Ohio State is one of only 14 teams around the country yet to suffer a loss this season.
In the Division: Two divisional matchups are part of the conference's five-game slate this weekend, include one contest within each division. In the Legends Division, Northwestern hosts Minnesota in each team's third conference matchup. It will be the Wildcats' opening game within the division and first of five straight division contests, while it will be the third of four consecutive Legends Division matchups for the Gophers. In the Leaders Division, Illinois welcomes Wisconsin in what will be the fourth conference and third divisional contest for the Badgers and the second Big Ten contest and first division matchup for the Illini.
Point Taken: The four winning Big Ten programs last Saturday averaged 41 points in their respective victories as each squad scored at least 35 points. Michigan State, Nebraska and Penn State each finished with 40 or more points, with the Huskers leading all conference teams in scoring last weekend with 44 points. It is the first time this season every winning conference program has scored 30 or more points on the same Saturday.
Spreading the Offense: Now at the halfway point of the 2013 regular season, Big Ten programs are scoring at a higher rate than a season ago. Through seven weeks of the 2012 campaign, conference programs averaged 29.3 points per game, totaling 2,257 points in 77 games. Through the seventh week of the 2013 season, conference teams are averaging 34.7 points per game, combining for 2,465 points through 71 games, an increase of more than five points per game from 2012. In addition, the 34.7 points per game is second among all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, behind the Pac-12's average of 36.7 points per contest.
Defense Doesn't Rest: While Big Ten offenses are scoring at an increased rate, conference defenses are continuing to maintain their stingy ways. Six conference programs rank among the nation's top 20 in total defense, seven rank among the top 30 in rushing defense and four are among the top 25 in scoring defense. Michigan State leads the country in rushing defense at 58.0 yards per game, one of five conference teams among the top 10 in the category. The Spartans also top the nation in total defense, while Wisconsin is fifth in the country in scoring defense.
Going Overtime: Last Saturday's Michigan-Penn State showdown in State College was one for the Big Ten record books. The four-overtime thriller was the longest game in conference history, surpassing the multiple conference games that were decided in triple overtime, most recently in Minnesota's season-opening road victory against UNLV on Aug. 30, 2012. The last Big Ten matchup that was decided in three overtimes was on Nov. 6, 2010, when Michigan and Illinois combined for the most points in a single game in conference history, resulting in a 67-65 Wolverine win.
Kicking Around Records: Michigan State punter Mike Sadler established a new Big Ten all games record last Saturday en route to claiming conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Sadler averaged 59.3 yards per punt, totaling 237 yards on just four attempts in MSU's win over Indiana. The Spartan junior broke the per game average of 57.3 yards per punt set by Ohio State's Fred Morrison in 1949. A returning first-team All-Big Ten performer from a season ago, Sadler ranks 25th in the nation in punting average and leads all conference punters in the category.
Getting After the Quarterback: Three defensive standouts recorded two or more sacks last Saturday, including two such efforts in the Michigan-Penn State showdown. Penn State's C.J. Olaniyan finished with 2.5 sacks, the most by a Big Ten player this season, against the Wolverines en route to winning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. Michigan's Frank Clark and Nebraska's Randy Gregory each recorded 2.0 sacks, both career highs, against Penn State and Purdue, respectively. The last time three Big Ten players achieved that feat was on Sept. 8, 2012, when Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman, Penn State's Deion Barnes and Purdue's Kawann Short each had two sacks.