Monday, December 5, 2022
UFC Replica Champion Belt

CFB Week 7 Previews: Big Ten Conference

WEEK 7 Scheduled Games

Sat., Oct. 16 @ 11:00 am CT
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Northwestern Wildcats

3-3 …………………………………………………………Record………………………………………………………….2-3
0-3 ………………………………………………….. Big Ten Record…………………………………………………….0-2
NR/NR………………………………………… Ranking (AP/Coaches)………………………………………….NR/NR
L, 31-13 vs. No. 11 Michigan State (10/9) …Last Game ……………………… L, 56-7 at Nebraska (10/2)
Greg Schiano ……………………………………….Head Coach………………………………………. Pat Fitzgerald
74-76 (13th season)…………………………….Career Record…………………………..108-84 (16th season)
Same……………………………………………….Record at School………………………………………………. Same
0-0 ……………………………………………… Record vs. Opponent ……………………………………………….1-0

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
All-Time: Rutgers leads, 3-1
In Evanston: Rutgers leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Oct. 20, 2018
Northwestern 18, Rutgers 15 (Piscataway)
Last Rutgers Win: Sept. 21, 1991
Rutgers 22, Northwestern 18 (Piscataway)
Last Meeting in Evanston: Sept. 23, 1989
Rutgers 38, Northwestern 27

Passing: Vedral (108-169, 1,122 yds, 6 TDs)
Rushing: Pacheco (82 att, 314 yds, 3 TDs)
Receiving: B. Melton (24 rec, 253 yds, 2 TDs)
All-Purpose: Cruickshank (714 yds)
Tackles: Fatukasi (58)
Sacks: Fatukasi (3.5)
Interceptions: M. Melton (2)

• Rutgers starts a stretch of playing four of its next five games on the road with a trip to Northwestern. Ryan Field is the only Big Ten venue the Scarlet Knights have yet to visit as a member of the conference.

• Rutgers is 4-2 on the road since head coach Greg Schiano returned for the 2020 season.

• Rutgers is coming off a stretch of facing three-straight ranked opponents, and three teams currently ranked in the top 10, for the second time in program history.

• Rutgers ranks first nationally in net punt 47.2), fourth with only four penalties against per game and 11th in turnover margin per game (+1).

• Rutgers has surrendered only three points in the fourth quarter this season.

• Schiano is tied for second in program history with 74 wins leading the Scarlet Knights. Frank Burns holds the record with 78 victories.

• Rutgers makes its initial trip to Ryan Field for a Big Ten game, marking the last conference venue visited for the first time since joining the league in 2014. Rutgers and Northwestern have only met once previously in a Big Ten game (2018), but played three non-conference contests prior. RU leads the all-time series, 3-1.

• In the only other Big Ten meeting in 2018, Rutgers held the lead at halftime and through three quarters, but Northwestern came back for an 18-15 win. RB Isaih Pacheco had a 44- yard rushing touchdown, PK Justin Davidovicz added two field goals and DL Willington Previlon registered a sack in the end zone for a safety. P Adam Korsak set the school record with a 79-yard punt.

• The first contest, which was played in Newark in 1919, ended as a 28-0 RU win to close the 5-3 season under coach George Foster Sanford, who later earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

• Rutgers last traveled to Evanston in 1989 and came away with a 38-27 victory in the 1,000th game in program history. Scott Erney went 13- of-28 for 308 yards passing, while Randy Jackson recorded 90 and 83-yard receptions for touchdowns. The Scarlet Knights outgained the Wildcats, 515-430, in a matchup that was nationally televised.

• In 1991, Antoine Moore rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns and Gary Melton raced 96 yards for a kickoff return touchdown, adding 63 receiving yards. Shawn Williams sealed the 22- 18 win with a sack on fourth down after Northwestern had driven to the eight.

• Rutgers game highs versus Northwestern: Rushing Yards: Antoine Moore, 140 (1991) Passing Yards: Scott Erney, 308 (1989) Receiving Yards: Randy Jackson, 173 (1989)

• Rutgers scored a touchdown on its opening drive when QB Johnny Langan connected with WR Aron Cruickshank to cap a nine-play drive, but No. 11 Michigan State answered, took a 21-13 lead into halftime and closed out a 31-13 win. It was the 87th Homecoming game for the Scarlet Knights.

• QB Noah Vedral passed for 208 yards, with WR Shameen Jones recording 109 receiving yards on eight receptions. P Adam Korsak posted a net punt of 46.4 with 6-of-7 attempts downed inside the 20. DB Christian Izien notched three tackles-for-loss on 10 stops, while LB Olakunle Fatukasi added two tackles in the backfield and forced a fumble.

Northwestern Wildcats
• Teams are meeting for the fifth time and second as Big Ten foes … First Big Ten trip to Ryan Field for Rutgers

• Fitzgerald’s 108 career wins rank 15th all-time in the Big Ten, one shy of catching MSU’s Duffy Daugherty

• Northwestern has won four consecutive bowl games – tied for longest active streak among Big Ten opponents

• Pat Fitzgerald received the 2020 Dodd Trophy for national coach of the year

• Finished B1G play with a .750 winning % or better four times since 2015

• Swept the Big Ten West two out of the last three seasons; Won 17 B1G West games since 2017

“Northwestern Football: Top-10 Football and Top-10 Education” – Pat Fitzgerald. Northwestern finished No. 10 in the final AP Top-25 Poll (2020), the program’s highest finish since checking in at No. 8 in the final poll of the 1995 season when Pat Fitzgerald was a junior on the Wildcats’ roster. Northwestern University was ranked as the ninth-best university in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 rankings. NU was the only institution to be represented in the Top-10 in both rankings.

Northwestern topped Rutgers, 18-15, in 2018 during the first meeting between the programs as conference foes … Rutgers leads the all-time series, 3-1 … Clayton Thorson threw for 150 yards in the effort bringing his career passing yards to 9,453, which moved him to eighth all-time in Big Ten history … He leapfrogged Kyle Orton (Purdue, 9,337) and J.T. Barrett (Ohio State, 9,434)… Running back Isaiah Bowser had 108 yards and two touchdowns on the ground coming on a career-high 24 carries … Samdup Miller led the way for the defense with eight tackles and a pass break up.

This weekend’s game is Northwestern’s homecoming game … As part of the campus reunions, the football program is honoring the 1995 and 1996 Big Ten championship teams … The ’95 Rose Bowl team was scheduled to be recognized last season as part of the 25th anniversary of bringing the Purple to Pasadena but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic … Head coach Pat Fitzgerald was the starting linebacker for both teams.

Running back Evan Hull ranks among the Big Ten’s best in: Rushing yards (6th; 509), Yards per game (3rd; 101.8), Yards per carry (2nd; 7.27), Rushing TDs (8th; 4) … He is one of five active running backs in the Power Five to average more than 7.0 yards per carry with at least 100 or more rushing attempts in a career … He boasts four 100-plus yard games, and three multi-score games … He has two 200-yard games in his career, the last Wildcat to have multiple 200+ yard rushing performances in their career was Tyrell Sutton, who did so three times in 2005.

Senior captain linebacker Chris Bergin has been on a tear to open the 2021 campaign … Leads the ‘Cats with 45 tackles (33 solo) and has an interception and forced fumble … He is averaging 11.2 tackles per game which ranks 2nd nationally and first among B1G players … His 8.2 solo stops per game rank second in the country and first in the Big Ten … Has 10 career games with double-digit tackles and has posted back-to-back games with career highs in tackles (13 at Duke; 14 vs. Ohio) … Third on team with 2.5 tackles for loss.

Northwestern has been loving the long ball this season … The Wildcats have tallied seven offensive plays that have gone for 40-or-more yards this season … In the previous 21 games prior to this season, NU only had eight offensive plays go for more than 40 yards … Stephon Robinson, Jr. has accounted for five of Northwestern’s passing plays that have gone for 20-plus yards.

QB Ryan Hilinski made his second start in a Northwestern uniform and completed 25 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown … He found 12 different receivers on the evening the most by a Northwestern QB since Clayton Thorson connected with 12 vs. Ohio State in the 2018 Big Ten title game … His 25 completions vs. Nebraska marks only the eighth time since 2014 an NU quarterback has connected for 25-or-more completions vs. a West Division opponent … The 256 yards through the air were the most the Huskers have allowed in a game this season.

Three of NU’s seven wins last season came by one score … Dating back to the beginning of the Pat Fitzgerald era in 2006, the Wildcats have 48 one-possession wins, second only to Navy in the FBS during that span.

WR Stephon Robinson Jr. leads the team with 23 grabs and is averaging 4.6 grabs per game which is a single-season career best … WR Bryce Kirtz ranks second on the
team with 19 catches for 203 yards … He entered the 2021 campaign with six career grabs … Hauled in a career-long 44 reception at Duke … WR Malik Washington hauled in his first career touchdown in the ISU win … He ranks third on the team with 13 grabs and had a career long 43-yard reception at Nebraska.

RB Evan Hull ripped off a career-long 90-yard touchdown run in the first quarter vs. Ohio (Sept. 25), his second of the game, to give NU a 14-0 lead …. It marked
the longest play for NU since Solomon Vault’s 95-yard kick return at Michigan State (Oct. 15, 2016) and Northwestern’s longest play from scrimmage since Jeremy Ebert hauled in a 90-yard touchdown reception from Dan Persa vs. Rice (Nov. 12, 2011) … Hull’s run was the fourth rushing play in Northwestern history to go for 90+ yards and the first since Bill Swingle had a program-record 95 yard run in a 45-0 win vs. Boston College on Sept. 30, 1961 (other 90+ rushes were a 91-yard rush by Tiny Lewis vs. South Dakota in 1927, and a 90-yard run by Alton Johnson vs. Chicago in 1898) … Since making his debut on Oct. 5,2019 against Nebraska, Hull has accounted for seven of Northwestern’s 15 15+ yard rushing touchdowns. Hull’s 216 rushing yards are the fourth most by a player in the Big Ten this season.

Northwestern ranks third nationally in punt returns this season averaging 23.11 yards per return … The Wildcats have racked up 208 punt return yards through five games which is the fourth most in all of college football … Against Indiana State (9/11), Brandon Joseph and Raymond Niro III combined for 166 punt return yards – the most in program history. Joseph finished with 111 return yards, the sixth most in a game in Northwestern history, and the first NU punt returner to go over 100 yards in a game since Venric Mark had 134 return yards against Syracuse in 2012 … Joseph’s 65-yard return was the longest by a Wildcat since Venric Mark’s 75-yard return against Penn State in 2012. NU’s 35.80 punt return average ranks third in the country.

For the first time since 2007 season, Northwestern had a new offensive play caller. Mike Bajakian (“Jake”) was hired as offensive coordinator on Dec. 11, 2019. Here’s highlights from year one of the Bajakian era:

• Northwestern scored a TD on five of its nine game-opening drives.

• 14 touchdown drives of at least 75 yards; it had nine throughout the entire 2019 season.

• Scored 43 points vs. Maryland in the opener. It was the first time NU had scored 40-plus points against a Big Ten opponent since November 25, 2017.

• The Wildcats 35 points in the 2021 Citrus Bowl win were the most points a Northwestern team has scored in a bowl victory.

• Northwestern amassed 457 yards of offense in the bowl win – it was the third time in 2020 that the ‘Cats had more than 400 yards of total offense.

Following the retirement of legendary assistant coach Mike Hankwitz, Northwestern will have a new defensive coordinator for the first time since 2007 … Fitzgerald
turned to the NFL and brought in Jim O’Neil to be the new DC … O’Neil comes to Evanston after spending the last three seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders including
one as the defensive backs coach … He was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns (2014-15) and San Francisco 49ers (2016).

Ryan Hilinski made his Northwestern debut at Duke (Sept. 18) and his first NU start in the win vs. Ohio (Sept. 25): Hunter Johnson | Sr. | Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg/Clemson Started three games in 2021 … Career game vs. MSU (9/3):30 completions, 283 yards, 3 TD …Top rated QB in 2017 class by ESPN … Indiana’s Mr. Football in 2016 … Played in seven games as a true freshman at Clemson, going 21-for-27 passing for 234 yards, two touchdowns, INT … Appeared in six games for the ‘Cats in 2019 and threw for 432 yards … Voted a 2021 team captain. Ryan Hilinski | So. | Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran/South Carolina Made NU debut at Duke (9/18) with two completions for 34 yards … No. 2 pro-style QB in class of 2019 by 247Sports … Concluded his high school career with 8,102 passing yards and 85 total touchdowns … Played in 13 games at South Carolina including 11 starts as a true freshman in 2019 … Threw for 2,357 yards in 2019 with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions … Only saw action in two games in 2020 at South Carolina. Andrew Marty | Sr. | Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming Career game at Duke (9/18) off the bench: 11 completions, 151 yards, 2 TD before getting hurt … Made his collegiate debut in 2019 vs. Ohio State (10/18/19) … Logged his first career start, scrambling for 111 yards and two scores along with a passing touchdown to help defeat Illinois (11/30/19) … Completed 14-of-22 passes on the season with two touchdowns and two INT … Appeared in four games during 2020 season … Had 24 rushing yards in 2020.

Kuhbander ranks in the Top-10 all-time at NU for field goal percentage, field goals made, points kicking, extra points made and extra points percentage. His 126 career extra points made rank second in program history behind Jeff Budzien’s 136. Kuhbander’s 41 career field goals rank 4th in program history and he just needs five more to catch John Duvic in third.

Sat., Oct. 16 @ 12:00 pm ET
Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers

NO. 10/9 MICHIGAN STATE (6-0, 3-0) AT INDIANA (2-3, 0-2)
Date……………………………………..Saturday, Oct. 16
Kickoff ………………………………….. 12:03 p.m. EDT
Location……………………………… Bloomington, Ind.
Stadium …………………Memorial Stadium (52,656)
Surface ………………………………………….. Field Turf
Mobile ……………………………………FOX Sports app
Live Stats……………………………
All-Time Series………………… MSU leads, 48-17-2
All-Time Series in Bloomington…MSU leads, 22-10-1
Last Meeting…………………… IU 24, MSU 0 (2020)
Current Series Streak…………………..1 by Indiana

Michigan State Spartans
• Michigan State takes on Indiana for the Old Brass Spittoon on Saturday, Oct. 16 in Bloomington. Kickoff is slated for noon at Memorial Stadium. Aaron Goldsmith (play-by-play) and Brock Huard (analyst) will have the call on FS1.

• The Spartans defeated Rutgers last Saturday, 31-13, to improve to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in Big Ten play. It marks the first time MSU has opened 6-0 since winning the Big Ten Championship and advancing to the College Football Playoff in 2015 and the ninth time overall in school history.

• The Spartans moved up to No. 9 in this week’s USA TODAY/AFCA Coaches Poll and No. 10 in The Associated Press Poll. Michigan State is in the top 10 of the national rankings for the first time since Sept. 18, 2016 (No. 8 in both polls).

• Indiana (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) is coming off a bye week. The Hoosiers have faced a difficult schedule, falling to three top-10 teams (No. 2 Iowa, No. 3 Cincinnati, No. 7 Penn State) while earning nonconference victories over Idaho and Western Kentucky.

• Saturday’s game marks the 68th meeting between Michigan State and Indiana. The Spartans lead the all-time series against the Hoosiers, 48-17-2, including a 22-10-1 record in Bloomington.

• Since 1950, the winner of the Michigan State-Indiana game has been presented the Old Brass Spittoon. The brass spittoon came from one of Michigan’s earliest trading posts and is widely believed to be nearly 190 years old. Legend has it that the spittoon was around when both institutions were founded – Indiana in 1820 and MAC in 1855. Since 1950, Michigan State leads the series, 48-14-1.

• Junior running back Kenneth Walker III, a transfer from Wake Forest, is having a dynamic start to the season. Walker leads the FBS in rushing (913 yards; 152.2 ypg) and is the only player in the nation to rank among the top 10 in rushing, rushing TDs (fourth with 9), total TDs (fifth with 10), all-purpose yards (sixth with 157.2 ypg), and yards per carry (10th with 7.1 avg.). According to Pro Football Focus, Walker leads the country in rushing yards after contact (670) and rushing carries for 10-plus yards (26). Walker’s 94-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at Rutgers was the longest offensive play from scrimmage in the 125-year history of Michigan State football. After six games, Walker ranks No. 1 among Heisman Trophy contenders by The Athletic, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd and ESPN’s Robert Griffin III.

• Michigan State achieved a rare statistical feat on Saturday at Rutgers. For only the fifth time in FBS history, a trio of players from the same team in the same game had 300 yards passing (Payton Thorne with 339 yards), 200 yards rushing (Kenneth Walker III with 233 yards) and 200 yards receiving (Jalen Nailor with 221 yards).

• Redshirt junior wide receiver Jalen Nailor was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Nailor tied a school record with three touchdown receptions and had five catches overall for 221 yards, the fourth-highest receiving total in school history, in MSU’s 31-13 win at Rutgers last Saturday. He caught TD passes of 63, 63 and 65 yards, all in the first half. According to the Big Ten Network, Nailor’s 44.2 yards per reception was the highest by a Big Ten player since 2000 (minimum five receptions), surpassing Charles Rogers’ 41.2 yards per reception vs. Wisconsin in 2001. Nailor had four catches for 208 yards in the first half alone. His 221 total receiving yards were the most ever by an opposing receiver in SHI Stadium history, bettering Larry Fitzgerald’s (Pittsburgh) 207 yards in 2003. Nailor is the fourth different player to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors this season for the Spartans (RB Kenneth Walker III, Offensive Player of the Week vs. Northwestern; QB Payton Thorne, Co-Offensive Player of the Week vs. Miami; WR/PR/ KR Jayden Reed, Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Nebraska).

• In his first season as the starting quarterback, redshirt sophomore Payton Thorne has completed 62 percent of his passes (98-of-157) for 1,575 yards, 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He ranks among the Big Ten and FBS leaders in passing efficiency (second and 11th with 173.6 rating), passing TDs (second and 11th with 14), passing (third and 26th with 262.5 ypg) and total offense (fourth and 29th with 276.8 ypg). Thorne also ranks third on the team in rushing with a net of 86 yards on 31 carries with two TDs, although he has gained a total of 152 yards on the ground. Thorne threw for a career-high 339 yards in the victory over Rutgers, including touchdown passes of 65, 63 and 63 yards to Jalen Nailor. Thorne has already thrown five TD passes for more than 60 yards this season (85 and 75 yards to Jayden Reed vs. Youngstown State in Week 2). The Naperville, Illinois, product was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week and the Manning Award National Quarterback of the Week for his performance in the win at No. 24 Miami in Week 3. He became just the second Spartan quarterback in school history, joining Connor Cook, to throw for four touchdowns in back-to-back games during MSU’s 38-17 victory against the Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Thorne also threw for a career-high four TDs in the Week 2 win over Youngstown State, and matched that effort against the Hurricanes by completing 18-of-31 passes for 261 yards and four more touchdowns. Cook threw for four TDs in consecutive games against Indiana and Nebraska in 2015.

• Saturday’s game marks the 68th meeting between Michigan State and Indiana. The Spartans lead the all-time series against the Hoosiers, 48-17-2, including a 22-10-1 record in Bloomington. Indiana won last year’s matchup in Spartan Stadium, 24-0.

• This marks MSU’s first trip to Bloomington since 2018. The 2020 game was switched from Bloomington to East Lansing to provide flexibility in scheduling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Since 1950, the winner of the Michigan State-Indiana game has been presented the Old Brass Spittoon. The brass spittoon came from one of Michigan’s earliest trading posts and is widely believed to be nearly 190 years old. Legend has it that the spittoon was around when both institutions were founded – Indiana in 1820 and MAC in 1855. Since 1950, Michigan State leads the series, 48-14-1.

• The Hoosiers are 2-3 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play, coming off a bye week. IU is on an alternating losswin pattern, with all three losses coming to Top-20 ranked teams. After opening with a loss at then-No. 18 Iowa (34-6) on Sept. 4, then a nonconference win over Idaho (56-14) on Sept. 11, before a loss to then-No. 8 Cincinnati (38-24) on Sept. 18, followed by a win at Western Kentucky (33-31) on Sept. 25, prior to a loss at then-No. 4 Penn State (24-0) on Oct. 2.

• Last time out, IU loss at Penn State on Oct. 2, 24-0. The host Nittany Lions held a 408-264 advantage in total offense yards. The Hoosiers had 195 yards passing, while being stymied on the ground by the Penn State defense, being held to just 69 rushing yards. PSU gained 199 passing, with three TDs through the air, and 209 rushing, with one score on the ground.

• Redshirt junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was 10-for-22 passing for 118 yards with one interception, while rushing twice for 8 yards, before leaving in the third quarter after a shoulder injury following a sack. Fellow redshirt junior quarterback Jack Tuttle replaced Penix and was 6-for-12 passing for 77 yards and was also intercepted once.

• Senior running back Stephen Carr had 15 rushes for 50 yards. Redshirt senior tight end Peyton Hendershot and senior wide receiver Ty Fryfogle snared five catches apiece, with Hendershot gaining 88 yards, while Fryfogle finished with 48 yards.

• Senior defensive lineman Ryder Anderson and senior linebacker Micah McFadden both posted eight total tackles to lead the Hoosier defense, with McFadden notching 1.5 tackle for loss and Anderson adding 1.0 TFL.

• For the season, IU is 10th in the B1G in scoring offense (23.8 ppg), while ranking 13th in scoring defense (28.2 ppg). Indiana is 11th in total offense (343.6 ypg), ranking 13th in rushing offense (122.2 ypg) and seventh in passing offense (221.4 ypg). The Hoosier defense is eighth in total defense (349.8 ypg), ranking
ninth in both rushing defense (126.8 ypg) and passing defense (223.0 ypg).

• Penix is 87-of-162 passing for 939 yards, with four TDs and seven INTs, ranking eighth in the B1G in passing yards/game (187.8 ypg), ninth in total passing yards (939), 10th in passing TDs (4), and 12th in both passing percentage (.537) and efficiency rating (101.9). He has 17 rushing attempts for -6 yards, having been sacked eight times, but has two rushing TDs. Tuttle is 8-for-18 passing overall for 168 yards with one TD and one INT, adding four rushes for 8 yards.

• Hendershot and Fryfogle are 11th and 12th, respectively, in the Big Ten for receiving yards per game, with Hendershot averaging 54.8 ypg, totalling 21 catches for 274 yards (13.0 ypc) with one TD. Fryfogle averages 54.4 ypg on 26 receptions for 272 yards (10.5 ypc) with one TD.

• Carr is 10th in the Big Ten in rushing (77.2 ypg) with 102 carries for 386 yards (3.8 ypc) with three TDs.

• Anderson leads the IU defense in total tackles with 29, while McFadden is close behind with 27 stops. Anderson and McFadden are tied for seventh in the league with 6.5 tackles for loss, ranking tied for third in TFL/game (1.30).

• Junior placekicker Charles Campbell is tied for fifth in the conference in field goal percentage (.875), making 7-of-8, with a long of 49 yards. Campbell is also 12-of-12 on PATs.

• Freshman punter James Evans is eighth in the Big Ten with a 43.3 ypp average, with 26 punts, with a long of 58 yards, one of six of 50+ yards, with five inside the 20.

• Indiana head coach Tom Allen is in his fifth season as the Hoosiers’ head coach, logging a 26-25 record. Allen earned the 2020 AFCA National Coach of the Year award and was also named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Indiana Hoosiers
• Indiana (2-3, 0-2 B1G East) welcomes No. 10/9 Michigan State (6-0, 3-0 B1G East) for IU’s 108th Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 16. Kickoff is set for noon EDT at Memorial Stadium (52,656; FieldTurf) on FS1.

• The Hoosiers own a 45-56-6 record on Homecoming.

• Indiana will host Michigan State for the ninth time on Homecoming and for the first time since 2014.

• The Old Brass Spittoon has been awarded to the IU-MSU victor since its inception in 1950. (more on page 3)

• Last season the Hoosiers blanked the Spartans, 24-0, for their first win in East Lansing since 2001.

• The 24-point victory was the largest margin for Indiana at Michigan State in the history of the rivalry.

• IU is currently in possession of both of its rivalry trophies, the Old Brass Spittoon and the Old Oaken Bucket.

• The Spartans are the Hoosiers fourth ranked opponent and third Top-10 foe in six games.

• The 2020 American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, Tom Allen is 26-25 (.510) in his fifth season as Indiana head football coach. His 24 wins over his first four years are the most for an IU head coach during that span. Allen was also named the 2020 Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (Big Ten coaches vote) and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year (Big Ten media vote).

• Mel Tucker is 8-5 (.615) in his second season at Michigan State. Tucker served as Colorado head coach in 2019 and carries an overall record of 13-12 (.520).

• Indiana is 16-10 overall and 11-7 in Big Ten play since the start of 2019.

• IU’s 16 wins share sixth and 11 victories share fourth in the B1G during that span.

• The Hoosiers have won 11 of their last 16 league games.

• Indiana was ranked in the 2021 preseason for the first time since 1969.

• IU appeared in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll for the 11th-straight week, a program record.

• The team voted WR Ty Fryfogle, TE Peyton Hendershot, LB Cam Jones, DB Marcelino McCrary-Ball, LB Micah McFadden, and QB Michael Penix Jr. season captains.

• Jones, McCrary-Ball, McFadden, and Penix were also 2020 captains.

• The Hoosiers (6-2, 6-1 Big Ten) finished the 2020 season with a No. 12 final rating from the Associated Press, their highest final ranking since 1967 (No. 4).
• Indiana’s 11 B1G wins over 2019-20 tied for the most in school history over a two-year span (1987-88).

• IU has played in consecutive January bowl games (2020 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and 2021 Outback Bowl) for the first time in school history.

• Tom Allen reached win No. 25 in his 48th career game to become the third-fastest in program history to 25 victories behind James M. Sheldon (40 games) and James H. Horne (46 games).

The Old Brass Spittoon has been awarded to the winner of the Indiana-Michigan State football game since the trophy’s inception in 1950. Initiated by the junior and senior classes and student council at Michigan State, the trophy was quickly accepted by the Indiana Student Senate. The spittoon came from one of Michigan’s earliest trading posts and is widely believed to be nearly 200 years old. Legend holds that the spittoon was around when both institutions were founded (Indiana – 1820, Michigan State – 1855).

Indiana and Michigan State have faced each other since 1922 and the trophy became a part of the series 28 years after the first meeting.

Overall Series: ……………………MSU leads 48-17-2
Indiana at Home: ………………………………… 10-22-1
Michigan State at Home: ……………………… 26-7-1
Spittoon Game (1950-): ……….MSU leads 48-14-1

• Nick Sheridan is in his second season overseeing the Indiana offense.

• IU returned 25 letter-winners (10 lost) on offense, including seven starters, from 2020.

• A year ago, senior Ty Fryfogle earned third-team Associated Press All-America honors, became the first wideout in program history to be named the Big Ten’s Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, claimed first-team all-conference honors, and was a Biletnikoff semifinalist.

• Redshirt junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. carded second-team All-Big Ten honors and was a Davey O’Brien semifinalist, while redshirt senior tight end Peyton
Hendershot collected third-team accolades.

• The Hoosiers have reached 30 points 15 times since the start of 2019 (twice in 2021), which is third in the B1G to Ohio State’s 23 and Minnesota’s 16.

• In its victory at Western Kentucky (9/25), the offense piled up 507 total yards on 92 snaps, the team’s largest output since racking up 522 yards at Purdue on Nov. 30, 2019.

• In 2020, Indiana led the conference in fewest sacks allowed (1.25, T-17th nationally), ranked second in 30-yard passing plays (tied with 13), 60-yarders (4, T-8th nationally), and 50-yarders (6, T-15th), tied for third in 40-yarders (6), ranked fourth in scoring (28.9) and interceptions lost (tied with 5, T-32nd), and ranked fifth in passing (250.9, 43rd) and time of possession (31:15, 36th).

• IU threw for 342 yards in its victory over No. 23 Michigan, the program’s second-highest passing yardage against U-M in 69 all-time meetings, for 320 in the win at Michigan State, and for 491 at No. 3 Ohio State, the most in 94 all-time meetings, the second-highest total in program history, and the fourth-most ever allowed by OSU.

• The Hoosiers posted 460 yards against the Wolverines, 433 against the Spartans, and 490 against the Buckeyes.

• Sheridan is in his fifth year in Bloomington. He coached the tight ends in 2019 and the quarterbacks in 2017-18.

• The Saline, Mich., native worked as an offensive graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee from 2014-16.

• Sheridan (33) was named one of the nation’s Top 30 coaches under 30 years of age by 247Sports in 2017.

• A quarterback at the University of Michigan (2006-09), he appeared in 12 games and made four starts.

• Sheridan’s father, Bill, is a 36-year NFL and collegiate coaching veteran, currently serving as the defensive line coach at the Air Force Academy

• Charlton Warren took over the defensive reins from Kane Wommack, who is in his first season as head coach at South Alabama.

• A 16-plus year coaching veteran and the 247Sports No. 11 recruiter in the nation, Warren spent the previous four seasons in the SEC.

• He led the defensive backs at the University of Georgia (2019-20), the cornerbacks at the University of Florida (2018), and he mentored the defensive backs and served as special teams coordinator at the University of Tennessee (2017).

• Warren oversaw the defensive backs at the University of North Carolina (2015-16) and the University of Nebraska (2014) after he spent 2005-13 at the United States Air Force Academy, his alma mater, including two years as coordinator (2012-13) and four years as co-coordinator (2008-11).

• Head coach Tom Allen stresses the importance of takeaways and the team’s magic number per game is three.

• The defense has reached that number 16 times since Allen brought the 4-2-5 to Indiana in 2016.

• Since the start of that campaign (63 games), Indiana has five games with four takeaways, 17 with at least three takeaways, and 31 with multiple takeaways, including two this season (at No. 18 Iowa, No. 8 Cincinnati).

• IU has 26 takeaways since the beginning of the 2020 season (13 games).

• The Hoosiers have at least one takeaway in 40 of their last 44 games, including 19 of their last 21, and they have an interception in 12 of their last 16.

• In 2020, Indiana led the B1G in interceptions (17, 2nd nationally), opponent red zone scores (64.0, 1st), takeaways (20, T-13th), and sacks (3.13, 14th), finished fourth in scoring defense (20.3, T-19th), and fifth in rushing defense (137.1, 34th), total defense (378.1, 43rd), and opponent third-down conversions (37.5, 39th).

• A program record seven Hoosier defenders earned 2020 All-Big Ten honors, including a school record four first-teamers, and five of those seven return in 2021: senior linebacker Micah McFadden (1st), junior cornerback Tiawan Mullen (1st), senior cornerback Jaylin Williams (2nd), senior safety Devon Matthews (3rd), and senior linebacker Cam Jones (honorable mention).

• Mullen became the first corner in program history to be named a first-team All-American (FWAA), while McFadden earned third-team All-America honors (AP).

• The Hoosiers led the B1G in sacks for the first time ever and their 17 picks tied for the third-most in school history (19 in 1998 and 2007).

• IU had a pair of picks in a program-record seven-straight games and became the first team since Oklahoma State in 2011 with at least two interceptions in six-consecutive games in the same year, also a school record.

• Indiana’s five shutouts since the start of 2017 share third nationally with Alabama and Virginia Tech. Georgia leads the country with seven followed by Wisconsin’s six.

• Since the start of 2019, the Hoosiers have held six opponents, including four conference foes, to six points or fewer, the most in the league. Wisconsin (5) ranks second

Sat., Oct. 16 @ 12:00 pm ET
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

• All-Time Series: Minnesota leads, 34-25-2
• In Minneapolis: Minnesota leads, 23-13-2
• Last Game: Minnesota 24-17, 12/12/2020 in Lincoln
• Win Streak: Minnesota, 2 games

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska returns to the road on Saturday when it travels to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota in a Big Ten West Division battle. The contest at UM’s Huntington Bank Stadium will kick off at 11 a.m. CT with the game televised on ESPN2 and heard on the Huskers Radio Network.

The matchup with Minnesota wraps up a stretch of eight games in eight consecutive weeks for the Huskers, and marks Nebraska’s second-to-last road game of the 2021 season. Nebraska is off next week, before returning to Lincoln for a two-game homestand against Purdue (Oct. 30) and Ohio State (Nov. 6).

The Huskers stand at 3-4 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play after a third heartbreaking loss in the past four weeks against a ranked opponent. Nebraska put together an impressive second-half performance against No. 9 Michigan on Saturday night, before the Wolverines kicked a field goal with 1:24 remaining to escape with a 32-29 victory.

Minnesota enters the game with a 3-2 record and a 1-1 mark in Big Ten play. The Gophers were off last week, and posted a 20-13 victory at Purdue in their most recent game on Oct. 2. Minnesota lost its season opener to then-No. 4 Ohio State, but has won three of four games since that contest.

Coach P.J. Fleck’s team boasts one of the Big Ten’s best defenses, ranking second in the conference and fifth nationally in rushing defense at 77.0 yards per game. The Gophers are also strong in scoring defense (19.6 ppg) and total defense (307.8 ypg). Offensively, Minnesota features a strong run game and is among the nation’s best in ball control, averaging nearly 34 minutes per game in time of possession

Nebraska and Minnesota will be meeting for the 62nd time overall and the 11th consecutive season as Big Ten opponents. Minnesota holds a 34-25-2 lead in the all-time series.

• Before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, Minnesota was the Huskers’ most frequent opponent among conference schools with 51 meetings between 1900 and 1990.

• Nebraska and Minnesota have split 10 meetings as Big Ten opponents. Minnesota has won five of the past eight matchups, following a 16-game Nebraska win streak in the series.

• Minnesota owned a 29-6-2 lead in the all-time series following a win in 1960, but Nebraska owns a 19-5 lead since 1963.

• Scott Frost posted his first win at Nebraska against Minnesota in October of 2018, recording a 53-28 victory in Lincoln.

• Nebraska’s 84-point outburst in the 1983 victory in Minneapolis is the largest scoring output by a Husker team in the modern era (since WWII).

Nebraska’s defensive success comes on the strength of a battle-tested veteran unit as Nebraska returned 11 full- or part-time starters in 2021. At the outset of the season, the Huskers had eight returning players who started at least seven games in 2020. Currently, Nebraska has eight Blackshirts with at least 15 career starts.

• Nebraska allowed 169.5 rushing yards and 386.5 total yards per game in 2020. Those totals marked the fewest rushing and total yards allowed per game by a Husker defense since the 2016 season. The Huskers are pacing well ahead of those numbers in 2021, allowing 133.9 rushing yards and 341.6 total yards per contest.

• A total of seven Husker defenders earned at least honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades last season. That was the highest number of all-conference defenders since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, and six of those seven All-Big Ten selections returned this fall.

• Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2020. He broke up four passes and had a pair of interceptions in eight games. Taylor-Britt has ranked in the top 70 nationally in interceptions each of the last two years, and he ranked third nationally in forced fumbles in 2019. Taylor-Britt is coming off his best game of the 2021 season against Michigan, when he posted career highs in both tackles (11) and PBU (3). Taylor-Britt has 26 tackles and a team-high six PBU in 2021.

• Safety Marquel Dismuke, outside linebacker JoJo Domann, inside linebacker Will Honas, defensive lineman Ben Stille and safety Deontai Williams all returned as “super seniors” in their sixth year playing college football. Each of the five “super seniors” earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades last season.

• Dismuke has started 27 consecutive games at safety. He ranked fourth on the team with 47 tackles in 2020 and set career highs with 4.0 TFLs and four pass breakups. Dismuke has totaled 177 tackles in his career, including 18 in 2021.

• Domann led the Huskers with a career-high 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in eight games in 2020. This season, Domann has 42 tackles and seven tackles for loss, including two sacks and three tackles for loss against Northwestern. Domann also forced two fumbles against the Wildcats, to earn Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors. Domann is third among all active FBS players with nine career forced fumbles.

• Stille returned to anchor the defensive line in 2021. His 29 career starts, including 15 straight over the past two seasons, are the most of any current Blackshirt. Stille is Nebraska’s active career leader with 27.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks.

• Williams set career highs with 51 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack in eight games last year. He also broke up four passes last fall. Williams also had a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery for a touchdown on the same play against Penn State in 2020, believed to be the first Husker ever to accomplish that feat. Williams is a leader in the secondary this season, with a team-high three interceptions, including a pair of picks against Fordham. Williams leads defensive backs with 40 total tackles and has two tackles for loss.

• The returning All-Big Ten performers were not the only experienced Blackshirts, as Nebraska returned five additional starters in 2021.

• Damion Daniels started three games at nose guard in 2020 and set career highs in tackles (20) and tackles for loss (4.0). He is anchoring the Nebraska defensive front this season and has 21 tackles, two TFL and 2 PBU in 2021.

• Garrett Nelson started every game at outside linebacker in 2020, and has been in the lineup for all seven games in 2021. He ranks second in the Big Ten with eight tackles for loss, and has a team-high 2.5 sacks. Nelson had a career-best 2.5 TFL at Illinois and two at Michigan State. Nelson has at least one tackle for loss in eight of the past 10 games.

• Luke Reimer made the most of his five starts at inside linebacker in 2020, recording 40 tackles and ranking second on the team with 2.0 sacks and third with 5.0 TFLs despite battling injuries.

• In 2021, Reimer leads the Blackshirts with 63 tackles, including three games with double-figure tackle totals. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten in tackles per game. Reimer had his best career game against Buffalo with a career-high 16 tackles and his first career interception, which he returned to the UB 1 to set up a touchdown. Reimer’s 16 tackles were the most by a Husker since Chris Weber had 17 at Illinois in 2015. His play against the Bulls earned Reimer Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

• Ty Robinson started seven games at defensive end in 2020, is a regular on the defensive front this fall. He has 18 tackles, three TFL and a sack in 2021.

• Nick Henrich started one game in 2020 and has started every game in 2021. Henrich finished 2020 with a double-figure tackle (12) game at Rutgers, and ranks second for the Huskers with 58 tackles. He had a career-high 15 tackles against Michigan and also reached double figures with 11 tackles at Illinois.

• Caleb Tannor started five games at outside linebacker in 2020, and finished with a career-high 23 tackles. He has started every game this season and has 19 tackles, a sack and three TFL.

The Nebraska offense has shown good balance and posted several impressive statistics in 2021. Nebraska posted one of its best offensive performances in recent memory in a 56-7 victory over Northwestern on Oct. 2. The Huskers backed that up with a 29-point second half against a Michigan defense that ranks among the nation’s best.

• Nebraska’s recent surge has helped the Huskers rank 13th nationally in total offense (493.6 ypg), 18th in rushing offense (223.6 ypg) and 38th in passing offense (270.0 ypg). Nebraska is one of only nine teams in the FBS ranks to rank in the top 40 in both rushing and passing, joining Ohio State, Ole Miss, Coastal Carolina, SMU, Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina and App State.

• Nebraska is one of only three FBS teams to average better than 220 rushing yards and more than 250 passing yards per game. The other teams in that group are Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina.

• Nebraska’s 56 points against Northwestern were its most under Scott Frost, and also its most in a Big Ten game in 11 seasons in the conference. It was the most in any conference game since also scoring 56 at Kansas State in 2008.

• The Huskers posted 21 points in the first quarter against Northwestern and 35 points before halftime, marking their best first quarter and first half scoring outputs since 2018.

• NU rushed for 427 yards against Northwestern, its second-highest rushing total in a Big Ten game and its most in any game since 2014.

• Nebraska’s 657 yards of total offense marked its second 600-yard outing of the 2021 season, and its sixth 600-yard game in Scott Frost’s four seasons as head coach. It was Nebraska’s best offensive output since posting 674 yards at Illinois in 2019. Among Big Ten teams, only Ohio State (10) has more 600-yard games over the past four seasons.

• Against Fordham, Nebraska finished the game with 329 rushing yards and 304 passing yards to roll up 633 yards of total offense.

• Nebraska’s 300-300 offensive output was a rare statistical feat in school history. The Huskers had reached that mark just twice previously (vs. South Dakota State in 2013 and at Illinois in 2019).

• Nebraska has accounted for two of the seven 300/300 games by Big Ten teams over the past four years (Ohio State-3; Maryland-1; Penn State-1).

• Nebraska had rushes of 64 and 83 yards against Northwestern, in addition to a 70-yard pass on the game’s first play. It marked the second time this season Nebraska has had three plays of 60 yards or longer in a game, after also accomplishing it against Buffalo. Prior to this season, Nebraska had not had three 60-yard plays in the same game since 2010 at Kansas State.

• Nebraska averaged 8.9 yards on 74 offensive snaps against Northwestern. For the season, Nebraska averages 6.75 yards per play to rank third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.

• Nebraska has nine plays of 50 yards or more in 2021, its most in a season since having 11 in 2014. Nebraska’s nine plays of more than 50 yards is fourth in the nation. Nebraska is tied for the national lead in plays of 60 yards or more (7) and 70 yards or more (4).

• Nebraska opened the season with a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in each of the first three games. Adrian Martinez had two 100-yard rushing games (Illinois, Buffalo), with Markese Stepp adding a third game over the century mark (Fordham). Samori Toure topped the century mark in receiving yards in back-to-back weeks (Fordham, Buffalo), after Oliver Martin surpassed 100 yards at Illinois.

• Research indicates it was the first time in school history Nebraska has had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in three straight games.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
1 – Coming off a bye week, Minnesota (3-2, 1-1 B1G) returns to the field this weekend as it plays host to Nebraska (3-3, 1-2 B1G) Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

2 – Minnesota punter Mark Crawford was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after a standout performance in the Gophers’ 20-13 win at Purdue on Oct. 2. Crawford, who shared the honor with Jordan Stout of Penn State, continually flipped the field in a rain-soaked game against the Boilermakers, as he averaged 51.3 yards on six punts. He recorded a career-long, 60-yard punt twice, which was Minnesota’s longest punt since Ryan Santoso had a 61-yarder against Illinois on Oct. 21, 2017. Crawford is the first Gopher to be named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week since holder Casey O’Brien was recognized on Oct. 21, 2019, and he’s the first Minnesota punter to receive the honor since 2013 when Peter Mortell was recognized on Nov. 4 and Nov. 11. More info can be found on Page 3 of the notes.

3 – The Golden Gophers have one of the strongest rush defenses in the country, ranking fifth nationally by allowing just 77.0 rushing yards per game this year. In fact, Minnesota has given up just 80 yards in the last three games combined (-19 at Colorado, 22 vs. Bowling Green, 77 at Purdue). The -19 rushing yards allowed at Colorado on Sept. 18 are the fewest by any FBS team this year with the next fewest coming when Colorado State held South Dakota State to -9 on Sept. 3. The next closest involving two Power 5 teams came Sept. 4 when Georgia limited Clemson to two yards rushing. Minnesota is fourth nationally in fewest opponent rush yards (385), fifth in opponent rush attempts (136) and 13th in opponent yards per rush (2.83) and opponent rushing touchdowns (4).

4 – Not including the 2020 season that saw the schedule altered multiple times due to COVID, Minnesota is 2-2 under P.J. Fleck coming off a bye week. Most recently, the Golden Gophers had two bye weeks during the 2019 campaign and won both contests the following weeks. The first was a 38-31 win at Purdue on Sept. 28 and then a 31-26 victory at home against then-No. 5 Penn State on Nov. 9.

5 – Minnesota’s game at Purdue on Oct. 2 was the 50th game as head coach for P.J. Fleck at Minnesota. Of the 10 coaches in program history to have coached at least 50 games with the Gophers, only Henry L Williams and Bernie Bierman have a better record at 50 games than Fleck’s 29-21 mark (see box right). Fleck is 10th already in school history in games coached, and tied for sixth in wins. He needs one more victory to become the sixth coach in Minnesota annals to reach 30 wins. Fleck’s .580 win percentage is third best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games under their helm behind only Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bierman (.716, 1932-41, ‘45-50). In his ninth season as a college head coach, Fleck is 59-43 overall.

Minnesota and Nebraska meet for the 62nd time on Saturday. The Golden Gophers own a 34-25-2 edge in the all-time series and have won the last two matchups, doubling up the Cornhuskers in the process, 58-24.

The Golden Gophers are 23-13-2 all-time in the series in Minneapolis and have won the last two meetings at Huntington Bank Stadium by a combined score of 88-28.

P.J. Fleck is 3-1 all-time against Nebraska. A win Saturday would match his four wins against Purdue for his most wins versus one team while at Minnesota. It would be the fourth team he’s beaten four times in his career overall (also defeated Illinois and Miami (OH) four times).

Nebraska has two players from Minnesota on its roster: redshirt freshman OL Bryce Benhart (Lakeville, Lakeville North HS) and senior wide receiver Levi Falck (Circle Pines, Centennial HS). Minnesota does not have any Nebraskans on its roster.

Benhart and Minnesota sophomore LB Pete Bercich both went to Lakeville North High School in Lakeville, Minn. Gophers freshman OL Cameron James and Nebraska freshman WR Alante Brown both attended Simeon High School in Chicago. Gophers junior kicker Brock Walker and Nebraska freshman LB Randolph Kpai each attended Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D. Minnesota seniors Brock Annexstad (WR) and Daniel Faalele (OL), junior Zack Annexstad (QB) and freshman Jaqwondis Burns (LB) all went to IMG Academy in Florida, as did Nebraska junior OL Broc Bando.

Minnesota offensive line coach and run game coordinator Brian Callahan held the same title at Akron from 2005-09, while Nebraska outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Mike Dawson was the Zips linebackers coach from 2006-08.

Nebraska enters the game 3-4 on the season and 1-3 in league play. All four of the Huskers’ losses have been by one score, including a 23-16 loss at then-No. 3 Oklahoma on Sept. 18, a 23-20 overtime loss at then-No. 20 Michigan State on Sept. 25 and Saturday’s 32-29 home defeat versus then-No. 9 Michigan.

The Cornhuskers have the nation’s No. 13 offense (493.6 yards per game) and the No. 18 rushing offense (223.6). Both rank second in the Big Ten.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez is completing 66.3 percent of his passes this year for 1,754 yards and nine touchdowns against three interceptions. He’s currently second in the country in rushing touchdowns (10), fifth in total touchdowns (10), eighth in yards per pass attempt (9.85), 10th in passing yards, 12th in passing yards per completion (14.86), 15th in total offense (314.9) and 17th in pass efficency (162.4). Martinez also leads the team in rushes (88)
and rushing yards (450).

Martinez’s top target this year has been Samori Toure, who has 26 catches for 520 yards and three touchdowns. Toure is second in the Big Ten in receiving yards, seventh in receiving touchdowns and ninth in receiving yards per game (74.3).

Luke Reimer leads the team with 63 tackles, while Garrett Nelson has a team-best 8.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Deontai Williams has half of the team’s six interceptions this season.

Via the AP: Mohamed Ibrahim ran for two touchdowns following Nebraska turnovers, and a Minnesota team that was idle for three weeks and missing nearly three dozen players to COVID-19 protocols or injuries left Lincoln with a 24-17 win on Dec. 12, 2020.

Ibrahim scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to give Minnesota a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter after Adrian Martinez fumbled at the Nebraska 39.

Connor Culp’s 30-yard field goal cut it to 24-17 with 4:42 left, but Ibrahim finished off the game with six straight carries for 59 yards before Minnesota went into victory formation at the Nebraska 6. Ibrahim recorded 108 yards on 20 carries. Tanner Morgan was 17 of 30 for 181 yards.

The Gophers opened the scoring after Tyler Nubin intercepted a tipped pass at the Huskers’ 35 in the middle of the first quarter. On fourth-and-1, a direct snap went to Ibrahim, who broke through the middle for a 26-yard score.

Nebraska managed only 1.9 yards per play on its first three possessions before breaking through early in the second quarter, as Martinez passed 8 yards to Austin Allen for their first touchdown. Martinez later led the Huskers on a 13-play, 73-yard drive, finishing it off with a run from the 7 for a 14-10 lead.

The Gophers took a 17-14 lead into the final quarter. They had gone ahead late in the first half after a targeting penalty on cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt kept alive a 75-yard scoring drive that started with Cam Wiley sprinting 61 yards down the sideline. That set up Minnesota inside the 10, and Morgan threw to tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown.

Leading the Minnesota defense was Mariano SoriMarin, who finished with 18 tackles and a forced fumble, and ended up winning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.

Via the AP: Rodney Smith ran for 139 yards and a touchdown, helping Minnesota overpower Nebraska for a 34-7 victory on a 37-degree night with gusty winds and a rain-snow mix on Oct. 12, 2019.

Shannon Brooks ran for 99 yards, Mo Ibrahim had 84 yards and three touchdowns, as the Gophers piled up 322 yards on the ground.

After Nebraska turned it over on downs on its opening drive, the Gophers went the other way in five plays and 71 yards to score on a 15-yard tunnel screen pass from
Tanner Morgan to Chris Autman-Bell. Ibrahim then scored on a 15-yard run in the second quarter to give Minnesota a 14-0 lead at halftime.

On the first play of the third quarter, Morgan froze the Huskers with a hard run fake and found Tyler Johnson wide open for 45 yards to set up Ibrahim’s second touchdown. On fourth-and-3 at their 45, trailing 21-0, the Huskers tried a fake punt, but tight end Austin Allen was stopped short after taking the snap.

Smith and Ibrahim each scored additional 1-yard touchdowns in the third quarter, extending the lead to 34-0

With Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez sidelined by a left knee injury, Noah Vedral took over for his first career start and was under constant pressure. The
Gophers had four sacks and kept the Huskers from scoring until early in the fourth quarter.


Sept. 11, 2017: The Gophers beat Nebraska 54-21 in P.J. Fleck’s first season as head coach. The 54 points were the most that the Gophers had scored in a Big Ten
game since 2006. Rodney Smith finished with 279 all-purpose yards, including 134 rushing yards and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and the Gophers racked up 409 rushing yards, the eighth best total in program history.

Nov. 22, 2014: Mitch Leidner led a pair of 10-play touchdown drives in the second half as Minnesota rallied for a 28-24 win at No. 21 Nebraska. Leidner scored on a
three-yard run with 3:25 to play to give the Gophers their first lead.

Oct. 26, 2013: Minnesota snapped a 16-game losing streak against Nebraska with a 34-23 win at Huntington Bank Stadium. David Cobb led the Gophers on the ground with 138 rushing yards.

Sat., Oct. 16 @ 2:30 pm CT
Purdue Boilermakers at Iowa Hawkeyes
GAME 6: AT #2 IOWA • SATURDAY, OCT. 16 • 3:30PM ET • ABC

Purdue Boilermakers
• Purdue and Iowa match up on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The game serves as the latest road test against a ranked opponent for the Boilermakers.

• Saturday’s Purdue-Iowa game puts the Boilermakers on the field against a Big Ten Conference West Division opponent they’ve seen positive results against, recently. Purdue is 3-1 against Iowa under head coach Jeff Brohm’s leadership, including last year’s 24-20 victory at Ross-Ade Stadium (Oct. 24, 2020) to begin the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 season.

• Coach Brohm missed the Iowa game last season due to a positive COVID-19 test. Offensive coordinator Brian Brohm served as acting head coach for the win.

• Purdue and head coach Jeff Brohm battled, but ultimately yielded a 27-13 result at No. 12 Notre Dame (Sept. 18) earlier this season. Saturday’s matchup against the second-ranked Hawkeyes marks the 11th game against a ranked opponent under Brohm’s watch. Purdue is 3-7 against Top 25 teams since 2017.

• The Boilermakers are 5-10 all-time against opponents ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

• Purdue is 49-39-2 all-time against Iowa in a series that dates back to 1910. The Boilermakers have seven regularly scheduled opponents with earlier first meetings than 1910: Illinois (1890), Michigan (1890), Indiana (1891), Wisconsin (1892), Minnesota (1894), Northwestern (1895) and Notre Dame (1896).

• The last three matchups in the series have been decided by one score, with Purdue coming out victorious in two of those three games.

• In West Lafayette, Purdue holds a 29-17-1 series advantage over the Hawkeyes. On road trips to Iowa, the Boilermakers hold a nearly even 20-22-2 record. Since 2012, Purdue has gone 2-2 inside Kinnick Stadium. MR. 2,000

• Junior WR David Bell crossed the milestone 2,000-yard barrier in receiving production for his Purdue career with his efforts against Minnesota (Oct. 2), hauling in six catches for 120 yards to bring his career totals to 166 receptions and 2,099 receiving yards.

• Bell is the 12th 2,000-yard receiver in school history and the fastest Boilermaker to crack the mark (22 games). He is the first to do so since WR Greg Orton during the 2008 season. Orton finished his career (2005-08) with 2,356 receiving yards.

• Notable Purdue receivers who Bell beat to the 2,000-yard mark include: Taylor Stubblefield (2001-04), 27 games; Dorien Bryant (2004-07), 29 games; John Standeford (2000-03), 31 games. Bell’s career (22 games) currently averages out to 95.4 receiving yards per game.

• Bell is also the fastest active FBS receiver to crack 2,000 receiving yards. Western Kentucky’s Ben Ratzlaff (20 career games) would pose a slight threat to accomplish the feat in 22 games if he were to produce 433 receiving yards in the Hilltoppers’ next two contests.

• The aforementioned 5-10 all-time record against No. 2-ranked opponents should ring an immediate bell for Purdue Football fans.

• The last time Purdue took on the nation’s No. 2 team was a night to remember at Ross-Ade Stadium, as the Boilermakers took down No. 2 Ohio State, 49-20, on Oct. 20, 2018. In other recent history, the Boilermakers battled at No. 2-ranked Michigan State (Oct. 3, 2015), but ultimately fell, 24-21, during the 2015 season.

• We need to talk about David Bell. The junior WR from Indianapolis (Warren Central HS) has surpassed 100 receiving yards in 13 of his 22 career games at Purdue.

• Bell started his 2021 campaign with a 134-yard, eight-catch effort vs. Oregon State (Sept. 4) and a 121-yard, six-catch, three-touchdown outing at UConn (Sept. 11). No. 10 Notre Dame (Sept. 18) held Bell seven catches and 64 receiving yards.

• Bell missed the Minnesota (Oct. 2) game due to being in concussion protocol after taking a hit to his upper body in the second half at Notre Dame (Sept. 18).

• The Boilermaker star ranks seventh nationally in receiving yards per game (109.8), and first in the Big Ten Conference.

• For his career, Bell is averaging 7.6 catches per game, 95.4 yards per game and 0.9 touchdown receptions per game. His 95.4 receiving yards per game is No. 1 in the NCAA FBS for active careers. His 7.6 receptions per game is currently the second-most for an active NCAA career, only trailing Western Kentucky’s Jerreth Sterns (8.6).

• The three-TD game for Bell at UConn matched his career-high he set against Iowa last season (Oct. 24, 2020). He is just the second Purdue WR in school history with multiple three-TD reception games, joining Taylor Stubblefield (2001-04).

• In the win at UConn (Sept. 11), Bell scored on an electric 59-yard catch and dash to the end zone, weaving through Huskies and diving to the goal line. The snag was the second-longest catch of his Purdue career, with the longest being an 89-yard touchdown reception vs. Nebraska during the 2020 season (Dec. 5).

• Fifth-year senior QB Aidan O’Connell threw for an outstanding 357 yards on 33-51-1 passing, including one touchdown toss, in the setback to Minnesota (Oct. 2). The effort was the third 300-yard passing game for O’Connell in his Boilermaker career.

• For O’Connell, 357 yards would seem like a career-best type of performance, but the Boilermaker signal caller actually threw for a career-high 408 yards (28-49-1) and three touchdowns vs. Indiana to close the 2019 season (Nov. 30, 2019).

• With five career 300-yard passing games, junior QB Jack Plummer is tied for No. 8 in program history with Billy Dicken.

• The effort was the 19th 300-yard passing performance during head coach Jeff Brohm’s tenure with the Boilermakers.

David Blough – 7
Jack Plummer – 5
Elijah Sindelar – 4
Aidan O’Connell – 3

• Head coach Jeff Brohm guided the Boilermakers to their best season start since 2012. Purdue’s 3-1 start matched the school’s 2012 group and was the best since Purdue’s 5-0 start to the 2007 season.

• The 2012 squad, led by former head coach Danny Hope, started 3-1 on the year with wins over Eastern Kentucky (48-6, Sept. 1, 2012), Eastern Michigan (54-16, Sept. 15, 2012) and Marshall (51-41, Sept. 29, 2012).

• Fifth-year senior QB Aidan O’Connell had a monster second half coming off the bench to power Purdue to its 13-9 win over Illinois (Sept. 25), throwing for 182 yards and one touchdown toss on 12-19- 2 passing. He led the game-winning touchdown drive of 10 plays for 94 yards, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass with 3:42 left in the fourth quarter to sophomore WR T.J. Sheffield.

• O’Connell’s presence helped Purdue’s offense gain 186 yards in the second half compared to the 129 gained in the first half.

• O’Connell started the first three games of the 2020 season before missing the remainder of the year due to injury. For his career, he has a .640-percentage pass completion rate, as well as an 18-10 touchdown-interception ratio.

• Purdue won its second-straight Big Ten Conference opener with its win against Illinois. Last season, the Boilermakers started conference play with a 24-20 victory vs. Iowa on Oct. 24, 2020.

• The Boilermakers are 11-11 in Big Ten openers since 2000. Claiming the Big Ten opener has boded well for Purdue postseason aspirations in recent memory. Since 1997, which was former head coach Joe Tiller’s opening campaign as the leader of the Boilermakers, Purdue has advanced to a bowl game every time it has won its league opener but twice, in 2010 and 2020.

OCT. 16, 1897 AT DEPAUW — W 8-0
OCT. 16, 1909 DEPAUW — W 15-12
OCT. 16, 1915 WISCONSIN — L 3-28
OCT. 16, 1920 AT OHIO STATE — L 0-17
OCT. 16, 1926 WISCONSIN 11,000 T 0-0
OCT. 16, 1937 AT NORTHWESTERN 35,000 L 7-14
OCT. 16, 1943 VS. OHIO STATE (#5) 41,509 W 30-7
OCT. 16, 1948 AT IOWA 47,000 W 20-13
OCT. 16, 1954 AT #2 WISCONSIN (#5) 53,131 L 6-20
OCT. 16, 1965 AT MICHIGAN (#7) 85,905 W 17-15
OCT. 16, 1971 AT NORTHWESTERN (#20) 40,059 W 21-20
OCT. 16, 1976 ILLINOIS (HC) 66,716 L 17-21
OCT. 16, 1982 NORTHWESTERN (HC) 67,659 W 34-21
OCT. 16, 1993 #16 WISCONSIN (HC) 38,942 L 28-42
OCT. 16, 1998 #5 MICHIGAN ST. (#20) (HC) 68,205 W 52-28
OCT. 16, 2004 #10 WISCONSIN (#5) (HC) 65,196 L 17-20
OCT. 16, 2010 MINNESOTA (HC) 47,319 W 28-17

• Purdue redshirt freshman WR Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, who hails from Southfield, Michigan, had a breakout game in his first action of 2021, hauling in three catches for 77 yards in the win against Illinois (Sept. 25).

• Those 77 yards included a massive 43-yard snag in the third quarter, the very first reception of Yaseen’s career.

• Yaseen played in one game in 2020 before redshirting for the year.

• The Cannon Game has a long and rich history, and the Boilermakers now stand at the front of that history with their most recent win over Illinois (Sept. 25). Purdue now leads the all-time series 46-45-6.

• Since the Cannon Trophy was first awarded in 1943, Purdue has posted a 38-30-2 record against the Fighting Illini.

• The Boilermakers have won two in a row in the series, five of six and 13 of 17 since 2003.

• Uniquely enough, home teams are just 2-8 in the series since 2012, with both victories by Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium, in 2017 and 2021.

• With the 49-0 win at UConn (Sept. 11), Purdue shut out its opponent for the first time since a 59-0 home victory over Southeast Missouri on Sept. 17, 2011. The 49-point margin of victory is also Purdue’s largest since that same win.

• Against FBS competition, the UConn shutout stands as Purdue’s first since 2004 when the Boilermakers blanked Syracuse, 51-0, on Sept. 5, 2004, at Ross-Ade Stadium. For a road FBS shutout, scroll back to 1981 when Purdue rolled to a 35-0 win at Northwestern (Oct. 17, 1981).

Iowa Hawkeyes
Date: Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Stadium: Duke Slater Field at Kinnick Stadium (69,250)
Surface: Field Turf
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. (CT)
Series: Iowa trails, 39-49-3

FIRST & 10

1 – The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 2 in the AP and Coaches polls, their highest ranking since Nov. 26, 1985 (#2). The Hawkeyes received one fi rst place vote in the Coaches Poll.

2- Iowa has three wins over ranked opponents (vs. #17 Indiana, 34-6; at #9 Iowa State, 27-17; vs. #4 Penn State, 23-20) and has won six straight against ranked opponents overall. Only Alabama (9) has more consecutive wins over ranked opponents. Iowa, Georgia and Alabama are the only teams with three wins this season against ranked opponents.

3 – Iowa has won 12 consecutive games. The Hawkeyes have outscored their last 12 opponents, 403-161, averaging 33.6 points per game offensively and allowing 13.4 ppg during the winning streak. The 12-game winning streak ranks fourth all-Ɵ me in school history (20, 1920-23; 14, 1899-00; 13, 2008-09).

4 – Iowa has won nine straight games against Big Ten opponents (2020-21) for the second Ɵ me in program history (2001-02 (10). Iowa has won 12 straight overall for the first time since opening the 2015 season with 12 straight wins. Iowa reached the 2015 Big Ten Championship game and accepted an invitation to the 2016 Rose Bowl game.

5 – Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the country in scoring defense (13.0). Iowa’s total defense (274.2) ranks second in the Big Ten and ninth in the country

6 – Iowa leads the country in interceptions (16), takeaways (20) and turnover margin (+15). The Hawkeyes have 80 interception since 2017, more than any team in the country. Nine different Hawkeyes have at least one interception this season.

7 – DB Riley Moss leads the Big Ten and ties for the national lead with four interceptions. He leads the country with two interceptions returned for touchdowns (30, 55), both in Week 1. Iowa has turned 20 turnovers into 78 points in 2021. The Hawkeyes’ defense has scored 20 points (2 int. return TDs, one fumble return TD and 1 safety).

8 – QB Spencer Petras has led Iowa to 12 consecutive wins. Petras is 194-324 with 2,226 passing yards during Iowa’s 12-game winning streak. He has thrown 17 touchdowns and four interceptions over the last 12 games. His .857 winning percentage as starting quarterback is the best in program history. His 2,732 career passing yards rank 17th

9 – K Caleb Shudak has connected on 11-of-12 field goal attempts and is good on all 22 PAT tries. His only miss was the result of a bad snap. He connected on career highs in field goals (3) in each of Iowa’s last two games. He has a team-high 55 points, tied for fourth in the Big Ten. Shudak has 22 touchbacks on 37 kickoffs

10 – LB Jack Campbell ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 55 tackles. He had a career-high 18 tackles in Iowa’s Week 4 win against Colorado State, earning B1G Defensive Player of the Week honor

Iowa finished the 2020 season with six straight wins and opened the 2021 season with six consecutive wins. The Hawkeyes have outscored their last 12 opponents, 403-161, averaging 33.6 points per game offensively and allowing 13.4 ppg during the winning streak.

Iowa has won 12 straight for the first time since opening the 2015 season with 12 straight wins. Iowa reached the Big Ten Championship game that season and accepted an invitation to the 2016 Rose Bowl game. The 12-game winning streak ranks fourth all-Ɵ me in school history (20, 1920-23; 14, 1899-00; 13, 2008-09).

Iowa has won nine straight games against Big Ten opponents (2020-21) for the second time in program history. Iowa won 10 straight from 2001-02.

Iowa opened the season with six straight wins for the third time in the Kirk Ferentz era. Iowa started 9-0 in 2009 and 12-0 in 2015.

QB Spencer Petras has led Iowa to 12 consecutive wins. Petras is 194-324 with 2,226 passing yards during Iowa’s 12-game winning streak. He has thrown 17 touchdowns and four interceptions over the last 12 games.

Petras improved to 12-2 as Iowa’s starting quarterback, the best winning percentage by a starting quarterback in program history. Petras’ 31.6 points per game (2020-21) is the highest average by a Hawkeye starting quarterback since Brad Banks (36.6, 2002).

Petras matched his career-high with three touchdown passes and set a career-high with two rushing touchdowns Week 5 at Maryland. He became the first Iowa quarterback with multiple passing touchdowns and multiple rushing touchdowns in a game since Banks at Minnesota in 2002.

The Hawkeyes averaged 31.8 points per game in 2020, Petras’ first year as starting quarterback. It marked Iowa’s highest point per game total since 2002 (36.5). Iowa won its final six games in 2020, outscoring its opponents 214-83.

Iowa leads the country with 16 interceptions. The school record for interceptions in a season is 23 (1986, 1987, 2008). The Hawkeyes have 80 interceptions since 2017, more than any team in the country. Nine Hawkeyes have at least one interception this season. DB Riley Moss has four interceptions, a Big Ten best and Ɵ ed for No. 1 in the country. Moss has two interceptions returned for a touchdown, both in Week 1.

Iowa has 10 interceptions in its last two games, which ties Miami (2001) for second most over a two-game span over the last 25 years. Mississippi State had 11 in 2002.

Six different Hawkeyes intercepted a pass in Iowa’s 51-14 win at Maryland, tying a school record for most players with an interception in a single game (vs. Wisconsin in 1982). The six interceptions are the most in a game since Iowa had a school-record seven interceptions vs. Wisconsin in 1982.

Iowa has turned 20 turnovers into 78 points in 2021. The Hawkeyes’ defense has scored 20 points (3 TDs and 1 safety).

Iowa has had at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last 14 seasons and 19 of the last 21. The Hawkeyes ranked third in the Big Ten with 11 interceptions in eight games in 2020.

Iowa has played 1,275 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 672-562-39 (.542). That includes a 418-223-16 (.647) record in home games, a 253-339-23 (.428) record in games away from Iowa City, a 344-383-25 (.473) mark in Big Ten games and a 302-188-15 (.610) record in Kinnick Stadium.

Sat., Oct. 16 @ 7:00 pm CT
Army West Point Black Knights at Wisconsin Badgers

The stage is set for two schools ranked No. 1 (Army) and No. 2 (Wisconsin) in that nation for the fewest amount of time an opponent has possessed the ball – to bout it out. Army heads to Madison, Wisc. to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the first-ever matchup between the two programs. With a win in Madison, the Black Knights victory against Wisconsin will also mark as the Academy’s first win against the Big 10 in 10 years. Their last win against a Power-5 Conference came in 2017, against the Duke Blue Devils at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. Brandon Gaudin and James Laurinaitis are set to make the call on Big Ten Network, with Rich DeMarco and Dean Darling on the national radio call for Army Sports Network and the Varsity Network App.

Army West Point Black Knights

Offensive Notes

In the 52-21 win against UConn in Week 3, RB Tyrell Robinson and RB Brandon Walters became the first duo to record a 50 yard-plus rush in the same game since 2016.
The last Black Knight duo to hit the mark was QB Ahmad Bradshaw (65 yards) and RB Tyler Campbell (70 yards) at North Texas in 2016.

Following a bye week, the Black Knights still remain in the Top 3 for most rushing yards (1,591) and average rushing yards per game (318.2). Army has also retained a Top 10 ranking for total rushing touchdowns.

QB Notes
Against UConn in Week 3, QB Christian Anderson found WR Isaiah Alston for a 39- yard TD throw, Alston’s first career TD reception. Anderson’s explosive throwing streak continues as it marks his third-consecutive game to throw a TD strike for 39-yards or more. Week 2 saw QB Christian Anderson throwing a 40-yard touchdown strike and rushing for a career-high 119 yards – the second-career game to reach 100-plus rushing yards. The 40-yard air strike matches the season opener attack, where the explosive back-to-back touchdown throws marks as the second time for the Black Knights to launch explosive scoring plays in consecutive weeks (Weeks 1 and, 2018). Anderson’s output against Western Kentucky etched a selection as one of the 2021 Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Manning Award Stars of the Week.

In the season opener, QB Christian Anderson’s 40-yard touchdown throw \to RB Tyrell Robinson was followed up in Week 2 finding RB Braheam Murphy for a 40-yard TD throw. Three of Anderson’s four collegiate-career touchdown throws have been for 40-plus yards.

Defensive Notes

With the Black Knights recording 12.0 total sacks on the opponent through the first five games played of 2021, it marks as the most recorded in the first third of a season in Academy history since 2000. Since 2000, OLB Andre Carter’s 7.5 total sacks through Week 6 accounts for the most in Academy history for total sacks near the midway point of a single season.

Since 2000, S Marquel Broughton’s two interceptions matches as the most for a Black Knight to snare in the first three weeks of action over the past seven seasons (B.Jackson, 2015). Only DB Donovan Travis snared more over the same time span (3, 2009).

The Black Knights have created takeaways on the opponent’s opening drive in back-to-back games to open the 2021 season. It marks as the second time since 2000 for Army to take the ball away in a season’s first two opening drives, with the last occurring in 2015.

In the opening week of 2021, the Army Black Knights halted Georgia State to only 22 total yards of offense in the first quarter. It sits as the fewest yards allowed in the opening quarter of a single game over the past six seasons. The 2020 top-ranked defensive unit held offenses to under 50 total yards in the first quarter three times last season.

Following a bye week, the Army Black Knights defensive unit still remain ranked at top of the NCAA in total opponent time of possession. The efficiency is among all FBS schools with five games played. In the first two weeks of action, the Black Knights held their opponents to only 17:53 and 20:22 in the first two weeks of 2021, which falls under the 2020 season average where the Black Knights were ranked the nation’s top defense.

After five weeks of action and ranked No. 1 in the NCAA for back-to-back weeks on the opponent’s total time of possession (99:31), the Black Knights sit at the top of the nation for fewest total defensive snaps played (5,402) through the 93 games played since Head Coach Jeff Monken joined in 2014.

Wisconsin Badgers
„ Wisconsin (2-3) returns to Camp Randall Stadium to close out the non-conference portion of its schedule by taking on Army (3-2) Saturday in a game that will kick off at 7 p.m. (CT) and air live on Big Ten Network. „ Saturday’s game marks the first meeting between Wisconsin and Army, and the Badgers’ first matchup with a service academy since 1979. Read more, Page 10 „ After posting a 24-0 shutout of Illinois last week in which the Badgers rushed for 391 yards, Wisconsin seeks to score consecutive wins for the first time this season and return to the .500 mark. „ Two of the nation’s top defenses will be on display Saturday, especially when it comes to stopping the run. Wisconsin leads the country in fewest rushing yards allowed, at 41.4 per game, while Army ranks No. 3 in rushing defense, at 54.0 yards allowed per game.

The Badgers are in their 7th season under head coach Paul Chryst, who is 58-22 (.725) as head coach at his alma mater. The two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year
has led the Badgers to a 38-15 (.717) conference record and a 5-1 mark in bowl games. Chryst is in his 16th season overall on the Badgers’ coaching staff.

Jim Leonhard is back for a 5th season as defensive coordinator, and 6th season on the coaching staff overall, at his alma mater. Under Leonhard — an All-America safety during his playing days at UW — the Badgers have continued their run as one of the nation’s most consistently high-performing defenses. Over Leonhard’s first 5 seasons on staff, Wisconsin has ranked among the nation’s top 5 units in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and passing efficiency defense.

Nationally, only No. 1-ranked Georgia (203.5) is allowing fewer offensive yards per game than the Badgers (217.8), who have held two opponents to fewer than 100 total yards this season — including just 93 surrendered to Illinois last week. Army (276.0) ranks 10th in the FBS in terms of total defense.

UW held Illinois to 93 total yards last Saturday, the 2nd time this season and 4th time since Leonhard became defensive coordinator that the Badgers have kept an opponent under 100 yards of total offense (Eastern Michigan and Illinois in 2021; Central Michigan in 2019; Iowa in 2017). The Badgers’ famed 1951 “Hard Rocks” defense also held two opponents to fewer than 100 total yards (Indiana 91, Iowa 82).

Wisconsin leads the FBS in rushing defense, allowing just 41.4 yards per game on the ground. The Badgers also lead the country in fewest rushing yards allowed per attempt, giving up just 1.7 yards per carry.

The Badgers rushed for a season-high 391 yards last Saturday vs. Illinois behind career-high totals from junior RB Chez Mellusi (145) and freshman RB Braelon Allen (131), who each added a rushing touchdown. Mellusi owns 3 100-yard performances in his first 5 games as a Badger. Read more, Page 6

TE Jake Ferguson has caught at least 1 pass in each of his 39 career games, breaking WR Lee Evans’ school record of 38 consecutive games with a reception (1999-2003).

In then-No. 19 Penn State, then-No. 12 Notre Dame and then-No. 14 Michigan, the Badgers faced a ranked opponent in 3 of their first 4 games this season.

Wisconsin joined UNLV, which faced No. 23 Arizona State, No. 14 Iowa State and No. 22 Fresno State, as the only FBS programs to play 3 ranked opponents in the span of their first 4 games this season.

The Badgers are the only FBS team to face 3 top-20 opponents in their first 4 games this season.

Each of the Badgers’ ranked opponents this season is now ranked among the top 15 of the latest edition of the AP poll: No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan and No. 14 Notre Dame.

Iowa, currently ranked No. 2, is the lone remaining team on the Badgers’ schedule that is currently ranked. The Badgers and Hawkeyes’ annual battle for the Heartland Trophy is set for Oct. 30 in Madison.

This marks just the 3rd time in school history that Wisconsin has faced 3 teams ranked in the Associated Press poll in its first 4 games of a season. It happened previously to head coach Ivy Williamson’s squad in 1955 and coach Milt Bruhn’s 1958 Big Ten runner-up team.

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