STATE COLLEGE – Heading into last Saturday’s road game against Michigan, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley had thrown 139 passes without a turnover. The senior picked an inopportune time to end his run.
Stanley snapped his streak on his fourth pass of the afternoon, and Michigan recorded two more interceptions throughout the game to secure a 10-3 win.
“I think we played hard on both sides of the ball, but the defenses really kind of controlled the game,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters following the loss. “We didn’t help ourselves with some costly errors, especially in the first half, and that made the hole harder to climb.”
Stanley’s counterpart, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, didn’t exactly produce eye-popping statistics, either. He finished the contest 14 of 26 passing for 147 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.
Michigan’s defense shouldered the load and accounted for four turnovers in an offense-deprived game.
The Wolverines held the Hawkeyes to a mere 1 yard rushing on 30 attempts. Iowa entered the game averaging 217.5 yards rushing per game. Michigan’s defense also recorded eight sacks, signaling the first time since 2017 (Purdue) the unit tallied more than five sacks in a contest.
“Obviously, that was a defensive masterpiece,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Our defense, Don Brown (defensive coordinator), the coaching staff, the players, Don called a great game – they were well-prepared. Player-wise, it was just obvious from play one to the last play of the game, everyone was just hustling and running and playing with great effort.”
Michigan outgained Iowa 267-261 on offense and held the Hawkeyes to zero touchdowns for the first time since their 30-3 loss to Florida in the 2017 Outback Bowl.
Up next: No. 16 Michigan (4-1, 2-1 Big Ten) visits Illinois (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten), and No. 17 Iowa (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) hosts No. 10 Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten).
Michigan State held Ohio State to just three points through the first 15 minutes Saturday night for a Buckeyes' first-quarter season-low.
Ohio State, however, erupted for a 24-point, 296-yard second quarter to run away with a 34-10 home win.
“We just started out rough,” Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields said after the win. “The offense knew that we were kind of killing ourselves, so we got back together in the second quarter and did what we were supposed to do.”
The Buckeyes this season have outscored opponents 200-32 in the first half. The win extended Ohio State’s win streak to 12 games.
With Fields garnering much of the Buckeyes’ Heisman attention through the first five games, running back JK Dobbins reminded college football fans why he was a preseason candidate to contend for the sport's most prestigious award.
Dobbins rushed for 172 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. His 67-yard, second-quarter touchdown run swung momentum in Ohio State’s favor, as it followed a Michigan State field goal and pushed the Buckeyes ahead 14 points.
“That was a home-run hit right there that I really think changed the game,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said of Dobbins’ run. “Up until that point we started to get it going a little bit, but that shifted it and turned it into I think a 300-yard quarter. Any time you can hit home runs like that in the run game, boy, it’s a huge one.”
Dobbins upped his season’s totals to 826 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Michigan State’s offense again thwarted the Spartans’ overall efforts. It accounted for 285 yards and was 4-for-13 on third-down attempts. Quarterback Brian Lewerke was 20 of 38 passing for 218 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Spartans rank 71st nationally in total offense (413.6 yards per game).
Michigan State also lost fumbles on its first two possessions.
“In the end, when you look at a football game, we’ve got to play at our best, which I don’t think that we did,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said. “We made some plays, we also had some missed opportunities and some mistakes. You also have to give them credit for the way that they played. They’re a very explosive team.”
Up next: No. 3 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) is idle this week, while Michigan State (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) visits No. 8 Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten).
The Badgers received a respite from Big Ten play this week as they welcomed Kent State to Camp Randall Stadium. The result was another convincing Wisconsin win, as it dominated the Golden Flashes in a 48-0 victory.
Big Ten Heisman favorite Jonathan Taylor added to his explosive junior campaign with a banner performance. The running back tallied four touchdowns during the first two quarters and he added another in the third period.
He finished with 186 yards rushing on 19 carries (9.8 yards-per-carry average).
Taylor’s fourth touchdown of the contest came on an 18-yard reception from quarterback Jack Coan. The touchdown catch was Taylor’s fourth of the season.
“One of the biggest things I remember was how when I was younger, when I was a freshman and a sophomore, getting those in-game experiences running the ball," Taylor said. "Now I’m kind of getting those in-game experiences catching the ball and running routes. So it’s kind of new for me, just because it’s a new experience in-game.”
Taylor ranks first in the Big Ten with 12 rushing touchdowns, and he’s No. 2 in the conference behind Dobbins in yards rushing with 745.
Wisconsin’s defense recorded its third shutout of the season for the first time since 1937. The unit ranks tops in the nation in scoring defense (5.8 points per game). The Badgers tallied nine sacks.
“It's huge to be able to put pressure on the quarterback and... still find a way to manufacture some takeaways,” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said. “They've been disruptive right now. It's huge. That was one thing, and not having to do it with kind of the all-out pressures, either. It was a lot of different ways.”
Up next: No. 8 Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) hosts Michigan State (4-2, 2-1).
Four Big Ten teams remain undefeated after Week 6: No. 3 Ohio State (6-0), No. 8 Wisconsin (5-0), No. 10 Penn State (5-0) and Minnesota (5-0).
Minnesota received 80 votes in Sunday’s AP Top 25 Poll, the most of any team in the receiving votes category. The Golden Gophers advanced to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten contests with their 40-0 home win on Saturday against Illinois.
“It was the most complete game of the season we’ve played, but it still wasn’t very complete,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said after his team’s victory. “I’m really proud of the team’s resolve tonight. Our performance defensively today was outstanding. We played really well as a team, but there were periods during the game we stumbled, but we recovered every time.”
Games this week
Maryland at Purdue, Noon (Big Ten Network)
Rutgers at Indiana, Noon (Big Ten Network)
No. 16 Michigan at Illinois, Noon (ABC)
Michigan State at No. 8 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Nebraska at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)