No. 11 Michigan State 14, Minnesota 3
Max Bullough led another fabulous effort by the Michigan State defense, and the 11th-ranked Spartans wrapped up an unbeaten regular season in Big Ten play with a home victory over Minnesota.
Jeremy Langford ran for 134 yards and a touchdown for Michigan State, which had already clinched a spot in next weekend’s league championship game against Ohio State.
The Spartans went undefeated at home for the third time in four years. They’ve also reached 11 wins in each of those seasons, but Michigan State has not played in the Rose Bowl since 1988.
The Spartans (11-1, 8-0) finished a perfect Big Ten regular season for only the third time. They also did it in 1965 and 1966, when they only had to play seven conference games.
There was no letdown against Minnesota (8-4, 4-4). Michigan State’s top-ranked defense forced three turnovers and kept the Golden Gophers out of the end zone.
Minnesota had a chance to get back in the game in the fourth when backup quarterback Mitch Leidner directed a drive deep into Michigan State territory. But Leidner was sacked and fumbled, and the Spartans recovered at their own 14 with 4:45 to play.
The Spartans took the lead right away Saturday on Langford’s 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, which capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive. Minnesota’s Philip Nelson attempted only seven passes in the first half, and two were picked off by Michigan State’s Trae Waynes.
Michigan State held an opponent without a touchdown for the fifth time in the last six games.
Penn State 31, No. 14 Wisconsin 24
Christian Hackenberg threw for 339 yards and four touchdowns, and Penn State pounced on a slew of blunders before holding off a late rally to upset Wisconsin on the road.
Hackenberg, a freshman, showed the poise and touch of a veteran in dissecting a tough defense. Eugene Lewis caught two touchdowns, including a 59-yarder for a 17-point lead with 13 minutes to go.
The Nittany Lions (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) secured a statement win against a team that had been dominant all year at home. Joel Stave threw for three touchdowns for Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2), though Penn State capitalized on second-half interceptions.
The Badgers scored 10 points in a span of 1:25 of the fourth quarter, capped by a 48-yard field goal by Jack Russell with 4:13 left to get within a score. Sam Ficken’s 31-yard field goal went wide right with 31 seconds left to give the Badgers one more chance.
But a Hail Mary attempt by Stave was intercepted by Ryan Keiser in the end zone with 1 second left.
The Nittany Lions clinched a winning season on the road, where they had struggled all year in Big Ten play. That’s quite an accomplishment for a program that’s typically dressed about 60 recruited scholarship players as a result of NCAA sanctions resulting from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Penn State can’t go to a bowl game because of the sanctions.
Northwestern 37, Illinois 34
Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns and Christian Jones caught 13 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Illinois on the road in the finale for both teams.
Siemian was 31-44 and didn’t throw an interception.
The win ended a seven-game losing streak for Northwestern (5-7, 1-7 Big Ten).
The Wildcats gashed an Illinois defense that has given up big yards and points all season. Northwestern’s 560 total yards made it the fifth team to top 500 yards against Illinois (4-8, 1-7).
Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 31-45 for 307 yards and two touchdowns in his last game at Illinois.
Scheelhaase, a four-year starter, finished his career at Illinois with 10,634 total yards, No. 1 on the school’s all-time list. His 362 yards Saturday broke Juice Williams’ old record.
Northwestern senior quarterback Kain Colter didn’t play after suffering a big hit a week earlier against Michigan State.
Indiana 56, Purdue 36
Tre Roberson threw a career-high six touchdown passes, three to Shane Wynn, and the Hoosiers recaptured the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time in three years with a home win over Purdue.
The Hoosiers (5-7, 3-5) finished the season the same way they started — with a record-setting performance against an in-state foe. They produced their highest point total in the 116-game series and won by 20 or more points for only the seventh time in series history. Plus, the Hoosiers broke the school record for points in a season (463) and extended the school’s single-season marks for total TDs (62) and TD passes (36).
Purdue (1-11, 0-8) has now lost 10 in a row, the second-longest skid in school history. Purdue lost 11 in a row from 1906-08.