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Continued: Big Ten Football Insider: Ohio State among the nation's unbeaten

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 10, 2013 - 10:43 PM

Big Ten Short Takes

• The schedule could help the Gophers at Northwestern next week. Minnesota will be a big underdog, but it’ll be coming off a bye. And Northwestern could be bruised, battered and emotionally spent, coming off games against Ohio State and Wisconsin.

The Wildcats played well in a 40-30 loss to Ohio State, but the rushing yards went: Buckeyes 248, Wildcats 94. The key for the Gophers will be disrupting Northwestern’s precision-filled passing game.

• Nebraska and Indiana both head on the road this week after playing nothing but home games so far this year. The Cornhuskers are at Purdue, and the Hoosiers are at Michigan State.

Indiana opened eyes with last week’s victory over Penn State. That trip to Bloomington, Ind., on Nov. 2, looks even tougher for the Gophers, who are 2-16 in their past 18 games there.

• Iowa has been burned by six consecutive fake punts, dating to 2010, including two this season. Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz is “dead serious” when he says his team may never try to return a punt again — focusing instead on preventing fakes

“I may be leaning toward the point where you never try to see us return one again,” he said. “Just fair catch it and try to keep it off the ground.”

Big Ten Power Poll

1. Ohio State (6-0, 2-0): Wisconsin and Northwestern played the Buckeyes tougher than Michigan figures to Nov. 30.

2. Michigan (5-0, 1-0): Went 25 games in a row with at least one turnover before last week’s victory over the Gophers.

3. Northwestern (4-1, 0-1): Trevor Siemian leads Big Ten in pass efficiency (171.3); teammate Kain Colter is third (160.2).

4. Wisconsin (3-2, 1-1): Will there be a letdown now that Ohio State has all but wrapped up the Leaders Division?

5. Michigan State (4-1, 1-0): Leads the nation in total defense, allowing just 203.8 yards per game.

6. Nebraska (4-1, 1-0): Taylor Martinez (turf toe) likely sits through the bye week, returning Oct. 26 at Minnesota.

7. Iowa (4-2, 1-1): Bye week, then hold on tight, as Hawkeyes play Ohio State, Northwestern and Wisconsin.

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  • Quarterback Braxton Miller and the rest of the Buckeyes are idle this week before games against Iowa, Penn State, Purdue, Illinois and Indiana. They finish with Michigan.

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