Big Ten & SEC Week 12 Recap: Top Teams Hold Serve in Advance of Rivalry Week
Standings and Results
AP Top 10
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
Wisconsin Moves to 11-0
Michigan came in averaging 188.9 rushing yards per game
Michigan left Madison with a season-low 58 rushing yards
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 18, 2017
Michigan visited Madison on Saturday looking to play spoiler with GameDay on hand, and for two and a half quarters seemed poised to do just that, taking a 10-7 lead on a Quinn Nordin field goal with 6:36 left in the third, marking just the second time all season the Badgers trailed in the second half. But Wisconsin responded with two touchdowns before the end of the frame — to date this season, the Badgers have trailed for just 8:49 in second halves — and tacked a field goal late in the fourth to put a bow on a 24-10 win at Camp Randall. With the win, Wisconsin extended the program’s best-ever start to 11-0 (the previous record of 9-0 was set in 1998 and 2004) and clinched the outright Big Ten West Division title. On the season, the Badgers have outscored their opponents 212-58 in the second half and 111-21 in the fourth quarter. The Badgers will visit Minnesota to close the season this week before facing Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Mississippi State Bounces Back With Comeback
One week after suffering a heartbreaking last-minute loss to Alabama, Mississippi State bounced back with a 28-21 win at Arkansas on Saturday that saw the Bulldogs overcome a 14-0 first-quarter deficit. The 14-point comeback marks the second-largest rally in school history and the first time since 2008 that Mississippi State has overcome a two-touchdown deficit to win a game. (The program’s biggest comeback, 16 points, came against Auburn in October 1999.) “It’s late in the season and you come out to a tough environment on a windy and cold day,” coach Dan Mullen said when asked after the game if he thought there was any hangover from the Alabama game. “The ball didn’t bounce our way all game long. When we evaluate the film, every coach and player can say this can be better. I thought our guys were ready to go, they had a great attitude all week. We’re playing a tough team on the road in November in the SEC. It’s tough to win that way.” Up next for Mississippi State: the annual Egg Bowl game against Ole Miss in Starkville.
Northwestern Keeps Cruising
The snow is really coming down hard now in East Lansing at the Michigan State/Maryland game! pic.twitter.com/h2v4gSxqfK
— D. Scott Alexander (@DScottAlexander) November 18, 2017
Northwestern won its sixth consecutive game Saturday — the program’s longest winning streak since 1996 — as the Wildcats topped Minnesota 39-0 in the most lopsided Northwestern victory in the series’ 93-game history. The win was Northwestern’s first shutout since a 27-0 victory over Minnesota in 2015 (the Gophers’ last points at Ryan Field came in 2013) and featured 166 rushing yards from senior running back Justin Jackson, who surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season and 5,000 for his career in the win. The Wildcats also had a season-high six sacks, forced a season-high five turnovers in the win and held Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft to 2-of-11 passing, with his two completions coming on the first two plays of the Gophers’ opening drive.
Spartans Battle Elements, Top Maryland
Amid heavy rain and second-half snow flurries, Michigan State churned out a 17-7 win over visiting Maryland on Saturday. Led by L.J. Scott (147 yards), the Spartans ran for 271 yards in the victory — the team’s second-highest output this season (296 yards vs. Western Michigan) — and logged just 20 yards passing, the fewest by a Spartans team since 1987. Fortunately, Michigan State’s defense also held Maryland to just 204 yards of offense and 121 passing yards, both season lows among the Spartans’ Big Ten opponents. Michigan State closes out its regular season on the road at Rutgers, while Maryland will look to go out with an upset when it hosts Penn State.
Vote for the Play of the Week!
Week 12 was filled with memorable plays in the Big Ten and SEC. Here were two of our favorites. Make sure you vote for the best in the poll below!
1) Indiana tight end Ryan Watercutter went full David Tyree on this catch against Rutgers:
You remember the David Tyree @Giants catch, right?
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 18, 2017
2) Clemson receiver Tee Higgins had himself a day against The Citadel, including this bananas touchdown catch:
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 18, 2017