- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Some notes and nuggets to get you primed for this weekend's games:
Michigan State is currently riding an 11-game home winning streak, the longest for the Spartans since they won 12 straight from 1964-66. MSU’s longest home winning streak ever is 23 games (1904-07). The home team has won the past six games in the Michigan State-Wisconsin series. The last road win by either came in 2002, when Wisconsin claimed a 42-28 victory in Spartan Stadium.
Wisconsin has given up just 58 points on the season, while it has scored 59 points in two games this year. The Badgers have allowed just seven TDs this season, or 10 fewer than RB Montee Ball has scored. Wisconsin and Stanford are the only two teams in the country to rank among the top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense.
Illinois kicker Derek Dimke has made 10 straight field goals dating back to last year’s Texas Bowl, which is tied for the third-longest streak in school history. Dimke is a perfect 7-of-7 this season and is 36-of-41 for his career (.878), which makes him the nation’s most accurate active kicker.
Purdue totaled 344 yards last week against Penn State (162 rushing, 182 passing). That was the most yards gained against the Nittany Lions by any team except Alabama (359) this year. The Boilermakers only had 7 negative yards against the nation's No. 4-ranked defense. Ralph Bolden's 39-yard run was the longest rush against Penn State this year.
Indiana rushed for 223 yards on 45 attempts against Wisconsin last week. The last time the Hoosiers ran for 200 yards against a Big Ten opponent came against Purdue (219 yards) on Nov. 17, 2007. Sophomore Stephen Houston had a career-high 135 yards on 19 carries, the most yards by an IU back since Darius Willis had 142 against Purdue in 2009,
Iowa defensive back Tanner Miller returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown last week against Northwestern. That tied the Hawkeyes' record for longest interception return, matching Adam Shada's 98-yard effort against Purdue in 2006. Receiver Marvin McNutt tied the school career record with his 21st touchdown catch last week. He needs one more to move ahead of Tim Dwight (1994-97) and Danan Hughes (1989-92).
Of all its new Big Ten opponents, Nebraska is most familiar with Minnesota. The Gophers and Huskers have played 51 times in nonconference action during their history, dating back to 1900. The Gophers have had nine- and 10-game winning streaks against Nebraska in their history, but have lost 14 straight. The last meeting between the two came in 1990.
With 102 rushing yards against Ohio State, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez posted his eighth 100-yard rushing day in 19 career games. That tied him with Jammal Lord for the second-most 100-yard rushing games by a Huskers quarterback in school history. Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch (18) is the only Nebraska quarterback in history with more 100-yard rushing games than Martinez.
Northwestern's two-quarterback system has been far more productive than Penn State's. The tandem of Dan Persa and Kain Colter has combined to account for an average 299.3 of the Wildcats’ 420.7 yards of total offense since Persa returned from injury three games ago. The Wildcats have averaged 30 points per game during that time.
Penn State has forced multiple turnovers in six of its first seven games and is tied for 10th nationally with 17 turnovers gained. The Nittany Lions forced a total of 17 turnovers during the 2010 season. Penn State grabbed a season-high three interceptions in last week's win over Purdue, including two by Nate Stupar. The Nittany Lions now have 11 interceptions this season, already surpassing the 2010 total of 10.
13hMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy
2dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman