Some notes and nuggets to hopefully make you smarter as you watch Big Ten football this weekend. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Info for several of these.
Michigan State has allowed 22 plays of 20-plus yards this season, the fewest in the Big Ten and tied for ninth fewest in the FBS.
Nebraska finished the first half of its regular season at 5-1 for the second consecutive year. In each of Bo Pelini’s first three seasons as head coach, Nebraska has equaled or bettered its first-half record during the second six games of the regular season. Overall, Nebraska is 17-7 in the first half of the regular season under Pelini, and 17-3 after the midway point during Pelini’s first three seasons, including 2-0 this season.
Iowa and Michigan are tied for 27th in the nation in red zone offense (88 percent conversions), with both teams scoring points on 29 of 33 red zone possessions. Michigan leads the nation in red zone defense (59 percent, 13-for-22), while Iowa is tied for 16th at 72 percent (26-for-36).
Russell Wilson completed 61.5 percent of his passes of 15-plus yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in Wisconsin's six wins. He completed 36.8 percent of his passes (7-19) with two touchdowns and two interceptions in Wisconsin's two losses.
Minnesota running back Duane Bennett has cracked the team's top 15 for all-time career rushing yardage. He has rushed for 1,893 yards in his career. Last week’s total of 101 yards pushed him to the No. 18 spot on the chart. He needs 107 yards to become just the 13th Gopher to rush for 2,000 career yards.
Through the first eight games of the season, Purdue has lost only three fumbles (only two on offense). Purdue has seen 16 different players rush with the ball this season and not a single runner has coughed it up on 317 carries.
In the past three games, Indiana has averaged 253.0 rushing yards, 47 attempts and 5.3 yards per carry to move into a tie for fifth in Big Ten games with 182.8 rushing yards per game. In its first six games of the season, Indiana averaged 118.8 rushing yards.
The month of November has been kind to Northwestern in recent seasons, with the Wildcats posting a 7-4 mark in the final month of the regular season since the start of 2008. That includes a 4-2 record on the road in November.
Ohio State running back Dan Herron had his 13-game streak with a rushing touchdown snapped in last week's win over Wisconsin. That was the longest streak by a Buckeye since Pete Johnson ran for at least one score in 13 consecutive games from 1975-76. Keith Byars ran for at least one rushing TD in 21 straight games during the 1983-84 seasons. Ohio State is 21-3 in the 24 games in which Herron has scored a rushing touchdown.
With 268 yards of total offense per game, Michigan QB Denard Robinson tries to become the first player to lead the conference in consecutive years in total offense since Purdue's Drew Brees led the Big Ten from 1998-2000. At 17.0 points per game, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball would average the most points per game since at least 1970 and become the first player since former Indiana running back Anthony Thompson in 1988-89 to lead the conference in points per game two years in a row.