Some nuggets (pure gold!) to hopefully make you smarter when watching Big Ten action in Week 7. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Info and the sports information staffs from around the Big Ten for these.
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller has rushed for 690 yards on designed running plays this season. That is 118 more yards than his total from 12 games last season. Miller has had at least eight running plays called for him in every game this season. He had three such games as a freshman. Miller has six rushes that have gained 30 yards or more this season, which is tied with Michigan QB Denard Robinson for the most in the FBS.
With a win Saturday against Purdue, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema can tie College Football Hall of Famer Phil King (1896-1902, 1905) for second on the Badgers' all-time coaching wins list with 65. Bielema is 4-0 against Purdue and 2-0 at Ross-Ade Stadium. Bielema's 64-21 record is second-best among the 11 head coaches hired prior to the 2006 season. He trails only Chris Petersen of Boise State (77-7).
Purdue is a 19-for-21 in the red zone (16 touchdowns, three field goals) and converts third downs on 51 percent of its attempts. Purdue has been perfect in the red zone in four its five games this season and only failed to convert while trying to run out the clock in two red zone appearances against Marshall on Sept. 29. The Boilers are tied for 17th nationally in red zone efficiency and 13th in third-down conversions.
Illinois has forced 27 three-and-outs this season, tied for fourth most in the FBS. Michigan has just one three-and-out in its last three games.
Michigan's Robinson is averaging 8.6 yards per scramble and 8.4 yards per rush on designed running plays. Last season, Robinson averaged 7 yards per scramble and 6.1 yards on designed rushes.
Michigan State has faced the Big Ten's second-toughest and the nation’s 17th toughest schedule, according to NCAA figures. The Spartans' first six opponents have a combined record of 15-7 (.682) against other FBS teams. Iowa has faced the toughest schedule to date in the Big Ten with its FBS opponents owning a 9-4 record (.692), which is tied for 12th overall in the nation.
Saturday marks Iowa's first true road game of the season, as the Hawkeyes have played three games at home and one neutral-site contest against Northern Illinois in Chicago. It's the latest the Hawkeyes have played a road game since Oct. 13, 1962, when they traveled to Indiana.
Minnesota has allowed only four passing touchdowns (three in regulation) this year. The Gophers have allowed only one touchdown pass this season that was not in the fourth quarter or overtime. That pass came on a flea-flicker in the second quarter at Iowa on Sept. 29.
Indiana's last 10 scoring drives (eight touchdowns) and 17 overall (14 touchdowns) have taken three minutes or less. The 17 drives have averaged 6.1 plays and 67.9 yards. Indiana has nine touchdowns drives of less than 90 seconds, seven of which covered at least 70 yards in six or fewer plays. IU also has six touchdown drives of five plays or fewer. The Hoosiers are running a play every 21.1 seconds.
Northwestern is ranked 16th nationally on third-down conversions at 50.5 percent, with 25 of its 47 third-down pickups coming via the run. NU has finished in the top 20 nationally in third-down conversions each of the last three seasons, including 13th a year ago.
In Illinois' last two trips to Michigan Stadium, it has scored 110 points, by far the most that Illinois has ever scored in consecutive games in Ann Arbor. The previous high point total in consecutive games at the Big House was 59 in 2003 and 2008.