Friday, November 9, 2012
Did you know? Week 11 in the Big Ten
By Adam Rittenberg
Some notes and nuggets to hopefully make you smarter as you check out Big Ten football in Week 11. As always, we thank ESPN Stats & Information as well as the league's sports information staffs for these.
- Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez is completing 55.1 percent of his passes thrown 15 yards or longer this season. He completed less than 40 percent of such passes in his first two seasons as a starter. Martinez has a career-high eight touchdowns on such throws this season, including seven in five games in Lincoln.
- Penn State has targeted its tight ends on more than 25 percent of its passes, and its tight ends lead FBS with a combined 66 receptions. The Lions targeted their tight ends on just 7.2 percent of passes in 2011, and the tight ends combined for just 15 receptions, 122 yards and one touchdown. Penn State tight ends lead the FBS with eight combined touchdown catches this season, and they've also combined for 43 first-down receptions.
- Wisconsin is 22-6 in games played after Nov. 1 under seventh-year head coach Bret Bielema, including a 19-2 mark in regular-season games and a 17-2 record in Big Ten games. Wisconsin is 17-3 (.850) under Bielema in the month of November, including a 9-3 record in road games. Since the start of the 2009 season, Wisconsin is 6-2 following a loss.
- Indiana has scored at least 24 points in each game this season and in 10 straight overall, a team record. The Hoosiers have scored more points (298) in 2012 than they scored all of last season (257). Indiana has eight touchdown drives that lasted less than 60 seconds, 17 TD drives of less than 90 seconds, and 10 of which covered at least 70 yards in six plays or fewer. IU also has 12 TD drives of five plays or fewer.
- Iowa has recorded at least one takeaway in eight of nine games this season and in 73 of its past 84 games, stretching back to the 2006 season. The Hawkeyes have recorded six takeaways in the opponent's red zone, and they've recovered fumbles in the red zone in each of their past three games. Iowa has had at least one pick-six in each of the last five seasons, including two this year.
- Michigan has not allowed an opponent to score on its opening offensive drive all season. The Wolverines are the only Big Ten team that has not allowed their opponents to score on the opening series. During its last seven games, U-M is allowing 12.1 points per contest, while allowing only six touchdowns over that span (28 quarters).
- Minnesota’s three-game road winning streak at Illinois is the longest road winning streak against a Big Ten opponent since it won four straight at Northwestern from 1985-93. The Gophers' next longest road winning streak against a Big Ten opponent took place from 1965-75 when they downed Iowa six straight times on the road.
- Northwestern running back Venric Mark has recorded long rushes of 80 and 72 yards during his past two games, with the 80-yarder against Nebraska tying for the eighth-longest rush in school history. Mark now is one of six players in the FBS with seven or more rushing plays of 30-plus yards in 2012.
- Nebraska has the worst turnover differential (minus-9) of any FBS team with two or fewer losses this season. Nebraska has had three or more turnovers in five games. Only Hawaii has had more such games. In all five of those games, the Cornhuskers still scored at least four touchdowns. They are the only team this season with four games in which they had at least three turnovers and four touchdowns.
- Safety Landon Feichter's four interceptions this season are the most by a Purdue player since Terrell Vinson picked off five passes in 2007. The school record for interceptions in a season is seven, shared by Phil Mateja (1952) and Bill Kay (1979).
- Illinois linebacker Ashante Williams returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown at Ohio State on Saturday, his second defensive TD this season. He also had a 60-yard interception return for TD in the season-opening win against Western Michigan. The last Illini player to record two defensive scores in a season was cornerback Christian Morton, who had two pick-sixes in 2001.