Big Ten: Mikell Simpson


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


Quick thoughts on the two afternoon games in the Big Ten.

Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 13 -- It was hard to see this coming at halftime, after Wisconsin had controlled play during the first 30 minutes. Then again, you can never underestimate the power of the big play, especially with Ohio State. The Buckeyes finished with only 184 total yards but pulled away from the Badgers thanks to big plays in all three phases of the game. When you get two defensive touchdowns and one on special teams, who needs a consistent offense? Ohio State certainly will need to see better things from Terrelle Pryor and co., but it continues to play phenomenal defense despite losing several national award winners. Wisconsin never got John Clay going in Columbus, and quarterback Scott Tolzien made two major mistakes in the loss. In the latest proof that time of possession means absolutely nothing, Wisconsin held the ball for 42:03 but scored only one touchdown. If the Badgers can cut down their mistakes, they should still have a solid season.

Virginia 47, Indiana 7 -- After showing fight against Michigan and holding its own against Ohio State, Indiana still had some positive mojo heading to Charlottesville today. Three hours later, the Hoosiers' 3-0 start looks more and more like a fluke. Indiana got absolutely dominated by one of the weaker teams in the ACC, melting down on both sides of the ball. The Hoosiers had no answer for Cavs quarterback Jameel Sewell or running back Mikell Simpson, and the run game once again was absent for the offense. As I wrote multiple times before the season, Indiana's fate will be determined by its long-suffering defense. Today, the unit got shredded for 536 yards. Not good. Most saw this as a critical game for Indiana to win to preserve its bowl hopes. Now the Hoosiers appear headed for another rough season at the bottom of the Big Ten. But look on the bright side: Illinois comes to town next week.video

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


In what could end up as another black eye for the Big Ten, Indiana is getting spanked by one of the ACC's weakest teams.

Virginia has jumped all over the Hoosiers, capitalizing on two turnovers and streaking to a 21-0 lead. Cavaliers quarterback Jameel Sewell and running back Mikell Simpson are both turning in big performances against a regressing Indiana defense.

Hoosiers quarterback Ben Chappell has done some nice things in the passing game, completing 11 of 15 attempts, but Indiana hasn't been able to break through for a big play. The run game has been quiet so far.

Indiana needs to find a way to get on the scoreboard before halftime or this could be a very long afternoon.

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