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Saturday, November 5, 2011
Buckeyes, Spartans, Hawkeyes stayin' alive

The race for first place in the Big Ten gets hotter every week. This afternoon, the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan State Spartans and Iowa Hawkeyes each won to remain at the top or near the top of the division standings, while the Michigan Wolverines suffered a crushing loss in Iowa City.

Ohio State pulls away from Indiana
It wasn’t an easy win for the Buckeyes, who were tied at 20 with the Indiana Hoosiers until 10 seconds left in the third quarter, but they eventually emerged with a 34-20 victory at the Horseshoe.

Ohio State improves to 3-2 in conference play and remains alive in the Leaders Division race, behind only Penn State. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions meet on November 19th in a game that could decide the division winner.

Ohio State continued its dominance over the Hoosiers, extending their win streak in the series to 17 games. They haven’t lost to Indiana since 1988. The ground game was key for the Buckeyes, who rushed for a season-high 346 yards.

Dan Herron (141 yards), Carlos Hyde (105) and Braxton Miller (105) each ran for over 100 yards. This was the fourth time in school history they've had three 100-yard rushers in a game.

Michigan State rallies to beat Minnesota
Michigan State survived a scare from last-place Minnesota, winning 31-24 on a 35-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by Le’Veon Bell. That was the first and only lead for the Spartans in the game.

The Spartans now move into first place in the Legends Division with a 4-1 conference record. After facing an October gauntlet featuring three consecutive games against ranked opponents, the Spartans don’t face a ranked opponent for the rest of the regular season.

The Spartans extend their home win streak to 13 games, the second-longest streak in school history behind a 19-gamer from 1950-53. Michigan State also improves to 10-3 in November under coach Mark Dantonio (since 2007); in the previous seven seasons from 2000-06, the Spartans were 5-19 in November.

Iowa upsets Michigan at home
Iowa never trailed against Michigan at Kinnick Stadium and won 24-16 to pull even with the Wolverines at 3-2 in conference play. The Hawkeyes still control their own destiny in the Legends Division, with games against Michigan State and Nebraska left on the schedule.

Iowa has now won three straight games against Michigan for the first time in school history. The Hawkeyes also became bowl-eligible for the 11th straight season with the victory, and improve to 6-0 at home this season.

Marcus Coker led the Hawkeyes’ rushing attack with 132 yards and two touchdowns. It was his sixth game with at least 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground, the most of any player in FBS this season.