- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"They told me to throw a couple times and get the record," explained Purdue's Mark Herrmann, who had been informed that he needed only five yards to set the Big Ten single-game record for passing yardage. So Herrmann stayed in for a few more downs in the third quarter against Iowa and threw three times, hitting twice for nine yards each and his third touchdown during a 58-13 romp. For the day, Herrmann completed 26 of 34 for 439 yards and cracked the NCAA record for career attempts by increasing his total to 1,161. Dave Young of the Boilermakers became the conference's alltime reception leader, lifting his total to 163 as he grabbed eight passes for 143 yards and two TDs.
As impressive as Herrmann was, Dave Wilson of Illinois easily outgunned him. Wilson, a junior-college transfer who had to survive a series of court battles to establish his eligibility this season, passed for 621 yards, an NCAA record. By getting five of his six touchdown passes in the second half, he led the Illini to a near upset of Ohio State, but the Buckeyes held on to win 49-42. Art Schlichter made them winners and ended his 17-for-21 day with 284 yards and four TDs. Turnovers played a big role: Wilson was intercepted three times and Illinois lost four fumbles: Ohio State erred just once and has had only 12 miscues in nine games.
Judging from the way fans were cheering in Madison, one would have thought Wisconsin was upsetting Michigan. No way. The crowd sent up its biggest din when the Wolverines had a fourth-and-one on the Badger four late in the third period. The noise was so loud that Michigan Quarterback John Wangler's signals couldn't be heard. Seven times this happened. After the first two, the crowd was warned. The next three times, Wisconsin was assessed time-outs. And the next two times, the Badgers were penalized, moving the ball to the two-yard line and then the one. When the roar subsided a few decibels, Butch Woolfolk barreled into the end zone to give the Wolverines a 17-0 lead. Michigan, which won 24-0, has outscored Wisconsin 176-0 the past four years, hardly giving Badger fans much to cheer about.
Minnesota crimped Indiana's bowl hopes with a 31-7 setback in which Garry White rumbled for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Four scoring runs, one a 64-yarder, were part of a 229-yard effort by Steve Smith of Michigan State, which beat Northwestern 42-10.
"The first three quarters produced the most consistent, errorless ball we've played all year," Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne said. No kidding, Tom. At the end of three periods the Huskers led Kansas State 48-0. About the only bright spot for the Wildcats, who lost 55-8, was a school-record 93-yard punt by Don Birdsey. Other than that, all the big numbers belonged to the Huskers: Roger Craig ripped off 183 yards on nine carries as Nebraska ran for 495 yards, and Jeff Quinn passed for 153 yards and three TDs.
Oklahoma continued to share first place with Nebraska after huffing and puffing past Kansas 21-19. Although freshman sensation Kerwin Bell was out with an injured toe, the Jayhawks got ample help from his fill-ins. Garfield Taylor gained 100 yards and Walter Mack 52. It was Taylor's 13-yard touchdown run that concluded the scoring with 8:40 to go. Scoring runs of 22 yards by J.C. Watts and of two and 10 yards by David Overstreet had given the Sooners a 21-6 advantage—and two interceptions by Orlando Flanagan helped them stay in front.
Missouri also had to hang on for a victory, 14-10 over Iowa State. Tim Copeland scored the only Cyclone touchdown when he recovered teammate Dwayne Crutchfield's fumble on the one-yard line and stepped into the end zone. Missouri's James Wilder, who rushed for 111 yards, banged over from one yard out to give Mizzou a 14-7 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, after Iowa State pulled to within 14-10, the Tigers dug in. With slightly more than five minutes left and Iowa State with a second-and-8 on the Mizzou 26, Crutchfield, who picked up 164 yards, was nailed for a one-yard loss. On the next two plays, John Quinn was sacked for a nine-yard loss and then overthrew a receiver.
"We've got a showdown in Kalamazoo," Central Michigan Coach Herb Deromedi said of this week's game at Western Michigan for the Mid-American title. Miami's 34-24 upset of Western, coupled with Central's 32-10 victory over Bowling Green, set up the big finale. Two touchdowns and 124 yards rushing by Kaiser Holman enabled Miami to pull off its surprise. Central, which trailed 10-0, rallied on three TD passes by Kevin Northup.
Eastern Illinois, No. 1 in Division II, was a 14-9 winner over Northern Iowa, while second-ranked Northern Michigan polished off Akron 38-10.