Madison, Wis. — Kendric Pryor scored twice, and No. 6 Wisconsin relied on stifling defense to overcome four turnovers and Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson’s two touchdowns in a 38-14 win Saturday over the Hawkeyes.
The win allowed the Badgers (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten, CFP No. 8) to clinch a trip to the conference title game as West champions.
Credit their defense for another overpowering outing at chilly Camp Randall Stadium.
Leon Jacobs recovered two fumbles — one returned for a score — and fellow linebacker T.J. Edwards had an interception for the Badgers, who shut down an Iowa offense that had overwhelmed Ohio State last week.
“They’re a good team … so we had to prove a point,” Jacobs said.
The Hawkeyes (6-4, 3-4, CFP No. 20) were held to 66 total yards and five first downs, including just 15 yards and one first down in the first half.
Wisconsin turnovers kept the Hawkeyes in the game. Remarkably, Jackson accounted for all their points . The junior scored on interception returns of 43 and 52 yards, the latter coming with 11:18 left in the third quarter to get the Hawkeyes within 17-14.
The Badgers’ defense wanted to get in on the fun, too.
Jacobs scooped up a loose ball about 4 minutes later after a bad snap on third-and-10, running 21 yards to the end zone to give Wisconsin another 10-point lead.
“Their defense, better than advertised — not that they haven’t been playing well,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
League-leading rusher Jonathan Taylor had 157 yards on 29 carries, but fumbled twice, losing one. Alex Hornibrook was 11 of 18 for 135 yards with two touchdowns and the three interceptions.
“Our offense struggled a little bit early, but we always have got their backs, just like they have ours,” Edwards said.
Don’t throw at Jackson, the junior who came into the afternoon leading the country with 20 passes defended. A week after tying the school record with three interceptions in a game, Jackson tied another Iowa record with two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game.
“Our defense tried to keep us in the football game,” Ferentz said. “But at the end of the day, we just couldn’t do the things you have to do to have any kind of a chance.”
(At) No. 16 Penn State 35, Rutgers 6: Trace McSorley accounted for 258 total yards and three touchdowns and Penn State overcame an early deficit with 35 unanswered points to beat Rutgers.
McSorley became Penn State’s all-time touchdown leader with 68, overtaking Daryll Clark’s record of 65 with one rushing and two passing scores. Trailing 6-0 with 11:16 left in the first quarter, Penn State’s offense came alive with two deep McSorley passes that set up his own zigzagging 20-yard touchdown run. The scoring drive took just 1:44 and gave Penn State the lead for good.
McSorley threw touchdowns to DaeSean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki, and Saquon Barkley ran for two touchdowns for Penn State (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten). Barkley, a Heisman Trophy candidate, was slowed again. He ran for just 35 yards on 14 carries while McSorley added 44 yards on 13 carries.
“Their skill players were the difference in the game, including him,” Rutgers coach Chris Ash said. “He was able to scramble around and extend drives with his feet.”
Rutgers (4-6, 3-4) got a pair of field goals from Andrew Harte, including one from 33 yards after the Scarlet Knights recovered the opening kickoff. He added a 25-yarder later in the first, but Rutgers’ momentum ended there.
The Scarlet Knights didn’t get a first down in the second half until their final drive, which ended in a turnover on downs.
Robert Martin led Rutgers with 71 yards on 11 carries. Giovanni Rescigno completed 7 of 20 passes for 43 yards for the Scarlet Knights.
Barkley, who looked like the Heisman favorite just three weeks ago, had little room to run behind an offensive line without its starting left tackle.
Ryan Bates, who was hurt Oct. 28 against Ohio State, missed his second game with an undisclosed injury. Barkley has been held to 63 rushing yards or fewer in each of the last three games.
“It’s part of the game,” Barkley said. “Obviously I’m aware of what teams are going to try and do and teams are going to try to take away our run game and take away our backs.”
Penn State was without starting outside linebacker Manny Bowen, who was suspended for a violation of team rules. Franklin didn’t elaborate and didn’t answer a reporter’s question, walking out of the media room when asked whether Bowen would return.
Veteran walk-on Brandon Smith started in Bowen’s spot and made 10 tackles.
(At) Minnesota 54, Nebraska 21: Quarterback Demry Croft ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns, Rodney Smith added 134 yards rushing and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and Minnesota ran over Nebraska.
Kobe McCrary had 93 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Minnesota, which finished with season highs of 408 yards rushing and 515 yards of total offense. The Gophers scored their most points in a Big Ten game since a 63-26 win against Indiana in 2006.
“We had this since training camp, really,” Croft said. “We just put it all together, all three phases of the game, today.”
Croft’s big day included an untouched, 73-yard touchdown run up the middle for a 20-7 lead at the start of the second quarter as he set a school record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback.
“I thought he did a great job deciding when to pull it and when deciding not to pull it,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said of Croft running the read option. “I think that’s where the growth has come from. The decision on him being able to pull it, he made those decisions. Weeks in the past, he didn’t make those decisions as well.”
The Gophers (5-5, 2-5 Big Ten) held Nebraska to 69 yards rushing on 33 attempts.
Sophomore quarterback Tanner Lee was 13-of-18 passing for 174 yards and a touchdown for the Cornhuskers (4-6, 3-4), but Lee was held out the second half while dealing with an illness. Redshirt freshman Patrick O’Brien replaced him and was 12 of 18 for 137 yards passing.
Minnesota native and the son of Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, JD Spielman caught nine passes for 141 yards for Nebraska.
Smith set the tone for the day by taking the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, the first time the Gophers returned an opening kickoff for a score since 1998 when Tyrone Carter had an 86-yard touchdown return.
“It started bad and went from there,” Huskers coach Mike Riley said.
Indiana 24, (at) Illinois 14: Indiana’s victory secured its first conference win of the year and kept its bowl-game aspirations alive. But it was also the first Big Ten victory for head coach Tom Allen.
“The first win, the first whatever it is, is always special,” Allen said. “(It’s) one I’ll always remember.”
Richard Lagow was the main catalyst for Indiana, throwing for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hoosiers (4-6, 1-6) racked up 428 yards offense and used a balanced attack to leave the Illini as the only winless team in the Big Ten.
Coming into the matchup, Indiana was ranked last in the conference in rushing yards per game at 114.6. But on Saturday, Indiana had 139 rushing yards led by Cole Gest who ran for 82 on 17 carries.
Both teams got off to slow starts, but with 1:28 left in the first quarter Jalen Dunlap recorded his first career interception which set the Illini (2-8, 0-7) up at their own 44-yard line but they went three-and-out.
Morgan Ellison broke the scoreless tie on a 2-yard plunge with just under three minutes left in the first half. His fourth score of the season capped a 10-play, 45-yard drive.
Illinois didn’t give up another rushing touchdown, but Lagow got the job done through the air. He completed 32 of 48 attempts to 10 receivers with Ian Thomas and Simmie Cobbs Jr. both scoring.
Cobbs was second on the team with 54 receiving yards has recorded a touchdown in three straight games.
In the first half, Illinois punted seven times and recorded just 72 yards of total offense. However, the Illini eclipsed that total on one play in the second half when Jeff George Jr. threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Louis Dorsey.
George threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns, but lost a fumble and threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter. He has thrown 10 interceptions and just seven touchdowns this season.
The Hoosiers recorded eight sacks, 10 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries in earning their first conference victory since Nov. 26 of last year.
Illinois has now lost 10 consecutive Big Ten games.
(At) Northwestern 23, Purdue 13: Clayton Thorson had a pair of touchdowns, Charlie Kuhbander hit all three of his second-half field goal attempts and Northwestern won its fifth straight.
Thorson was 26 of 46 for 296 yards. He had an 11-yard TD pass to Bennett Skowronek and rushed for a 4-yard score. It was the 18th rushing touchdown of Thorson’s career, tying him with Brett Basanez for third place for most by a quarterback in school history.
Skowronek had seven receptions for 117 yards. Justin Jackson was held to 46 yards on 25 carries for the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2).
Elijah Sindelar was 37 of 60 for 376 yards with two TDs and an interception for Purdue (4-6, 2-5). The sophomore established career highs in completions, attempts and passing yards.