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BIG TEN

Wisconsin Pulls It Out

October 16, 2005|From Associated Press

The Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Gophers have seen just about everything in their 115-year rivalry.

Well, maybe now they have.

Jonathan Casillas blocked a punt and Ben Strickland recovered it in the end zone with 30 seconds left to complete a stunning rally and lift No. 23 Wisconsin to a 38-34 victory over No. 22 Minnesota on Saturday at Minneapolis.

"When you think you've seen it all, you haven't seen it all," Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez said.

With the Golden Gophers leading, 34-31, Justin Kucek lined up to punt at the Minnesota five-yard line. Kucek dropped the snap, picked up the ball and tried to get the punt off, but Casillas raced through for the block. Strickland then recovered it for the winning score.

"It was a normal punt and I was going to kick it to the right side and stuff happens," Kucek said. "I feel real bad about it, but hopefully we'll bounce back.... I just didn't catch it cleanly, and that's about it."

It was a shocking turn of events for the Badgers (6-1, 3-1), who appeared to be headed for their second loss in a row after a 51-48 road loss to Northwestern last week.

The Gophers (5-2, 2-2) led, 34-24, with 3:27 to play after Gary Russell's second touchdown.

But the Badgers came right back, driving 71 yards in 1:17 to pull within 34-31 on John Stocco's 21-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Williams.

Minnesota's Laurence Maroney rushed for a career-high 258 yards and joined Michigan State's Sedrick Irvin and Wisconsin's Ron Dayne as the only backs in Big Ten history to begin their careers with three straight 1,000-yard seasons.

No. 15 Ohio State 35, No. 16 Michigan State 24 -- Troy Smith threw three long touchdown passes and Ashton Youboty returned a blocked field-goal attempt 72 yards for a score on the final play of the first half to lead the Buckeyes (4-2, 2-1) over the Spartans (4-2, 1-2) at Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio State didn't run a play in Michigan State territory until just over five minutes remained. The first play there was Smith's 46-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes that gave the Buckeyes the lead for good with 4:56 left. Holmes caught the short pass, then shed a tackle by cornerback Jaren Hayes before racing down the left sideline and diving into the end zone.

Ohio State's defense set a school record by sacking Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton 12 times for 58 yards in losses. Bobby Carpenter led the way with four sacks and 27 yards in losses, with David Patterson adding three sacks. All-American linebacker A.J. Hawk finished with 19 tackles.

Iowa 38, Indiana 21 -- Drew Tate threw two touchdown passes and Albert Young scored on a 26-yard run in the fourth quarter to help the Hawkeyes (5-2, 3-1) defeat the Hoosiers (4-2, 1-2) at Iowa City.

Indiana's James Hardy caught 12 passes for 203 yards to become only the fourth Hoosier to rack up more than 200 yards receiving in a game.

Northwestern 34, Purdue 29 -- Tyrell Sutton scored from a yard out on fourth down with 1:50 left to give the Wildcats (4-2, 2-1) the win over the host Boilermakers (2-4, 0-2) at West Lafayette, Ind.

After Sutton scored, Purdue drove near midfield, but Marquice Cole intercepted a pass by Brandon Kirsch with a minute left to secure the victory.

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