College football | Around the Big Ten: Defense helps Iowa top Michigan

Sunday November 24, 2013 9:36 AM
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Iowa 24, Michigan 21: Jake Rudock passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns, and host Iowa rallied from a 21-7 deficit to defeat Michigan.

A fumble recovery by Anthony Hitchens with 2:12 left sealed it for the Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten), who clinched a winning season after going 4-8 in 2012.

Michigan capitalized on two interceptions to race out to a 21-7 halftime lead. But the Hawkeyes held the Wolverines (7-4, 3-4) to just 45 yards in the second half and took the lead on a 34-yard field goal by Mike Meyer with 6:02 left.

Devin Gardner drove Michigan to Iowa’s 31 before he was stripped of the ball by Hitchens. Gardner passed for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

Rudock also threw three interceptions, but he was bailed out by a spectacular effort from Iowa’s defense.

Mark Weisman added 88 yards rushing and a touchdown for Iowa.

Illinois 20, Purdue 16: Steve Hull caught a career-high 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns to help visiting Illinois end a six-game losing streak and 20-game skid in Big Ten play.

Nathan Scheelhaase completed 24 of 30 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns and Josh Ferguson ran for a career-high 115 yards for the Fighting Illini (4-7, 1-6).

“To see the kids feel a little emotion after a victory, that’s what athletics is about,” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said. “That’s what football is about.

“It’s not about me, or anybody else. It’s about these players, and the monkey’s off their back.”

Akeem Hunt ran for a career-high 102 yards and a touchdown and Danny Etling completed 20 of 29 passes for 163 yards for Purdue (1-10, 0-7), which has lost nine in a row.

Purdue had a chance to win late. The Boilermakers reached Illinois’ 30-yard line, but Etling was pressured and threw an interception to V’Angelo Bentley to end the threat with just under a minute to play.

Nebraska 23, Penn State 20, OT: Pat Smith kicked a 42-yard field goal on Nebraska’s first possession in overtime to lift the visiting Cornhuskers (8-3, 5-2) past Penn State (6-5, 3-4). Nebraska has won three of its last four games.

Penn State’s Sam Ficken, who missed an extra-point attempt in regulation, missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt to open overtime. The Nittany Lions lost for the first time in three home overtime games this season.

The Huskers could have won the game late in the fourth quarter after Ameer Abdullah sprinted for a 60-plus yard touchdown run.

But wide receiver Sam Burtch was penalized for a personal foul, wiping out the go-ahead score. Nebraska chewed more time off the clock and settled for a tying 19-yard field goal.

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