tampabay.com

Top two endure late scares

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published November 5, 2006


ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan got caught peeking ahead and turned a tuneup against Ball State into quite a test.

With his team down just eight, Cardinals quarterback Nate Davis threw incomplete on fourth and goal with 2:46 left and missed on a final-play heave, allowing the No. 2 Wolverines to escape with a 34-26 win on Saturday.

Chad Henne acknowledged the hype about the matchup Nov. 18 at No. 1 Ohio State has been tough to ignore.

"I think that is a lot of the reason why we weren't focused," Michigan's quarterback said. "Coming into the game, people were reading too many press clippings."

Ball State led 9-7 early, then the five-touchdown underdogs made a late charge.

Michigan gave up a 54-yard TD and a 62-yard pass as Ball State got within eight in the fourth quarter.

Ball State coach Brady Hoke, a former assistant at Michigan, was not interested in talking about a moral victory a day after his contract was extended by three years through 2010.

"We're going to play to win every game, so it's disappointing," Hoke said.

Michigan receiver Mario Manningham played for the first time in three-plus games, after knee surgery, but didn't have a reception.

No. 1 Ohio St. 17, Illinois 10

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Ohio State started comfortably and appeared in control. By the end, the Buckeyes had their first real scare of the season.

OSU won each of its first nine games by at least 17 points, but let this one get close after leading 17-0 at halftime.

"A win is a win any which way you look at it," said Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, who threw for only 108 yards. "Whether you score 50 points or 17 - not the way you want to - who cares?"

Rashard Mendenhall's 3-yard touchdown run with 1:40 to go brought Illinois within seven. Ohio State's Brian Robiskie's recovered an onside kick and Buckeyes ran off all but the final four seconds.

No. 17 Wisconsin 13, Penn State 3

MADISON, Wis. - Joe Pater-no was his feisty self, arguing with officials and brushing off a TV interview before halftime.

But the 79-year-old coaching icon had to leave the Penn State sideline after hurting his knee in the second half.

Nittany Lions tight end Andrew Quarless rolled into Paterno after catching a sideline pass.

Paul Stocco hit Paul Hubbard for a a 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter, the first given up by Penn State's defense in more than two games.

Northwestern 21, Iowa 7: C.J. Bacher threw for 218 yards and a touchdown in Iowa City as the Wildcats earned their first Big Ten win and ended a six-game losing streak. The Wildcats, last in the Big Ten in virtually every offensive category, ran for 225 yards, and Terrell Jordan had a 34-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Purdue 17, Michigan St. 15: Curtis Painter threw for two scores and Casey Welch hit an 18-yard field goal with 4:49 left for the Boilermakers in East Lansing, Mich.

MSU lost its first game since announcing that coach John L. Smith will not return next season.

Minnesota 63, Indiana 26: Bryan Cupito passed for 378 yards and four scores for the host Golden Gophers, who hadn't scored more in a Big Ten game since beating Iowa 67-0 in 1916.