Paterno’s inferno burns Purdue

David La

Second-ranked Penn State’s LaVar Arrington led the Lions defense against No. 16 Purdue with an inspired performance.
The Butkus Award candidate took the Boilermakers offense — and the Big Ten defensive player of the week honors — by storm in the 31-25 Penn State win.
The junior linebacker sacked Purdue quarterback Drew Brees twice, one of which caused a fumble that Arrington recovered for a touchdown.
In addition to scoring one of the defense’s two touchdowns, Arrington also blocked a field goal attempt that hit him in the lower portion of his face mask.

Great Daynes and Kit Kats
The Big Ten offensive player of the week award was divided between Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne and Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner.
Dayne rushed 34 times for 214 yards and two touchdowns against Michigan State. The Spartans were the nation’s No. 1 rush defense prior to the game.
Behind the running of Dayne, the Badgers beat Michigan State 40-10, and moved into second place in the Big Ten standings with a 4-1 conference record, 6-2 overall. It was Dayne’s second 200-yard game this season; it’s the 10th such performance of his career.
Dayne — now in third place on the NCAA all-time rushing list — is 483 yards shy of breaking Ricky Williams’ mark, with three games to go.
Kittner led the Illini to an improbable come-from-behind, 35-29 upset at then No. 9 Michigan. Kittner completed 24-of-33 attempts on the day for 280 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Kittner rushed six times for 31 yards.
This is his second player of the week award this season.

Big Ten in the BCS
Monday evening saw the release of the initial Bowl Championship Series standings. The BCS ranking determines the two teams to play for college football’s national championship. Among the 15 teams ranked are four from the Big Ten.
Penn State is No. 2, followed by No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 12 Michigan, and No. 15 Michigan State.
The BCS ranking will be updated weekly throughout the season.

Going for the bowls
Wisconsin’s sixth win last weekend made them eligible for a bowl game, giving the Big Ten three teams — along with Penn State and Michigan State — qualified for postseason play. The winner of the Minnesota-Purdue game will become the fourth team eligible. Ohio State, 5-3, needs two more wins for a bowl bid because they played in the Kickoff Classic.

David La Vaque covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]