Big Ten Roundup: Ohio State falls short

Also, Michigan upends Irish and Michigan State falls.

by Austin Cumblad

For the better part of four quarters, it looked as though everything might change. Not just for Ohio State, but for the Big Ten. A team that had fallen flat so many times on the national stage was entrenched in a hard-nosed, low-scoring battle against the mighty Trojans of USC. The conferenceâÄôs battered reputation was about to get a serious lift. Leading 15-10 with 7:15 remaining in the game, the 8thâÄîranked Buckeyes had No. 3 USC backed up to its own 14. But true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley orchestrated a masterful drive, marching the Trojans 86 yards in 6:10 for the go ahead score, and what minutes earlier looked to be a monumental upset became an 18-15 heartbreaker for Ohio State. In the defining game of his young career, Buckeyes sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor struggled to find any rhythm, completing just 11 of his 25 passes for 177 yards and an interception. His typically dangerous feet accounted for only 36 yards on 10 carries. Though his counterpart Barkley was less than spectacular statistically, that fourth quarter drive was a not so subtle statement about why heâÄôs leading USC as a true freshman. The Trojans rolled and their domination over the Big Ten continues. Michigan upends Irish The storied programs of Michigan and Notre Dame. Two head coaches on the hot seat. It was a game with all the makings of a classic and it sure didnâÄôt disappoint. With just 11 seconds left on the clock, true freshman quarterback Tate Forcier found senior wide receiver Greg Matthews in the end zone on a quick out. The Wolverines upset the 18th-ranked Fighting Irish 38-34 Saturday in Ann Arbor. It was the defining game of Michigan head coach Rich RodriguezâÄôs young tenure and one that should abate the wagons that were already circling after the Wolverines suffered through their worst season ever in 2008. With the victory, Michigan snuck into the Associated Press Top 25 Sunday (No. 25) for the first time since the end of the 2007 season. Central Michigan stuns Spartans Just 20 seconds apart, Central MichiganâÄôs Andrew Aguila took two of the biggest kicks of his life. Neither could have gone any better. With 28 seconds remaining in the game and the Chippewas trailing by one after a failed 2 point conversion, Aguila bounced an onside kick which Central Michigan recovered. With eight seconds left in the game, he stepped into a 42-yard field goal that snuck inside the upright and pushed the Chippewas past Michigan State 29-27. It was Central MichiganâÄôs second straight win against a Big Ten opponent and first against the Spartans in their last five meetings.