A few nuggets of note to make you smarter heading into Week 12. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Info for several of these.
Wisconsin is on pace to shatter the team single-season scoring record. The Badgers average 40.2 points per game, which is second the Big Ten and No. 8 nationally. The team record is 34.3 points per game, was set in 2005. Wisconsin has been even more potent in conference games. They’ve averaged 40.7 points in league play. The last Big Ten team to average at least 40 points per game in league play was Northwestern in 2000.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson already has the Big Ten record for most rush yards by a quarterback. He has 1,417 rush yards this season and is 78 yards shy of setting the NCAA single-season record for most rush yards by a signal caller. Air Force's Beau Morgan ran for 1,494 yards in 1996.
Wisconsin leads the nation with 43 touchdowns from inside the red zone. The Badgers also lead the nation in red zone touchdown percentage (81.1), while Michigan ranks No. 3 nationally (77.8).
Michigan State's senior class has 31 wins, which ties the 1990 class for the most in team history. Michigan State is 7-3 in November under Mark Dantonio. Under John L. Smith, the Spartans were 2-11. A win Saturday will make Michigan State 7-0 at home this season, giving the team its first undefeated home record in a season since 199 (6-0).
Northwestern has either led or been tied in the second half of 26 straight games dating back to November 2008. The Wildcats are 28-8 in their last 36 games decided by seven points or fewer.
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been a much better pocket passer this season, especially in Big Ten play. Pryor has attempted more than 76 percent of his passes in Big Ten play from within the pocket and completed 70 percent of them with nine touchdowns, earning him a passer rating of 170.9.
Iowa leads the nation in fewest plays allowed of more than 20 yards. Only 3.2 percent of plays run against the Hawkeyes go for 20 yards or more. But Iowa's defense has slipped a bit in recent weeks. The Hawkeyes ranked first nationally in points allowed, second in rushing yards allowed and fourth in total yards allowed after Week 6. They now rank seventh, fourth and 16th nationally in those respective categories.
FedEx Field will become the seventh stadium Penn State has played in that currently is home to an NFL team. The other facilities are: Lincoln Financial Field, Louisiana Superdome, the Metrodome, Qualcomm Stadium, Raymond James Stadium and Sun Life Stadium. Penn State has played four of these venues since the 2005 season.
Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan is 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss shy of tying the single-season school records for each category. He has 32.5 sacks in his career and needs 2.5 more to pass Roosevelt Colvin for the most career sacks in school history.
The Illinois offense has exploded in the last four games, averaging 46.5 points and 412.7 total yards. During the first six games this season, the Illini averaged 21.3 points and 320 yards per game. The Illini defense has forced 13 turnovers in the last four games and has converted those miscues into 62 points (eight touchdowns and two field goals). During that span, the Illini offense has turned the ball over just three times.
Indiana has never defeated Penn State. The Nittany Lions have won all 13 meetings, including seven in Happy Valley, five in Bloomington and one at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Five of the 13 matchups and two of the last four contests have been decided by seven points or fewer.