The Big Ten football has been turned upside-down this season, with Northwestern among those at the top and Penn State at the bottom.
Northwestern shocked No. 7 Wisconsin 47-44 in double overtime Saturday, while Penn State was being whipped 45-6 by 14th-ranked Ohio State in conference openers.
Wildcats coach Randy Walker insisted he wasn't surprised by his team's upset of the Badgers.
"I expected to win. We don't put a plan together, or prepare or work like we work to do anything but that," he said.
Elsewhere Saturday, tenth-ranked Michigan knocked off No. 19 Illinois 35-31, No. 21 Purdue defeated Minnesota 38-24, Iowa lost 42-13 to top-rated Nebraska, No. 23 Michigan State beat 16th-ranked Notre Dame 27-21 and Indiana clobbered Cincinnati 42-6.
Damien Anderson's 12-yard TD run in the second overtime proved the winner at Madison, Wis.
The Badgers (3-1), who had opened their suspension-tinged season with three close calls, saw their 11-game winning streak halted and their hopes of their first national championship squelched when Anderson scooted around left end and darted into the end zone.
"I was looking for flags," he said.
There were none, and the Wildcats had spoiled the Badgers' season just as Wisconsin was about to emerge from NCAA suspensions over a discount shoe scandal.
Northwestern (3-1) never scored this many points against Wisconsin.
At Columbus, Ohio, six players scored touchdowns for the Buckeyes, handing Joe Paterno his most lopsided loss and his worst start ever at 1-4.
"We can't go out and buy a bottle of medicine that will make everybody better," Paterno said. "We have to work at it."
Ohio State moved to 4-0 for the seventh time in the last 10 years. Head coach John Cooper wasn't surprised by the outcome, but was by the margin.
"Never did I dream we would beat Penn State as badly as we did," he said.
In Bloomington, Ind, Antwaan Randle El and Levron Williams each rushed for two touchdowns each for the Hoosiers, who blew big leads in their first two games, held on with a tightened defense.
"One thing we said was we were giving up too many yards, too many points," Indiana coach Cam Cameron said.
Indiana (1-2), averaging 38 points a game for the season, scored on its first four possessions against the Bearcats (2-2).
Spartans freshman quarterback Jeff Smoker threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Herb Haygood with 1:48 left against Notre Dame at East Lansing, Mich. .
Smoker threw a perfect pass to Haygood on fourth-and-10 after turning the ball over twice in the final 13 minutes -- a fumble at Michigan State's 12 and an interception at the 2.
"I'm just glad I could come through after making those two mistakes. I didn't want to let my teammates down, but at the same time, I knew I had to come back and make a big play," he said.
The Spartans (3-0) have beaten Notre Dame (2-2) four years in a row.
In West Lafayette, Ind., Purdue's Drew Brees set Big Ten career records for completions and attempts, throwing for 409 yards and two touchdowns.
"Brees is a great quarterback. Saying that, he's got a darn good supporting cast," Gophers coach Glen Mason said.
Brees has 1,325 attempts, 820 completions, 9,487 yards and 73 touchdown passes in 36 career games. He topped the Big Ten marks of 797 completions and 1,309 attempts. His total offense of 497 yards made him the second player in conference history to accumulate 10,000 yards.
Purdue (3-1, 1-0) built a 24-0 lead over Minnesota (2-2, 0-1) in the first half.
Eric Crouch only threw the ball 13 times, but the results couldn't have been much better -- 10 completions, five touchdowns -- for the Cornhuskers (3-0) in Lincoln, Neb.
"You like our new offensive approach?" Crouch joked after matching the school record for TD passes in a game.
The Hawkeyes (0-4) matched a school record with their 12th straight loss.
In Champaign, Ill., Anthony Thomas scored on a 3-yard run with less than 2:30 left and Michigan (3-1, 1-0) took advantage of two late fumbles.
"There are a lot of things we could have done better so I'm not going to put it on that (fumbles), Obviously, protecting the football is one of them," said Ron Turner, whose Illini fell to 3-1, 0-1.
The Wolverines, who blew a 20-point second half lead to Illinois last season, rallied from a 21-7 deficit in the third quarter behind Drew Henson.
"We were up and we didn't come out and do what we needed to do in the fourth quarter," Illini quarterback Kurt Kittner said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.