Let's take a quick look at how things went down in the Big Ten last weekend.
Maryland 38, Iowa 31
Iowa (5-2, 2-1) was poised to grab a share of the lead in the West, but their contest with the Terrapins (5-2, 2-1) didn't go quite as well as expected. Although the Hawkeyes held a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Maryland was able to rely on a couple rushing touches and a pick-6 to knock Iowa down a peg in the standings.
Iowa's Jake Rudock may have thrown for 317 yards and a touchdown, but the quarterback story was on the Maryland side of the field. C.J. Brown went down with a back injury, which meant that Randy Edsall would call on the Terps' third string QB, Perry Hills, who was able to complete a 53 yard shot to Stefon Diggs to go up by ten points on the Hawkeyes. Even though that is a good sign for Maryland, this isn't a scenario that can sustain itself.
Minnesota 39, Purdue 38
Going into this game, Jerry Kill had never won after trailing at the half. Minnesota (6-1, 3-0) was finally able to get that ever-elusive come from behind victory for him after being down by 11 points. Wanna know how they did it? Well, remember how David Cobb rushed for all those yards against Michigan? Yeah, that's what they did against the Boilermakers (3-5, 1-3). Cobb gained 194 yards on 35 carries and tore apart the Purdue defense to the tune of 5.5 yards per carry.
Purdue's rushing game was effective on the day, outgaining the Gophers 298 to 285. Raheem Mostert racked up 115 yards on only five carries--that's a 23 ypc average in case you don't feel like doing the math. Akeem Hunt finished the day just two yards shy of the century mark, while QB Austin Appleby added another 79. Purdue obviously isn't going to take the Big Ten by storm, but they aren't necessarily the pushovers they were last year--this team is going to fight you to the end and should probably start getting a little respect just for the effort they've shown in the last two weeks.
Michigan State 56, Indiana 17
The hype around Indiana (3-4, 0-3) coming into the season was high once again, perhaps higher than last season. Then the most Indiana thing ever happened: all of their quarterbacks either transferred or got injured. Oh, but wait, it gets better--true freshman Zander Diamont got the start against the Spartans (6-1, 3-0) and proceeded to go 5 of 15 for 11 yards. I'll wait while you go and throw up.
Are you better? Let's continue. Michigan State's offense put up 662 total yards--332 passing and 330 rushing--and absolutely toyed with an Indiana defense that was eating at a cookout like in that commercial with that backup punter.
Ohio State 56, Rutgers 17
J.T. Barrett has the Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0) rolling, and rolling, and rolling. In addition to passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns, Barrett also accounted for 107 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. All of this on the way to picking up Ohio State's 18th straight Big Ten victory. Ezekiel Elliott gave the team only 69 yards rushing. Typically this juggernaut-ish type of season ends in tragedy for the Buckeyes, so there's still that. We hope.
Rutgers (5-2, 1-2), or more specifically Gary Nova, just couldn't repeat the performance put up against Michigan. Instead of one million yards, Nova threw for only 192 and an interception. Desmon Peoples did his best to keep the team afloat with 83 yards and two touchdowns, but nothing was going to stop a Buckeyes team that could do no wrong.
Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17
This was going to be the game to really shake up an already turbulent West division. Although the Gophers are solidly in first place, a win by Northwestern (3-4, 2-2) was going to send the Cornhuskers (6-2, 2-1) to depths and and leave the division all to Minnesota. But, Northwestern coughed up their three-point lead and couldn't muster a single point in the second half.
Ameer Abdullah, once again, is pretty much the only thing you need to say about the Nebraska offense: 146 yards and four touchdowns. That's one amazing young man. And the fact that Nebraska was able to rout a team that they've beaten by a combined eight points in the previous three meetings tells me that the battle in the West is going to be fun to watch.