Coming into Saturday, there were seven games with ranked teams facing one another. Days like this are poised for chaos to ensue. That’s exactly what happened, not only across the country with ranked teams falling, but right here in the Big Ten East with both Penn State and Ohio State being upset — setting up a huge matchup next week in Columbus between MSU and OSU for the top spot in the East division.
Let’s take a quick glance at the day, which both started and ended with the Nittany Lions and the Spartans, as the noon game was delayed for hours due to lightning.
In another noon kickoff, the No. 9 Badgers didn’t do a very good job of giving the College Football Playoff Committee any reason to move the Big Ten’s lone undefeated team up in the rankings, at least for most of the game. Wisconsin, though, has a habit of grinding teams down, and that’s exactly what they did to Indiana after a slow start.
The game was closer than the final score shows, with Wisconsin tacking on 21 points in the fourth quarter to run away with it. Oh, and if you haven’t heard Johnathan Taylor’s name, you may want to remember it — the freshman is turning into a stud running back for the Badgers.
Over in West Lafayette, Purdue defeated the conference’s worst team in Illinois — and fairly easily — to snap its three-game losing streak. With the long list of great games happening on Saturday, I can’t imagine many (or any) of you took the time to watch this one, so we’ll just leave it as a three-score win for the Boilermakers and show you this nice run:
Northwestern is a gritty football team. We saw it last week against Michigan State in their triple overtime win, and we saw it again Saturday against Nebraska, another game won in an extra period. It took scoring late to tie it up and then scoring again to open overtime, but the Wildcats continue to win and impress.
Northwestern 31, Nebraska 24 (OT)
On the East Coast, Rutgers and Maryland battled for their third conference win of the season. Who would have thought, through six conference games, that the Scarlet Knights would be 3-3? But that’s where we are. It wasn’t an exciting one, but wins are wins when it comes to these two schools.
What happened in Iowa City is sure to put a smile on the faces of Michigan fans: A dominating Iowa performance gave the Hawkeyes a 31-point victory over the Buckeyes. Ohio State sure didn’t look like they came ready to play, though everything seemed to be going Iowa’s way in this one. This single play basically sums up how this one went:
And then there are the Spartans, who find ways to remain in games and come away with comeback wins week after week, year after year (it seems). That’s how they did it in 2015 en route to their playoff bid, and that’s what they did Saturday against the Nittany Lions in a rain-delayed, sloppy contest.
Give the Spartans credit: Their receivers made play after play — though they can thank Marcus Allen for the late hit on a third down stop with under a minute to play to give MSU a chip-shot game-winner as time expired.
Next week, the Spartans take on the Buckeyes for control of the East.