It was a light week in the Big Ten, as only six times were in action aside from Michigan and Maryland. Starting next week, just about every game will have Big Ten Championship and bowl implications.
Nebraska 27-31 Purdue. The Purdue Boilermakers being forced to resort to their third-string quarterback in this game wasn’t enough to get Scott Frost’s Nebraska Cornhuskers a win. Turnovers were prevalent for both teams, but in the end Purdue just got it done when they needed to. The Boilermakers took a 14-10 lead into halftime and then matched Nebraska’s total of 17 points in the second half to secure the four-point win. Aidan O’Connell completed six of seven passing attempts in relief for Jack Plummer. For Nebraska, Adrian Martinez threw for 247 yards but had two INTs. After this one, Nebraska faces a tough road where they need two wins to become bowl eligible (Wisconsin, Maryland, and Iowa).
Rutgers 10-38 Illinois. This game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Illinois Fighting Illini was close, and then it wasn’t. After the teams went into the locker rooms at halftime tied 10-10, Illinois scored 28 unanswered points and that was that. Brandon Peters completed six of his 11 passing attempts for 120 yards and a TD. Dre Brown added 31 yards rushing and two TDs for the Illini. For Rutgers, Johnny Langan completed five of his 10 attempts for 86 yards, one TD, and an INT. He also rushed for 41 yards and fumbled.
Northwestern 3-34 Indiana. The Northwestern Wildcats should now be well into soul-searching mode after their seventh defeat of the season, this time to the Indiana Hoosiers. Northwestern, frankly, is just really bad. Three QBs completed just 12 of 30 passing attempts for the Wildcats for a paltry 112 yards. All Northwestern rushers combined for 87 yards and two fumbles on 28 carries. For their part, the Hoosiers’ QBs combined for 270 yards passing and a TD, while Stevie Scott ran for 116 yards and two TDs. I’m not saying it’s time to fire Pat Fitzgerald or anything, but I’d be shocked if he isn’t on the hot seat next season.