Big Ten teams were off the bye week, and most games went as you would expect them to—or at least the teams who were expected to win did, even if the path to victory had more twists and turns than it should have.
No. 12 Penn State vs Maryland. I highlighted this game as being one to watch this past weekend. Whoops. Sean Clifford was dominant for Penn State, throwing for 398 yards and 3 TDs, and adding another TD on the ground. Not only did Maryland lack an answer to Clifford, they lacked much of anything at all. The Terrapins managed just 128 yards of total offense, and were rightfully routed 59-0.
Northwestern vs No. 8 Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Badgers has a bit of a hangover game against Northwestern this past Saturday, looking like about half the team they were against Michigan the week before. Wisconsin mustered only 246 yards of total offense, compared to 255 from Northwestern. The Badgers were in okay shape until Northwestern started mounting a comeback in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the Wildcats didn’t have enough and lost 15-24.
Middle Tennessee vs No. 14 Iowa. If Michigan fans were keeping an eye on this game hoping to see what they may face from Iowa next week, the Hawkeyes didn’t give away much. Nate Stanley threw for 276 yards and 2 TDs, while three Iowa runners each had 90+ yards on the ground. In the end, it was a 48-3 Hawkeye victory.
Minnesota vs Purdue. While I blew my prediction that Penn State and Maryland would be a game worth watching, I got this one right. Last Thursday I said “[t]his matchup figures to be the closest game in the Big Ten this weekend,” and indeed it was. Tanner Morgan was just shy of perfect for the Golden Gophers, completing 21 of his 22 attempts for 396 yards and 4 TDs. Jack Plummer threw for 245 yards and 2 TDs for Purdue, but also threw 2 INTs. Minnesota carried a 38-17 lead into the fourth quarter. Purdue scored 14 unanswered in the fourth, but ran out of chances to force overtime. The Golden Gophers came away victorious, 38-31.
Indiana vs No. 25 Michigan State. Michigan State won this one, 40-31, but the game was closer than even that score would suggest. Indiana tied the game at 31-31 with 2:04 remaining, before Michigan State kicked a game-winning FG with :08 left. On the ensuing possession, Indiana fumbled and the Spartans recovered it in the endzone for another six points. Brian Lewerke threw for 300 yards and 3 TDs, while Michael Penix threw for 286 yards and 3 TDs. This one was a good, old fashioned shootout.
No. 5 Ohio State vs Nebraska. This game had a whole lot of shooting, but it was only coming from one side. Yes, Nebraska isn’t very good this year, but Ohio State is for real. Justin Fields threw for 212 yards and 3 TDs, and added 72 yards and another TD on the ground. J.K Dobbins ran for 177 yards, and Master Teague ran for another 77 yards and 2 TDs. Buckeyes annihilated Nebraska, 48-7.