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Early Big Ten reaction: East division flexes muscles

As we already pretty much knew, the Big Ten East is dominant.

Maryland v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

In Week 6, the Big Ten East made it clear it is the conference’s toughest division. Sure, Wisconsin is elite in the West, and Iowa has its moments. But the likes of Ohio State and Penn State led the way for the East this week and showed a dominant mix of big-play offense and stout defense.

The day began in Evanston, Illinois, with the Nittany Lions taking on Northwestern. The Wildcats hung with Penn State early, but the Nittany Lions were just too strong and steady throughout. What they really showed this week was their versatility — their ability to score in many ways and not just rely on Heisman candidate Saquon Barkley, who finished with just 76 yards on the day (53 of which came on one second half run).

Penn State 31, Northwestern 7

The final score is a little deceiving in this one. Yes, the Hawkeyes ran away with a 29-point victory at home, but for much of the game it felt like a typical low-scoring, physical Big Ten contest. With under seven minutes to play in the third quarter, Iowa was up just 17-13 before this happened to break it wide open:

Iowa 45, Illinois 16

Purdue and Minnesota were in the middle of a fairly sloppy low-scoring affair in West Lafayette when the skies opened up in the fourth quarter. The Boilermakers took a 16-14 lead into the locker room for the weather delay. Before that, though, the teams totaled more than 600 yards of offense, but combined for five turnovers. Here’s a look at how to field handled all the rain from the storm:

The Hoosiers took a break from conference play to face the mighty Buccaneers of Charleston Southern. Despite the solid win that it was, it’s hard to say this was an exciting one — in fact, I’ll bet most people didn’t even realize it was being played. Indiana won a snoozer, but Simmie Cobbs did what he does best:

Indiana 27, Charleston Southern 0

For all intents and purposes, the Buckeyes dominated the Terrapins on Saturday — something they’ve done to each of their last four opponents since losing to Oklahoma in Week 2. Ty Johnson did do this, though, which was pretty cool.