This week in the Big Ten familiar faces rose to the top of the standings. Perennial powerhouse Ohio State and the recently revived Penn State Nittany Lions lead the way at 3-0 each in the Big Ten East. Michigan fell to Michigan State, placing the Spartans at 2-0 and a half game back in the Big Ten East. As for the Big Ten West, Wisconsin defeated Nebraska to take sole possession of first place. Nebraska slips to second at 2-1, followed by third place Purdue at 1-1. The Badgers are no stranger at the top, winning the Big Ten West twice in the past three years. Interestingly enough, the Buckeyes, Spartans and Nittany Lions have each won the Big Ten East once since 2014, when the conference was realigned. Look for the races to heat up this weekend, as Nebraska plays Ohio State and Purdue plays Wisconsin with Big Ten race implications on the line.
No. 7 Wisconsin defeats Nebraska 38-17. An early Chris Orr interception return for a touchdown put the Badgers up 7-0, halting Nebraska’s opening drive. The Cornhuskers fell down 17-10 at the half, but opened the second half with an interception returned for a touchdown, tying it up at 17-17. It would be all Badgers after that, as they would go on to score 21 points unanswered and pull away for the 38-17 victory and first place in the Big Ten West. True freshman running back Jonathan Taylor led the Badgers with 249 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Badgers host Purdue on Saturday. The Cornhuskers look to bounce back against No. 9 Ohio State.
No. 3 Penn State defeats Northwestern 31-7. A slow first half led to a 10-0 lead for the Nittany Lions. The Wildcats struggled all day with the stout Penn State defense, posting only 265 yards of total offense and three turnovers. Northwestern was finally able to break the shutout, scoring with 1:46 remaining in the game. The Nittany Lions were led by Heisman trophy candidate Saquon Barkley, who had two touchdowns on the day. Penn State has a bye this weekend. Northwestern tries for their first Big Ten win at Maryland this Saturday.
Michigan State upsets No. 17 Michigan 14-10. Michigan State went into “The Big House” looking for a signature win, and they got one. Sophomore Quarterback Brian Lewerke passed for 94 yards and 1 touchdown for the Spartans. He also added 61 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Spartans relied heavily on their defense and batted down Michigan QB John O’Korn’s last second Hail Mary to seal the victory. The Spartans travel to Minnesota on Saturday. As for the Wolverines, questions remain surrounding Quarterback Wilton Speight’s back injury. They will prepare for their upcoming matchup at Indiana on Saturday.
No. 9 Ohio State defeats Maryland 62-14. Ohio State jumped to an early 14-0 lead in the first 5 minutes thanks to a JT Barrett 1-yard touchdown run and a Jerome Baker fumble recovery for a touchdown. Maryland showed signs of life as Ty Johnson returned the next kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown. However, it would be all Buckeyes after this. Quarterback J.T. Barrett paced the Buckeyes with 261 yards passing and three touchdowns. Ohio State looks to build momentum at Nebraska on Saturday. Maryland looks to rebound against Northwestern on Saturday.
Iowa beats Illinois 45-16. A back and forth game in the first half led to a 17-13 Iowa lead at halftime. The Hawkeyes pulled away in the 4th quarter, adding 21 points to seal a 45-16 win over the Illini. Running back Akrum Wadley posted 115 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries for Iowa. Illinois struggled with turnovers, giving up three interceptions and one lost fumble. Iowa has a bye this weekend. Illinois looks to win its first conference game this weekend when the Illini host Rutgers.
Purdue beats Minnesota 31-17. The Gophers led most of the game, with a 14-13 lead heading into the 4th quarter. Purdue rallied behind Markell Jones 12-yard touchdown run with 1:17 remaining. Quarterback Elijah Sindelar completed the two-point conversion to give the Boilermakers a 24-17 lead. Outside Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley sealed the game with an interception return for a touchdown on the next Gopher drive. Purdue looks to build on this win as they travel to play No. 7 Wisconsin on Saturday. Minnesota will travel to East Lansing to play No. 21 Michigan State.
Indiana defeats Charleston Southern 27-0. Indiana led from the opening possession, thanks to a 30-yard field goal from Griffin Oakes. The Hoosiers never looked back. Freshman Quarterback Peyton Ramsey led the Hoosiers with 321 yards and two touchdowns. Indiana hosts No. 17 Michigan on Saturday.
Bye Week: Rutgers plays at Illinois on Saturday.
*AP rankings as of Oct. 9
Big Ten East Standings:
- Penn State 3-0 (6-0 overall)
- Ohio State 3-0 (5-1 overall)
- Michigan State 2-0 (4-1 overall)
- Michigan 1-1 (4-1 overall)
- Maryland 1-1 (3-2 overall)
- Indiana 0-2 (3-2 overall)
- Rutgers 0-2 (1-4 overall)
Big Ten West Standings:
- Wisconsin 2-0 (5-0 overall)
- Nebraska 2-1 (3-3 overall)
- Purdue 1-1 (3-2 overall)
- Iowa 1-2 (4-2 overall)
- Minnesota 0-2 (3-2 overall)
- Illinois 0-2 (2-3 overall)
- Northwestern 0-2 (2-3 overall)