The three Big Ten unbeatens stayed undefeated this week, cruising to easy wins. Michigan was able to pull off an upset and probably knock out Notre Dame’s playoff hopes, while the rest of the conference avoided upsets.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
The Buckeyes got off to a slower start than usual against Wisconsin, being held scoreless through the first quarter. They were still able to secure a 10-0 halftime lead and outscored Wisconsin 28-7 in the second half to take a convincing 38-7 win. Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields threw for two touchdowns while junior running back J.K. Dobbins recorded 163 rushing yards with two touchdowns. The defense held Wisconsin’s stud running back Jonathan Taylor to 52 rushing yards and Wisconsin as a whole to 191 total yards. The Buckeyes have a bye next week.
2. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
Penn State cruised to a 28-7 win over Michigan State behind quarterback Sean Clifford’s big day. Clifford accounted for all four of Penn State’s touchdowns, despite only throwing for 189 yards. Sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth caught three of those touchdowns. Penn State faces a tough road test against undefeated Minnesota next Saturday after a bye.
3. Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
The Badger offense has been powered by running back Jonathan Taylor all year, but Ohio State made him a non-factor. Wisconsin could not adjust and was held scoreless after it scored its lone touchdown in the third quarter. Quarterback Jack Coan only threw for 108 yards, the Badgers fumbled twice and the offense only generated nine first downs. It has been a humbling experience the past two weeks for the Badgers, and they will look to bounce back against Iowa after a bye.
4. Michigan Wolverines (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
The Wolverines finally won a big game under Jim Harbaugh, crushing Notre Dame 45-14 to end an eight-game losing streak to top 10 teams under Harbaugh. Michigan shut out Notre Dame 17-0 at halftime and put the game away with 21 fourth-quarter points. The rushing game ignited the Wolverines offense, with 303 total yards rushing. Running back Hassan Haskins rushed for 149 yards while Zach Charbonnet rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Michigan hosts Maryland next.
5. Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
Minnesota continued its undefeated season by trouncing Maryland 52-10. The rushing game played a big part in the win, with 321 yards on the ground. Running back Rodney Smith recorded the most yardage with 103 yards and a touchdown. Treyson Potts and Seth Green also combined for 76 yards and three touchdowns. The Golden Gophers continued to impress, but they can show they are not a fluke with a win against Penn State at home following a bye.
6. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
The Hawkeyes shutout Northwestern in a 20-0 win. The offense did not play great and actually had fewer first downs than Northwestern, but it did enough to win. Quarterback Nate Stanley threw for 179 yards and a touchdown. Running back Mekhi Sargent recorded a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to extend the Iowa lead to 17-0, putting the game out of reach.
7. Michigan State Spartans (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten)
The Spartans struggled offensively for the third straight week, putting up only seven points in a 28-7 loss to Penn State. Michigan State now has only scored seven points in the last 10 quarters — mostly due to its passing game. Quarterback Brian Lewerke was 16-34 with 165 yards, an interception and no touchdowns. The run game struggled too, only averaging 2.7 yards a carry. Michigan State has a bye week next.
8. Indiana Hoosiers (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
Indiana won a back-and-forth game against Nebraska on the road, winning 38-31. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey was terrific, throwing for 351 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Stevie Scott added a touchdown run to increase Indiana’s lead to 14 early in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Whop Philyor also lit up the Huskers, hauling in 14 receptions for 178 receiving yards. The Hoosiers were able to make a final stop leading by seven, forcing Nebraska to turn the ball over on downs near midfield on its final drive.
9. Illinois Fighting Illini (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten)
Illinois was in complete control in its 24-6 win over Purdue, holding Purdue scoreless until late in the fourth quarter. Illinois did not get much from the passing game with 26 yards on only seven pass attempts, but it compiled 242 rushing yards. The Fighting Illini used a pick-six by Tony Adams to increase the lead to 10-0 in the second quarter and running back Reggie Corbin put the game away with a 20-yard rushing touchdown late in the third quarter. The Fighting Illini host Rutgers next.
10. Nebraska Huskers (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten)
Nebraska’s mistakes cost it greatly in a 38-31 loss to Indiana. The Huskers outgained Indiana and had more first downs, but critical errors doomed them. Nebraska turned the ball over twice, and both led to Indiana touchdowns. It also had a missed field goal and a short punt in the fourth quarter that led to another Indiana score. Nebraska also played about half of the game with third-string true freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey. The Huskers had a chance to tie the game on their final drive, but they turned the ball over on downs. Nebraska will look to end its two-game losing streak at Purdue on Saturday.