Around the Big Ten: Week 13
With Ohio State squeaking past Maryland in overtime, the Big Ten East will crown a champion on Saturday as Ohio State and Michigan will square off in Columbus. Northwestern will await the winner of that game.
Elsewhere around the Big Ten, teams are still jockeying for bowl games. However, teams like Illinois, Nebraska and Rutgers have already been eliminated from bowl contention.
The Illinois Fighting Illini dropped to 4-7 overall after suffering its worst loss in school history by a score of 63-0 to Iowa. The Illini possessed the ball for just over 31 minutes and could muster only 220 total yards. Ra’Von Bonner had 100 yards rushing and Lovie Smith’s team will look to rebound at Ryan Field against Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. on November 24 in the battle for The Land of Lincoln Trophy.
Indiana had a 17-15 lead at halftime at the Big House against Michigan. However, the Hoosiers were outscored 16-3 in the second half and fell to a record of 5-6 after a 31-20 loss to the Wolverines. Stevie Scott scampered for 139 yards on 30 touches and one score against one of the top defensive units in the country. Indiana will hit the road for a battle with Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket on November 24 at 1 p.m.
Iowa asserted its dominance from the get-go in a 63-0 drubbing of Illinois. Kirk Ferentz’s team moved to 7-4 overall and each unit scored a touchdown. AJ Epenesa scooped up an Illini fumble and returned it 19-yards for a score; Kyle Groeneweg returned a punt 61-yards, and four different offensive players scored touchdowns. The Hawkeyes will welcome Scott Frost’s Nebraska Cornhuskers for a Black Friday special at noon on November 23.
The Maryland Terrapins were one play away from crushing Ohio State’s Big Ten title and College Football Playoff aspirations. However, the Terps ultimately fell 52-51 to the Buckeyes in overtime. Maryland had 339 yards rushing on the afternoon and Anthony McFarland had 298 of those yards on 21 touches.
McFarland had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards, respectively in the first quarter alone to give Maryland a 14-3 lead. Matt Canada’s team slipped to 5-6 overall and will need a win against Penn State on November 24 at 3:30 p.m. in order to clinch bowl eligibility. The Terrapins are also 2-38-1 all-time against the Nittany Lions with the lone wins coming in 1961 and 2014.
Ever since the 24-17 week one loss to Notre Dame, Michigan has won 10 straight games after defeating Indiana 31-20. Jake Moody set a school record with six field goals on the afternoon. Karan Higdon rushed for 101 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 9:44 to go in the third quarter to give the Wolverines a 22-17 lead. Jim Harbaugh’s troops will now gear up for “The Game” against Ohio State in Columbus on November 24 at noon with a trip to the Big Ten Championship game on the line.
Michigan State’s 289 total yards weren’t enough as a defensive struggle took place in Lincoln. The Spartans dropped to 6-5 overall after a 9-6 loss to Nebraska in a game where there were no touchdowns scored. Matt Coghlin kicked field goals from 34 and 26 yards, respectively and the 26-yard kick gave the Spartans a 6-0 lead with 12:13 to go in the fourth quarter. Mark Dantonio’s team will look to rebound at home against Rutgers on November 24 at 4 p.m. in hopes of breaking a two-game losing skid.
PJ Fleck’s Minnesota Golden Gophers slid to 5-6 overall after a 24-14 loss to the Big Ten West champion Northwestern Wildcats. Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 98 yards on 20 touches and scored once. Tyler Johnson caught Tanner Morgan’s lone touchdown from six yards out to cut the Wildcats' lead to 10 in the final frame. Minnesota will travel to Madison to battle Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan’s Axe at 3:30 p.m.
Although Nebraska will not play for a bowl game and started the 2018 season 0-6, the Cornhuskers have won three out their last four games and improved to 4-7 overall after a 9-6 win over Michigan State. The Blackshirts on defense made a crucial fourth-quarter stand after three field goals from Barret Pickering in the final frame.
Pickering’s kicks from 36, 20 and 47 yards gave Nebraska all of the points it needed, and the kick from 47 with 5:13 to go gave Scott Frost’s team the edge in a driving snowstorm. The Cornhuskers will square off against Iowa in Iowa City for a Black Friday treat on November 23 at noon.
Northwestern improved to 7-4 overall after a 24-14 win in bitterly cold conditions against Minnesota. The West division champs have now won eight straight road games, which is now a program-record. Isaiah Bowser racked up 85 yards on the ground and found pay-dirt twice from two yards out. Pat Fitzgerald’s team will look to finish 8-1 overall in conference play as it welcomes Illinois to Ryan Field on November 24 at 3:30 p.m.
21 fourth quarter points sparked Ohio State’s 52-51 overtime comeback win on the road against Maryland. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins went 28 for 38 for 405 yards, three touchdowns but also threw a pick-six. J.K. Dobbins towed the ball 37 times for 203 yards and a score. Terry McLaurin also added 118 yards receiving on four receptions including a 68-yard pass from Haskins in the second quarter.
The Buckeyes escaped College Park on an incomplete pass from Tyrell Pigrome on a two-point conversion attempt after Tayvon Fleet-Davis' one-yard run to pull the Terps within one. Urban Meyer’s team moved to 10-1 overall and will welcome Michigan to the Horseshoe for “The Game” at noon on November 24 with College Gameday in attendance.
Penn State was able to improve to 8-3 after soundly defeating Rutgers 20-7 at Highpoint.com Stadium. Tight end Pat Freiermuth had 47 yards receiving and caught two touchdown passes from six and 18 yards out respectively. The Penn State defense surrendered only 234 total yards and held Rutgers to just 46 yards passing. The Nittany Lions will host Maryland at 3:30 p.m. on November 24 for a chance to finish 9-3 overall in 2018.
Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers stumbled to a record of 5-6 after a triple-overtime loss to Wisconsin. The Boilermakers surrendered 385 yards on the ground with a large majority of those yards coming from Jonathan Taylor.
David Blough went 31 for 48 for 386 yards and four touchdowns. Rondale Moore had nine receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns including a 46-yard pitch and catch in the third quarter. Purdue will welcome the Indiana Hoosiers to Ross Ade Stadium for a 1 p.m. bout on November 24.
Raheem Blackshear rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown against Penn State. However, it wasn’t enough as the Scarlet Knights fell 20-7 to the Nittany Lions and to 1-10 overall in 2018. Rutgers is now 2-27 against Penn State and Chris Ash’s team will have to travel to East Lansing for a date with Michigan State at 4 p.m. on November 24.
The Wisconsin Badgers needed four quarters plus three overtime periods in order to finally put away Wisconsin. The Badgers moved to 7-4 in 2018 after a 47-44 win over Purdue. Paul Chryst’s team put up 545 total yards with 385 of those coming on the ground.
Jonathan Taylor carried the rock 33 times for 321 yards and found the end zone three times. Taylor had runs of 80, 12 and 17 yards with the 17-yard run being the deciding factor. Wisconsin will return home to Camp Randall Stadium for a rivalry game with Minnesota at 3:30 p.m. on November 24. The Badgers have not lost to the Golden Gophers since 2003.
Christopher Hess is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in history. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.