Around the Big Ten: Week 6

Story posted October 4, 2012 in CommRadio, Sports by Jason Shawley

Michigan (2-2, 0-0) at Purdue (3-1, 0-0)

After coming off a bye week, Denard Robinson and the Wolverines will travel to West Lafayette to take on Purdue. After a solid 2011 season, Robinson has gotten off to a slow start in 2012, throwing six touchdowns and eight interceptions. He will try to get back on track against a Purdue defense that has six interceptions on the season. On the other side, the quarterbacks for the Boilermakers have been efficient. Leading the way for Purdue is Caleb TerBush, who has completed 63% of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

Michigan St. (3-2, 0-1) at Indiana (2-2, 0-1)

One week after a tough 17-16 loss to Ohio State, Michigan State looks to get its first Big Ten win against Indiana, who is also looking for its first conference win of the season. Spartans’ junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell will be working against a Hoosiers defense that has tallied only three interceptions and five total turnovers over four games. Indiana will counter with a quarterback rotation that includes junior Cameron Coffman and true freshman Nate Sudfeld.  

Nebraska (4-1, 1-0) at Ohio St. (5-0, 1-0)

With the first conference win under its belt, 21st-ranked Nebraska will travel to Columbus to try to steal a win against Braxton Miller and 12th-ranked Ohio State. The Buckeyes enter the game with a perfect record through five games. One main reason for the early success is the quick development of its sophomore quarterback. Miller enters the game completing 62% of his passes, which is an improvement from 54% last season. The Cornhuskers have also started strong and are led offensively by junior quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has thrown 11 touchdowns with only one interception.  

Northwestern (5-0, 1-0) at Penn St. (3-2, 1-0)

After dropping the first two games of the season in heartbreaking fashion, the Nittany Lions have rallied to win the last three games, which includes a dominant performance at Illinois last weekend in the Big Ten opener. First-year head coach Bill O’Brien has gotten the most out of fifth-year senior quarterback Matt McGloin, who leads the Big Ten in multiple passing categories including passing yards and yards per game. McGloin will be looking to get the ball to leading receiver Allen Robinson who has 32 receptions in five games. They will host undefeated Northwestern who enters the week as the 24th ranked team in the country. The Wildcats will likely utilize two quarterbacks with junior Kain Colter and sophomore Trevor Siemian. They will face a strong Penn State defense led by senior linebacker Michael Mauti, who leads the team with 48 tackles and two interceptions.

Illinois (2-3, 0-1) at Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1)

Though Wisconsin entered the season with high expectations after a trip to the Rose Bowl last season, it hasn’t lived up to them early. With Russell Wilson now the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Maryland-transfer Danny O’Brien was handed the keys. O’Brien has had a slow start, throwing for only 479 yards and three touchdowns fives games in. Freshman Joel Stave has started the last two games for the Badgers, throwing for 439 yards and two touchdowns. They will face an Illinois defense that gave up 35 points to Penn State last weekend. Illini junior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has struggled to this point, throwing for 481 yards along with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Riley O’Toole will likely play nearly an equal amount of snaps, as he has been by far the most effective quarterback, completing 78% of his passes. Both teams are looking for their first conference win this weekend.

Jason Shawley is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email