Around the Big Ten: Week 15 (Football)
Host Matt McLaughlin is joined by analysts Jon Draeger, Adam Sheetz and Trevor Grady to recap some of the biggest moments in Big Ten football from Week 14 and give their takes on this upcoming slate of games.
The Big Ten enters its last week of play before championship weekend, and the schedule has been moved around and altered due to the global pandemic.
Two games have been canceled this weekend already due to COVID-19 concerns. One of those games was “The Game” between No. 4 Ohio State and Michigan. This cancellation almost kept Ohio State out of the Big Ten title game due to the Buckeyes being short of the six-game minimum established by the Big Ten, but the league decided to change the rules to allow them to compete next week in the Big Ten championship.
The other game that was cancelled this weekend was the matchup for the Old Oaken Bucket between No. 12 Indiana and Purdue. The Hoosiers have been enjoying an amazing season in 2020 and will hope to play next weekend against the second-place team out of the Big Ten West.
Penn State started out 0-5 for the first time in school history, but the Nittany Lions have turned their season around in the last two weeks. Penn State gained its second victory in 2020 last Saturday, beating Rutgers 23-7. The Nittany Lions have found a rushing attack led by freshman back Keyvone Lee, who rushed for 95 yards in the win. Penn State’s defense looked dominant on Saturday as well, especially on third and fourth down, holding the Scarlet Knights to 3 for 15 on third down and 1 for 4 on fourth down. Penn State has won two straight and will look to keep its momentum rolling when the Spartans of Michigan State visit Happy Valley on Saturday.
Northwestern clinched the Big Ten West last week and has a date with the Buckeyes on Dec. 19. The Wildcats’ game last week was canceled, but they are back in action this week when they take on Illinois. Northwestern has to watch out for the Illini this weekend, because Illinois would like nothing more than to knock off its rival before the Big Ten championship game. Northwestern did lose its last game to Michigan State, so the Wildcats need this game to get back on track before their trip to Indianapolis.
A game with huge implications for the second-place spot in the West takes place on Saturday between No. 16 Iowa and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes have looked like the best team in the West since their 0-2 start, winning five straight games and looking dominant in the process. The Badgers are moving in the opposite direction, dropping their last two games and only scoring a combined 13 points in those games. This game should be an old-fashioned battle and could make for some very interesting football come Saturday.
The Big Ten season is coming to a close, and it’s been a wild and crazy one. The title game is set, and the only thing to do is to wait and see what other matchups will be played on championship weekend. So, just sit back and watch, as these next two weekends should be filled with a lot of fun, entertaining football in the Big Ten conference.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.