Around the Big Ten: Week 8 (Football)
Big Ten football is finally back! Analysts Charles Murray, Trevor Grady and Jonathan Draeger and host Dale Ostrander look at four great games this week and give their thoughts about what they think will go down in the first week of Big Ten action.
It’s October, but we finally have Big Ten football back in our lives. With only eight regular season games on the schedule this year and all of them in conference, there is no room for mistakes. Even without playing any games this year, five Big Ten teams will start their season in the AP Top 25 rankings, and two teams will start in the top 10.
Once again, Ohio State starts out as the highest-ranked Big Ten team, as the Buckeyes sit at the No. 5 spot.
With J.K Dobbins now in the NFL, this year will be the Justin Fields show, as he threw for over 3,000 yards and 41 touchdowns last season. Fields is one of the top Heisman contenders and one of the top quarterbacks in the 2021 draft class. Top receiver Chris Olave, who had over 800 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago, also returns.
The Buckeyes open up the week as a four-touchdown favorite against a still rebuilding Nebraska program.
Penn State will also start the season out as a top-10 team, sitting at the No. 8 spot.
The Nittany Lions have had questions arise about their starting running back position with the recent announcement that Journey Brown will most likely miss this year with a medical condition. In all likelihood, Noah Cain will be the guy relied upon, as Cain was more than reliable when he started before getting injured. Cain’s best game came against Iowa, a game in which he had 102 rushing yards in a close win. Cain received just 12 carries the rest of the regular season.
The Nittany Lions will take on a tough Indiana team that nearly beat the Nittany Lions last year. The Hoosiers started Peyton Ramsey in that game at quarterback, but he has since transferred to Northwestern.
The best game to take place in the Big Ten this week will see two ranked teams in Michigan and Minnesota.
Although Michigan comes into the week at No. 18 in the country, there are questions surrounding the quarterback position. With Dylan McCaffrey opting out of the season, that means redshirt sophomore Joe Milton will get the starting job. Milton received limited playing time in his previous two years, recording just 11 pass attempts, one touchdown and two interceptions in his young career.
Minnesota will have a majority of their key players returning this season. Some notable losses are defensive leader Antoine Winfield Jr. and leading receiver Tyler Johnson, who now both play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and leading rusher Rodney Smith. However, those losses are offset by the return of starting quarterback Tanner Morgan and deep threat Rashod Bateman: a potentially scary duo to look out for all season long.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.