Around the Big Ten: Week 9 (Football)
Host Jacob Cheris and analysts Dale Ostrander, Aidan Torok and Charlie Murray preview the biggest games of the week in Big Ten football.
To no surprise, the return of the Big Ten was an eventful one. Most notably, Indiana pulled off an upset of Penn State, ranked eighth in the nation at the time, by a final score of 36-35.
In the controversial final play, quarterback Michael Penix Jr. sprawled out on the deciding 2-point conversion. The initial call on the field was a good score, and referees did not think that there was enough evidence to overturn the call. Others disagreed, saying that the ball hit the ground before crossing the plane.
Nonetheless, the Nittany Lions did not play well. After being behind for the majority of the game, they had multiple chances to finish the game with a win, but three missed field goals, over 100 yards in penalties and poor clock management at the end of the game led to a Hoosiers victory.
Penn State is going to need to make some major changes in order to beat No. 5 Ohio State this weekend. With Penn State’s top running backs Journey Brown and now Noah Cain out for the season, younger backs like Devyn Ford are going to need to step up.
The Buckeyes defeated Nebraska 52-17 last week. Heisman candidate Justin Fields completed all but one of his 21 attempts for an overall 276 yards passing, two touchdown passes and one rushing score. Ohio State comes into this weekend as a 12-point favorite against Penn State.
With Field’s accuracy and receiving threats like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, the performance of Penn State’s secondary may be a large determinant for this game. It is clear that the Nittany Lions can bring some pressure around the edge with players like Shaka Toney and Jayson Oweh, but overall, the run game and secondary of the Nittany Lions needs to step up. Sean Clifford cannot be the leader in rushing yards again like he was in Saturday’s game.
With Michigan’s initial starting quarterback Dylan McCaffrey opting out for the season, all eyes were on junior Joe Milton to perform against Minnesota. He played very well, completing 15 of his 22 attempts for a total of 225 yards with a touchdown.
Minnesota was missing key players in all three areas last week, and the Wolverines capitalized on this. The Golden Gophers will travel to Maryland this week, while Michigan will host Michigan State in the Big House this weekend following the Spartans’ loss to Rutgers.
The Wisconsin game against Nebraska has been canceled due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases within the Badgers’ program. As of Wednesday, six players and six staff members tested positive, including starting quarterback Graham Mertz, who will now be out for a minimum of 21 days.
Last week, Northwestern pulled off a rather easy win against Maryland 43-3. The Wildcats will travel to Iowa, which is coming off of a 24-20 loss against Purdue.
Purdue will play at Illinois this week, and following the big win against Penn State, Indiana will play at Rutgers.
Kathryn Tague is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.