Around The Big Ten: Football – Week 13
Host Josh Portney alongside Logan Bourandas, Matt Noah and Dale Ostrander look back at a sleepy Week 12 in the Big Ten and preview Week 13's big games:
Then No. 20 Iowa’s upset over No. 8 Minnesota changed the outlook of the Big Ten, particularly in the West. However, the conference still has six teams ranked in the top-20 and there will be plenty of excitement this week as No. 8 Penn State faces No. 2 Ohio State and No. 13 Michigan travels to Bloomington to face a sneaky Hoosiers team.
No. 8 Penn State (9-1) @ No. 2 Ohio State (10-0)
This game will decide who wins the Big Ten East and will greatly complicate the playoff rankings if Penn State can pull off the upset. In the last two years, Ohio State has rallied against Penn State in the second half and won by one in each game.
This week’s game will be a challenge for the Nittany Lions, but Penn State must sustain long drives and keep Justin Fields off the field. Ohio State has one of the most explosive offenses in the country, and the Nittany Lions must prevent big plays from happening if they are going to win in Columbus.
Illinois (6-4) @ No. 17 Iowa (7-3)
The Illini are riding a four-game winning streak as they enter Kinnick Stadium. Except for the game against Wisconsin, Illinois is averaging 334 yards and 30.4 points per game against lower-tier team. It will be a tough task for them considering Iowa’s defense has allowed less than 100 points this season and the Hawkeyes just upset Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes offense is much better since its loss to Penn State as the team averages nearly four yards per carry. The Iowa offense, however, rarely lights up any defense, so expect a defensive game where the Hawkeyes come out victorious.
No. 8 Minnesota (9-1) @ Northwestern (2-8)
Minnesota saw its unbeaten season came to an end last weekend, but it still has an opportunity to win the Big Ten Championship. The Golden Gophers defense is the primary reason for this team’s success as it holds teams to under 20 points and 300 yards per game.
Northwestern’s defense looks strong on paper, but it recently gave up 31 points to both Illinois and Michigan State. This game will be low-scoring, but Tanner Morgan will have another monster game running the ball for Minnesota.
Michigan State (4-6) @ Rutgers (2-8)
The Spartans need to win their next two games to become bowl eligible and Rutgers will present a slight challenge if they play as well as they did against Ohio State last week. Michigan State struggled offensively last week, but the running game is much improved.
Michigan State’s defense is strong enough to give freshman quarterback Johnny Langen issues, which will propel the Spartans to their fifth win of the season.
Nebraska (4-6) @ Maryland (3-7)
This game will be exciting because both teams are weak defensively. For the Cornhuskers, Adrian Martinez can shine against a team that has given up more than 400 yards in seven games this season.
Maryland, who is coming off a bye, should continue its success running the ball. This game is more significant for Nebraska, who needs to win-out to become bowl eligible.
No. 13 Michigan (8-2) @ Indiana (7-3)
The difference in this game will be how the Hoosier defense fares against a physical Michigan offensive line. Indiana’s offense is strong as it posted 371 yards against Penn State last week.
Michigan is playing well and Shea Patterson will make enough passes to set the Wolverines up for Ohio State week.
Purdue (4-6) @ No. 12 Wisconsin (8-2)
Adrian Martinez had plenty of success last weekend against the Badgers defense and Purdue will have opportunities to replicate that this week with its young core of wide receivers.
The problem is Jonathan Taylor and the Badgers are too good to lose against the Boilermakers. Wisconsin is tough to beat at home and needs this week’s win to set themselves up for a potential Big 10 Championship appearance.
Matthew White is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism with a double minor in business and spanish. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Public Relations, Business, Spanish
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Matt Noah is a freshman based 6 hours away, 30 minutes outside of Boston in Framingham, MA. He is a Boston sports fan but can keep a conversation in any sport thanks to his passion. Big fantasy football enthusiast. Planning to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism.
Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism