Around the Big Ten: Football - Week 4
This week on the Around the Big Ten podcast, host Logan Bourandas, Jack McCune, Charlie Knezevic and Matt Noah talk about big losses from Maryland and Michigan State and a dominant win by Nebraska. They also preview the biggest games in Week 4:
Week 4 of the college football season is right around the corner, and Big Ten teams are looking to make a statement after going just 6-5 as a conference last week. This will be a quieter week, as Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota, Purdue and Maryland are all on bye, but there are still plenty of exciting games to look forward to this upcoming weekend.
No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin
The first head-to-head matchup in the conference between two ranked teams is finally here. Michigan is favored by 3.5 points on the road, but the home team has won nine of the last 10 meetings in this matchup, and the Badgers have won their last four home games against the Wolverines. This game could be more lopsided than people may think, as Wisconsin has yet to allow a single point from opponents in its first two games, while the Wolverines barely slipped past Army in overtime earlier in the year.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor can reportedly squat 500 pounds, but he’ll be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders in this heavily-anticipated matchup. All things considered, the winner of this game will show the rest of the conference and the entirety of college football that there is an elite team in the Great Lakes area.
Michigan State at Northwestern
The Wildcats will come into this game with a lot of confidence, coming off a solid win against UNLV, while Michigan State comes into thisone shaken up by a 10-7 upset loss to Arizona State, which knocked the Spartans out of the Top 25. The Spartans offense was dead against ASU, and head coach Mark Dantonio seemed scared to use redshirt freshman running back Elijah Collins in key situations, even though he’s been the most successful back for the team this season. As for Northwestern, running backs Isaiah Bowser and Jesse Brown have had injury issues and could miss this game. Especially because this matchup is being played in Chicago, this game could easily go in either direction.
Miami (Ohio) at No. 6 Ohio State
The Buckeyes are looking to solidify themselves as one of the best teams in the nation as they face an in-state rival this week. They have already scored an impressive 138 points in their first three games. Quarterback Justin Fields is tied for the most touchdown passes in the conference this year with nine. The 1-2 Miami RedHawks scored the first 10 points in their last game against Cincinnati, but they ended up losing 35-13. This should be another easy victory for the Buckeyes.
Nebraska at Illinois
The two teams right behind Wisconsin in the Big Ten West standings will face off this week in the conference opener for both teams. The Cornhuskers had a disastrous overtime loss in Week 2 against Colorado that took away all of Nebraska’s hype, and it won’t get much easier while facing the Fighting Illini. Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters looks legit, and he’s tied with Fields and Purdue’s Elijah Sindelar for the most touchdown passes in the conference at nine apiece. A disappointing Nebraska team against a high-hopes Illinois squad could prove to be an enticing matchup.
Other Big Ten games in Week 4:
Boston College at Rutgers
UConn at Indiana
Jack McCune is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.