Around the Big Ten: Football - Week 6
Host Mike Brown and analysts Danny Murray and Charlie Knezevic break down Penn State's huge road win over Maryland and preview the week ahead in Big Ten football in the latest edition of the Around the Big Ten podcast:
Big Ten football is back for another week of fun as some of college football’s top teams clash in Top 25 matchups.
First and foremost, the 14th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes are on the road at the 19th-ranked Michigan Wolverines. The Hawkeyes are fresh off a 48-3 drubbing of Middle Tennessee and are getting their first big conference road test of the season in Michigan. However, the Hawkeyes have a highly experienced quarterback in senior Nathan Stanley.
Michigan, on the other hand, has already taken a loss this year in an embarrassing 35-14 blowout against the eighth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Michigan’s offense in particular has been an extreme disappointment, with supposed superstar QB Shea Patterson putting up paltry numbers so far: only six touchdowns, 905 passing yards and a 59% completion percentage. Whether or not the Hawkeyes’ strong defense can take advantage of a weak Michigan offense will be a deciding factor. For Michigan, it will be all about getting the offense going early and making sure Patterson can get into a rhythm.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, 25th-ranked Michigan State travels to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the red-hot fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes haven’t missed a beat since the sudden departure of head coach Urban Meyer, with new head coach Ryan Day picking up right where Meyer left off. Now, with uber-talented quarterback Justin Fields at the helm, the Buckeyes look to have one of their best squads in a while. Fields already has 23 total touchdowns through only five games. On top of that, the Buckeyes have one of the best edge rushers in all of college football in Chase Young. But it’s not just these two alone. The Buckeyes feature a highly talented roster all around.
Michigan State’s outlook is a little more bleak than Ohio State’s. The Spartans lost in an absolute heartbreaker at home to the Arizona State Sun Devils earlier in the season. While the offense has improved from a year ago, the Spartans’ real strength lies in their defense, which ranks as seventh-best overall in all of college football. The Spartans will have to rely heavily on their defense, with the key being stopping Justin Fields as best as they can.
The rest of the Big Ten features some rather quiet matchups. The dumpster fire bowl will take place at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey, as Rutgers hosts Maryland. Rutgers has just recently fired head coach Chris Ash, and Maryland is fresh off a 59-0 beatdown from Penn State.
Speaking of Penn State, the Nittany Lions should have a nice and easy homecoming win against a struggling and heavily injured Purdue team. Rounding out the rest of the Big Ten: Kent State visits eighth-ranked Wisconsin, the recently humbled Nebraska Cornhuskers take on the Northwestern Wildcats at home in Lincoln, and the Fighting Illini of Illinois travel up to Minneapolis to take on P.J. Fleck’s undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers.
All in all, it’s another exciting weekend of Big Ten football, featuring some interesting matchups that could seriously shake up the conference.
David Saggio is a sophomore majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.