Around the Big Ten: Week 7
Joe Skinner, Chris Hess, Kyle Canillio and Derek Heid preview week seven Big Ten football matchups:
At the conclusion of week six, conference play is in full swing around the Big Ten and the division title races are beginning to heat up. Ohio State holds an advantage in the East over Penn State and Michigan. Wisconsin has the head-to-head advantage over Iowa and Northwestern is still lingering in the race for the West.
Lovie Smith and the Illinois Fighting Illini picked up a crucial 38-17 road victory of Rutgers. As a team, Illinois rushed for 330 yards against the struggling Scarlet Knights' defense. Reggie Corbin and AJ Bush combined for 253 of those 330 yards and found the end zone three times. The Illini will look for their second Big Ten win as they welcome Purdue to Champaign for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on October 13.
Indiana was down 28-20 at halftime and the Hoosiers were poised to give an upset scare to Ohio State. However, six second-half points led to Indiana’s demise and Tom Allen’s team fell 49-26 to the Buckeyes. Peyton Ramsey went 26/49 for 322 yards and threw three touchdown passes. Nick Westbrook, Donovan Hale, and Peyton Hendershot each caught a touchdown and Westbrook had 109 yards receiving. Indiana will host Iowa at noon on October 13.
After falling to Wisconsin in week four, Iowa used a week five bye to fully prepare for Minnesota. The Hawkeyes took advantage of the opportunity and defeated the Golden Gophers 48-31. Quarterback Nathan Stanley completed 23 passes on 39 attempts for 314 yards, threw four touchdowns and an interception. Four different receivers caught touchdowns and Ihmir Smith-Marsette had 78 yards receiving. The Hawkeyes will travel to Bloomington to take on Indiana at noon on October 13.
After a Ty Johnson 98-yard kickoff return, Maryland held a 7-3 lead over Michigan. The Wolverines then scored 24 unanswered points and the Terps could not recover from the deficit leading to a 42-21 loss in Ann Arbor. Maryland had only 220 yards of total offense and 147 of those yards came on the ground. Matt Canada’s team will look to rebound at home against Rutgers on October 13 at noon.
The Michigan Wolverines won their fifth straight game after defeating Maryland 42-21. Quarterback Shea Patterson went 19/27 for a season-high 282 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Karan Higdon rushed for 103 yards on 25 carries and Zach Gentry led the Wolverines in receiving with 112 yards. College Gameday will be in Ann Arbor on October 13 as the Wolverines will take on Wisconsin in a pivotal conference game at 7:30 p.m.
Michigan State’s chances of making a run in the Big Ten East took a major hit as the Spartans fell 29-19 to Northwestern. Brian Lewerke went 31/51 for 329 yards, threw one touchdown, and also threw an interception. Felton Davis III led the team in receiving with 96 yards. Michigan State will travel to Penn State on October 13 in hopes of knocking off the Nittany Lions at 3:30 p.m.
Minnesota dropped its second-consecutive conference game at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 48-31. Quarterback Zack Annexstad completed 17 passes on 33 attempts for 218 yards and threw three touchdowns. However, he also threw three interceptions. Rashod Bateman had two of the three touchdowns through the air and Tyler Johnson has 107 yards receiving. PJ Fleck’s team will travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State at noon on October 13.
Scott Frost will still have to wait another week for that first win he is desperately searching for. The Cornhuskers fell to 0-5 after a 41-24 loss to Wisconsin under the lights in Madison. Quarterback Adrian Martinez went 24/42 for 384 yards and two touchdown passes. JD Spielman had 209 yards receiving on just nine receptions and found the end zone once. The Cornhuskers will look to get their first win of 2018 in Evanston against Northwestern at noon on October 13.
Sitting at 1-3 overall, Northwestern picked up a crucial road win at Michigan State by a score of 29-19. Quarterback Clayton Thorson went 31/47 for 373 yards, threw three touchdown passes and two interceptions. Flynn Nagel led the Wildcats in receiving with 111 yards and Kyric McGowan had a 77-yard touchdown reception. Pat Fitzgerald’s team will look to improve to .500 as it will host Nebraska for a noon kickoff on October 13.
After leading by just eight points at halftime, Ohio State limited Indiana to just six second-half points and defeated the Hoosiers behind the effort from Dwayne Haskins. The star quarterback went 33/44 for 455 yards, six touchdown passes and two interceptions. Parris Campbell had 142 yards receiving and two touchdowns as well. The Buckeyes racked up 609 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Ohio State will welcome Minnesota to Columbus for a noon kickoff on October 13.
Penn State was idle during week six and the Nittany Lions sit at 4-1 overall while still in contention for the Big Ten East title. James Franklin’s team will host Michigan State on October 13 at 3:30 p.m. for Homecoming in hopes of avenging its first home loss since 2015.
Purdue had its bye week during week six and the Boilermakers are sitting at 2-3 overall. Jeff Brohm’s troops will look to get to .500 as they will have a date on the road with Illinois at 3:30 p.m. on October 13.
The struggles continue for Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights dropped their fifth straight game, falling to Illinois 38-17. Quarterback Art Sitkowski went 29/46 for 267 yards, threw one touchdown and three interceptions. Sitkowski now has 11 interceptions and only three touchdown passes on the season. Travis Vokolek caught the lone receiving touchdown and Bo Melton had 70 yards receiving. Chris Ash’s team will travel to College Park for a battle with Maryland at noon on October 13.
Jonathan Taylor further enhanced his case to be in the brunt of the Heisman conversation in Wisconsin’s 41-24 win over Nebraska. The sophomore running back had 221 yards rushing on 24 carries and found the end zone three times. Taylor also broke off an 88-yard run to give the Badgers a 41-17 lead in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin will travel to Ann Arbor for a clash with Michigan under the lights at 7:30 p.m. on October 13 with College Gameday in attendance as well.
Christopher Hess is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in history. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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