Around the Big Ten: Week Six
Minnesota at Purdue 12:00 PM ET
Many say this could be the only shot the Golden Gophers have at a conference win this season. A quarterback controversy has caused a lot of problems in the offense. Max Shortnell has two starts while throwing for 24/50 for 300 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. MarQueis Gray was the previous starter throwing for 521 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Along with Iowa, the Boilermakers will be playing their first Big Ten conference match up when they take on the Golden Gophers. After losing to Notre Dame in prime time, the Boilermakers, like their opponents, will be fighting to stay out of the basement of the Big Ten. Purdue is stuck in a quarterback controversy of their own between Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve. With Marve’s Twitter issue on Monday, the question remains, will he play at all?
No. 19 Illinois at Indiana 2:30 PM ET
The Fighting Illini look to continue their undefeated season when they travel to Bloomington to face the Hoosiers. With a win, the Illini can already clinch a bowl birth for the second straight season. A.J. Jenkins is coming off of a 12 reception 268 yard (a school record), 3 touchdown game against Northwestern. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase also had a personal best 21/32 for 391 yards with 3 touchdown passes.
With a loss, the Hoosier’s bowl hopes can go up in smoke. The dreadful season continues and with the remaining schedule (Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Iowa) it looks as if Indiana is on track to battle Minnesota and Purdue to stay above the basement of the Big Ten this season. Problems at the safety position continue to plague the defense while quarterback is the focus on offense. Dusty Kiel took every snap against Penn State but head coach Kevin Wilson expressed his desire to get true freshman quarterback Tre Robinson more reps.
No. 12 Michigan at Northwestern 7:00 PM ET
This will be the first game of the season where the Wolverines will not play at the Big House. Coming off a 58-0 blowout in their conference opener against Minnesota, the Wolverines look to continue an undefeated season, hoping to crack the top 10. Denard Robinson leads the league with 603 rush yards and will be licking his lips against a struggling Northwestern defense.
The Wildcats’ main concern is with their quarterback Dan Persa. Persa suffered a setback with his injured right foot back in June and tweaked his Achilles last week against Illinois. The setback in June led to Persa missing the first three games of the season.
An already struggling run defense will have their hands full trying to stop Denard Robinson. The defense allowed 381 rush yards in the loss to Army and 391 rush yards in the loss to Illinois. The Wildcats defense is allowing 414 yards per game (Minnesota is the only one who trails).
Ohio State at No. 14 Nebraska 8:00 PM ET
The Buckeyes continue to have off the field issues. Melvin Fellows, Marcus Hall, Boom Herron, and DeVier Posey were under investigation and found guilty of receiving more money than they earned for part-time jobs. Fellows is currently injured and will not serve a suspension. On the field, the Buckeyes narrowly escaped a home shut out, scoring in the final 10 seconds in a 10-7 loss to Michigan State. The offensive line allowed nine sacks and 13 tackles for loss. The offense only gained 178 yards while the defense kept them in the game while forcing three turnovers and only 71 rushing yards. Both Braxton Miller and Joe Bauserman took snaps for the Buckeyes last week raising many eyebrows amongst Buckeye fans.
The Huskers will return to Lincoln for their first home Big Ten Conference matchup following an embarrassing 48-17 defeat to Wisconsin in their first game as part of the Big Ten. In an attempt at redemption for last week’s loss, head coach Bo Pelini will have to face his alma matter (played safety for Ohio State from 1987-90). The Huskers will be looking for their defense to break out of a slump. They are allowing 27 points and 377 yards per game. In three games they have had an opposing rusher run for over 100 yards as well as 224 passing yards with 10 touchdown passes. Despite praise from defensive coordinator Carl Pelini (Bo’s older brother), the defense has been sporadic and looking confused, resulting in poor tackling.
No. 4 Wisconsin: Bye Week
The Badgers convinced many that they are one of the best teams in the country this season. The week off will help them rest up for the October 15 matchup against Indiana. Russell Wilson proved he belongs in the Heisman race as he leads the league in almost every passing category. The BCS title game has come into the conversation but will need help competing in the polls with the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma and LSU.
Michigan State: Bye Week
Freshman Linbacker Marcus Rush became this week’s Big Ten Freshman of the week. As a part of the league’s leading defense, Rush has 18 tackles with 3.5 for loss and a sack. Teammate Jerel Worthy has been turning heads at the defensive tackle position. He was all over the backfield in the Spartan’s win over Ohio State.
Rob Greissinger is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.