1. #2 Ohio State vs Rutgers. In a battles of scarlets, the Buckeyes annihilated the Knights, 58-0. And the internal numbers were worse than the score. Ohio State had 669 yards of total offense to just 116 for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights actually had a fairly good first quarter, gaining 74 total yards and holding the Buckeyes to just 6 points. However, the Knights' offense gained just 42 yards the rest of the game (including exactly 0 passing yards) and the defense fell apart. Leading the way for Ohio State were quarterback J.T. Barrett (284 total yards, 4 total TD) and running backs Mike Weber (147 all-purpose yards, 1 TD) and Curtis Samuel (144 all-purpose yards, 1 TD).
2. #4 Michigan vs #8 Wisconsin. These two teams played just the kind of football game that the Big Ten is noted for: tough, hard-nosed, defense-oriented, and boring as Hell. Michigan won, 14-7, thanks to a 46-yard TD pass from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh midway through the fourth quarter. Both offenses were awful, as the teams combined for just 508 yards (remember that Ohio State had 669 yards this week all by itself); were a combined 7 for 31 (22.6%) on 3rd and 4th downs; and combined for 16 punts. Wisconsin's offense was an order of magnitude more awful, as the Badgers managed just 71 yards rushing on 28 carries (2.5 average) and 88 yards passing (3.3 yards per attempt). Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook was at the center of this dumpster fire, with 9 completions in 25 attempts (36.0%) for 88 yards, 3 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 1 touchdown. The Badgers managed just 8 first downs for the game, which is one less than Rutgers had in a 58-point blow-out loss to Ohio State. That's some ugly stuff right there.
3. Maryland vs Purdue. Don't look now but the Maryland Terrapins are 4-0, which is one more win than they had all of last season. Their latest victim was Purdue, which fell by the score of 50-7. Add Purdue to the list of inept Big Ten offenses (Rutgers, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc.), as the Boilermakers gained only 206 total yards, including a measly 11 on the ground (on 26 attempts, for an average of 15 inches per carry). Purdue quarterbacks combined to go 22 of 53 passing (41.5%) for 195 yards, an interception, and the team's lone touchdown. Maryland's quarterbacks weren't much better (9/17, 96 yards, 3 TD, INT) but the Terps rushed for an even 400 yards (8.7 yards per carry). Sophomore Ty Johnson led the way with 7 rushes for 204 yards (29.1 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns (76 yards and 8 yards). Interestingly, Maryland lost the turnover battle (2 to 1), which is a rarity in a 43-point win.
4. Northwestern vs. Iowa. When two of the most boring teams in the Big Ten get together, you expect a low-scoring sludgefest. Not this time. In one of the most of the exciting games in the conference this season, the Northwestern Wildcats outlasted the Iowa Hawkeyes, 38-31. Led by running back Justin Jackson (26 carries, 171 yards, 58-yard TD), the Wildcats more than doubled their season scoring average (16.25 ppg). Iowa had a chance to tie the score late in the fourth quarter, but Northwestern's Trae Williams sealed the victory with an interception with 1:05 remaining.
5. Penn State vs. Minnesota. When two teams have almost exactly the same amount of total yards (Penn State 471, Minnesota 469) you'd expect the score to be close, and in this case it was. The teams needed overtime to decide this contest, with the Nittany Lions finally prevailing, 29-26. Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley completed just 19 of 40 passes (47.5%) but had 335 yards thanks to three passes of 50+ yards including an 80-yard touchdown to freshman wide receiver Irvin Charles.
6. Indiana vs. #17 Michigan State. The irresistible force meets the immovable object. The Indiana Hoosiers lose games in the final seconds. The Michigan State Spartans lose games in ridiculous fashion. Something had to give. True to form, Indiana, leading 21-14 late in the fourth quarter, gave up the game-tying touchdown with just 11 seconds left on the clock. Now it was Michigan State's turn and Sparty did not disappoint, losing 7 yards in overtime before missing a 49-yard field goal attempt. Indiana took over needing just a field goal to win the game. The Hoosiers gained 9 yards down to the Spartan 16-yard line, but kicker Griffin Oakes shanked the 33-yard chip shot. But wait! Captain Sparty to the rescue! Michigan State committed a rare "leaping" personal foul on the field goal attempt which gave Indiana 8 yards and a fresh set of downs. After a couple of short runs, Oakes made good on his second chance opportunity and Indiana prevailed, 24-21.
7. #15 Nebraska vs Illinois. The Cornhuskers remained a perfect 5-0 on the season with a 31-16 victory over the Illini. Nebraska was actually losing this game, 16-10, entering the fourth quarter but the offense came alive with three touchdowns down the stretch. The highlight was a 63-yard touchdown run by Terrell Newby with under three minutes left that clinched the game.
8. Florida vs Vanderbilt. Last season, the Florida-Vanderbilt match-up earned our honorary Big Ten Suckfest of the Week Award. This year is no different. The Gators managed just 248 total yards, while the Commodores were only slightly better with 265 total yards. The difference in the game was quarterback play, as Florida's Austin Appleby was merely bad (19/28, 67.9%, 144 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT), while Vandy's combo of Kyle Shurmur and Wade Freebeck were absolutely horrible (12/32, 37.5%, 118 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT). Each team had a pair of field goals, but Florida added a 4-yard touchdown run by Jordan Scarlett to secure the 13-6 victory.
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