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Big Ten weekend review: Week Seven

It was a wild weekend in Big Ten football with excitement across the board.

Courtesy of Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball)
@BoilerFootball

Even though Maryland and a number of other Big Ten teams were off this week because of the bye, the deepest conference in college football marched on. The weekend saw a ton of upsets that impact the top of the standings and the race to the Big Ten championship.

Let’s take a look at where things stand in the Big Ten standings after the weekend.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Michigan State 4-0 7-0 W, 25-20, Rutgers
Michigan 3-0 6-0 BYE
Ohio State 3-0 5-1 BYE
Penn State 2-1 5-1 BYE
Maryland 1-2 4-2 BYE
Indiana 0-3 2-4 L, 25-20, Michigan State
Rutgers 0-4 3-4 L, 21-7, Northwestern

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Iowa 3-1 6-1 L, 24-7, Purdue
Minnesota 2-1 4-2 W, 30-23, Nebraska
Purdue 2-1 4-2 W, 24-7, Iowa
Northwestern 1-2 3-3 W, 21-7, Rutgers
Wisconsin 1-2 3-3 W, 20-14, Army
Illinois 1-3 2-5 BYE
Nebraska 1-4 3-5 L, 30-23, Minnesota

Game of the week: No. 10 Michigan State over Indiana

With only nine Big Ten teams playing this weekend, there was no marquee matchup between two ranked teams. However, when the number 10 team in the nation traveled to Bloomington, it proved to be a defensive battle where Michigan State walked away with a 20-15 victory.

Indiana has struggled this season, but anytime they are in front of its home crowd, they are a worthy opponent. Both defenses were formidable with both quarterbacks throwing two interceptions apiece.

The Hoosiers had a 9-7 lead in the second quarter, but the Spartans rallied off ten unanswered with a field goal and touchdown that proved to be the decider.

Michigan State remains undefeated this season with a brutal schedule on the horizon, which includes a matchup against three fellow top 10 ranked teams. Next week the No. 6 ranked Michigan Wolverines will travel to East Lansing. Later on, the Spartans will close their season against No. 5 Ohio State and No. 7 Penn State.

The win over Indiana was pivotal for the Spartans to keep their hat in the running for the Big Ten championship. Michigan State jumped one spot in the AP poll to No. 9.

Surprise game: Purdue over No. 2 Iowa

This was the game that sent shock waves not just throughout the Big Ten but all of college football. Iowa had been incredible this season, racing off to a 6-0 start and the No. 2 ranking in the country for the first time since 1985. However, that all came crashing down when the Boilermakers walked into Kinnick Stadium and stunned the world in a 24-7 win.

Purdue was been a middle-of-the-pack team in the conference, now boasting a 4-2 overall record, but it would have been hard to anticipate the offensive success they had against one of the top defenses in the nation Iowa displays.

The Boilermakers’ superstar wide receiver David Bell torched the Iowa secondary en route to a career day. Bell had 11 receptions for 240 yards and a touchdown. Purdue’s quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for 375 yards and had three touchdowns in the win. It’s rare that an opponent is able to have the kind of success Purdue did moving the ball against the daunting Iowa defense, but Purdue found a way.

Iowa’s offense could not get anything going all game, with four turnovers impeding the offense. Purdue has had great success over Iowa in recent years, defeating them in four of the last five times the teams met. This snapped Iowa’s 12-game winning streak.

Iowa fell to No. 11 in the AP poll and Purdue moved into the ranking for the first time this season at the No. 25 spot. Iowa still has a chance to compete for the conference championship but it will need to get back to its winning ways on the defensive end for that feat to be accomplished.

Statement game: Minnesota over Nebraska

While it is not a statement game in the sense of the impact of the Big Ten standings, Minnesota has struggled at times this year and has become overlooked because of it. The Gophers were four-point underdogs heading into this showdown in Lincoln, so it was an impressive and important 30-23 win for Minnesota.

Minnesota was led by its balanced offensive attack. Quarterback Tanner Morgan was 20-24 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Two of the four incompletions by Morgan ended up as picks. The Gophers ground game was just as potent though. Running back Bryce Williams ran for 127 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.

Minnesota got off to a fast start, gaining a 21-9 edge before Nebraska cut its deficit later in the game. Nebraska had a number of opportunities they failed to capitalize on that resulted in another close loss for the Huskers. Nebraska has five losses on the season, with the largest margin of defeat an eight-point loss in the season opener.

Minnesota improved to 4-2 overall on the year with more difficult Big Ten matchups coming up.