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Big Ten weekend review: Week Eight

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There was a major upset in the Big Ten this weekend.

Illinois v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Maryland football wasn’t able to snap its losing streak in Week Eight and fell to Minnesota by 18 points this past Saturday.

The Terps were beaten badly by Minnesota’s ground game, losing 34-16 on the road. This marks the third straight loss for the Terps, which officially drops them to a 4-3 record on the season.

Let’s look at how the rest of the Big Ten fared this week.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Michigan 4-0 7-0 W, 33-7, Nebraska
Michigan State 4-0 7-0 BYE
Ohio State 4-0 6-1 W, 54-7, Indiana
Penn State 2-2 5-2 L, 20-18 (9OT), Illinois
Maryland 1-3 4-3 L, 34-16, Minnesota
Rutgers 0-4 3-4 BYE
Indiana 0-4 2-5 L, 54-7, Ohio State

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Iowa 3-1 6-1 BYE
Minnesota 3-1 5-2 W, 34-16, Maryland
Wisconsin 2-2 4-3 W, 30-13, Purdue
Purdue 2-2 4-3 L, 30-13, Wisconsin
Illinois 2-3 3-5 W, 20-18 (9OT), Penn State
Northwestern 1-3 3-4 L, 33-7, Michigan
Nebraska 1-4 3-5 BYE

Upset game: Illinois at No. 7 Penn State

College football fans may have had one of the games of the year in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania this weekend with Illinois upsetting No. 7 Penn State, 20-18, and it took nine overtimes to finish off this one.

The new overtime rule was implemented just this year and was put into effect in this one. The new rule states that after two overtimes, the teams alternate two-point conversion attempts until one team converts and the other does not. This led to a very long stalemate in a low-scoring game between two struggling offenses. That is until quarterback Brandon Peters found wide receiver Casey Washington to clinch the Illinois victory in the ninth overtime.

The Illinois offense struggled to throw the ball all day, despite getting the win. Starting quarterback Arthur Sitkowski completed just eight of his 19 attempts for 38 yards and one interception. Lucky for the Fighting Illini, they didn’t have any trouble running the football.

Running backs Chase Brown and Josh McCray dominated the entire game. Brown carried the ball 33 times for 223 yards and a touchdown, while McCray ran 24 times for 142 yards. The 365 combined yards from the running back duo was enough for Illinois to creep back from its early 10-0 deficit.

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford gave the Nittany Lions an early lead when he found wide receiver Keandre Lambert-Smith for a 42-yard touchdown to end the first quarter. After that, Clifford failed to get anything going. The veteran starter finished with 19 completions on 34 attempts for 165 yards and one touchdown.

The lack of offensive firepower from Penn State helped the Fighting Illini force overtime and eventually, Illinois was able to pull off the upset in a 20-18 win. Illinois picked up a massive win on the road and the Nittany Lions fall to 5-2.

Surprising game: Wisconsin at No. 25 Purdue

Coming off a big win against then-No. 2 Iowa last weekend, No. 25 Purdue had a chance to add another good win to its resume at home against unranked Wisconsin.

Wisconsin had been struggling to come into this one, especially on the offensive side of the ball. That all changed on Saturday behind running backs Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen. The duo rushed for a combined 289 yards and three touchdowns to lead Wisconsin to a 30-13 win on the road.

The game remained close going into the fourth quarter with the Badgers clinging to a seven-point lead. Allen was able to break the game open with just over 10 minutes left in regulation, rushing for 14 yards and his second touchdown of the day to give the Badgers a 27-13 lead.

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz, who has struggled all season, threw just eight passes today. He completed five of eight attempts for 52 yards. Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw interceptions and gave Wisconsin multiple opportunities to win the game in Purdue territory.

Tight end Payne Durham was the lone bright spot for the Boilermakers, hauling in nine catches for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Purdue now drops to 4-3, while the Badgers improve to 4-3. Both teams haven’t lived up to expectations this season and will look to turn it around down the stretch.

Statement game: No. 5 Ohio State at Indiana

Ohio State went into Bloomington, Indiana and absolutely dismantled the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night, winning 54-7.

Quarterback C.J. Stroud had another excellent game for the Buckeyes as he really has started to emerge as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. Stroud finished completing 21-of-28 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those scores were hauled in by tight end Jeremy Ruckert, who put together his best game of the season.

Running back TreVeyon Henderson continued his stellar season for Ohio State as well, rushing nine times for 81 yards and touchdowns. Henderson also caught a 14-yard touchdown on his lone reception of the evening.

The Hoosiers had a much different story. Indiana used three different quarterbacks and all struggled to move the ball. Indiana finished with just 128 yards compared to Ohio State’s 539.

After a loss to Oregon early in the season, the Buckeyes have really come together as a team. The path to the playoff looked tough after picking up an out-of-conference loss but it’s clear that Ohio State is back in the mix. Even with Michigan sitting at 7-0, Ohio State looks like the team to beat in the Big Ten. Stroud has figured it out and the defense is ready to play. Keep an eye on the Buckeyes.