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Big Ten weekend review: Week Nine

No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 8 Michigan State stole the show this weekend.

Michigan v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Maryland football got back on track this week and snapped its three-game losing streak, defeating Indiana 38-35 in College Park.

Junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was brilliant for the Terps in the program’s first win since Sept. 25, throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns. Maryland improves to 5-3 on the season as it will now prepare to take on Penn State next weekend.

Let’s look at how the rest of the Big Ten fared in Week Nine.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Michigan State 5-0 8-0 W, 37-33, Michigan
Ohio State 5-0 7-1 W, 33-24, Penn State
Michigan 4-1 7-1 L, 37-33, Michigan State
Maryland 2-3 5-3 W, 38-35, Indiana
Penn State 2-3 5-3 L, 33-24, Ohio State
Rutgers 1-4 4-4 W, 20-14, Illinois
Indiana 0-5 2-6 L, 38-35, Maryland

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Minnesota 4-1 6-2 W, 41-14, Northwestern
Wisconsin 3-2 5-3 W, 27-7, Iowa
Purdue 3-2 5-3 W, 28-23, Nebraska
Iowa 3-2 6-2 L, 27-7, Wisconsin
Illinois 2-4 3-6 L, 20-14, Rutgers
Northwestern 1-4 3-5 L, 41-14, Minnesota
Nebraska 1-5 3-6 L, 28-23, Purdue

Surprise game: No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State

What a game it was in East Lansing, Michigan yesterday between two of the nation’s best. The battle of the two undefeated teams did not disappoint with No. 8 Michigan State taking down No. 6 Michigan, 37-33.

Michigan jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in this one. The Wolverines opened the scoring with a 93-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Cade McNamara to wide receiver Andrel Anthony on their first possession of the game. Anthony finished the game with six receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Michigan went on to add a field goal before the end of the opening quarter.

That’s right about the time Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker decided this was his game for the taking. Walker stormed into the end zone from 27-yards out and then again from eight yards to give the Spartans a 14-13 lead in the second quarter.

Despite the push from the Spartans, Michigan didn't go away easily. The Wolverines answered with two touchdowns and a field goal of their own, putting them back on top 30-14. It seemed as though this game was out of reach, but Walker continued to put on one of the best performances of the college football season.

Walker put together a legendary performance, finding the end zone three more times to eventually win the game for Michigan State. He finished with 23 carries for 197 yards and five touchdowns.

McNamara played a solid game for the Wolverines, throwing for 383 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The performance was just not enough to take down the explosive Walker and the Spartans.

Statement game: No. 9 Iowa at Wisconsin

Wisconsin picked up another impressive win this weekend, beating No. 9 Iowa by a final score of 27-7. After defeating Purdue on the road last week, Wisconsin has won back-to-back season-defining games.

The Badgers have struggled to move the ball through the air all season and today was not any different. Quarterback Graham Mertz completed just 11-of-22 passes for 104 yards and one touchdown. Luckily for Mertz, the ground game and defense have been rolling for Wisconsin.

Mertz’s lone passing touchdown came in the first quarter when he found tight end Jake Ferguson for a four-yard touchdown to give Wisconsin a 7-0 lead. Following a Wisconsin field goal, Mertz was able to find the end zone with his legs, scoring from one-yard out to increase the lead to 17-0. By halftime, the score was 20-0 Badgers and the Iowa offense was nowhere to be found.

Similar to Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes have also really struggled to throw the ball this year. Quarterback Spencer Petras had been struggling coming into this one and went 9-for-19 for 93 yards before being pulled from the game.

Iowa was able to get its one and only score of the game on a quarterback sneak from Petras in the third quarter. Heading into the final quarter, Wisconsin led 20-7. Mertz found the end zone again via the ground in the fourth quarter, sealing a 27-7 Wisconsin victory.

The Badgers’ defense was impressive, racking up six sacks and two forced fumbles. On offense, the player of the game for Wisconsin was without a doubt running back Braelon Allen. Allen rushed 20 times for 104 yards and has looked very sharp in the Badgers’ backfield.

Wisconsin now moves to 5-3 after a shaky start to the season, while Iowa falls to 6-2 after being ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation earlier this year.

Upset game: Purdue at Nebraska

In the upset game of the day, the Purdue Boilermakers went on the road and beat Nebraska. Despite being 7.5-point underdogs, Purdue’s defense was able to take control of this game and lead it to a win.

The Nebraska offense was able to find the end zone early as quarterback Adrian Martinez found wide receiver Omar Manning for a 16-yard touchdown to give the Cornhuskers a 7-0 lead with around six minutes left in the opening quarter. Manning put together his best game of the season Saturday, catching four passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.

After both offenses stalled for a few drives, Martinez threw a pick-six to knot the game at 7-7. Purdue’s defense was excellent all day, intercepting Martinez four times in the game. Martinez has been highly-regarded for his dynamic skill set but has struggled with decision-making in the past and that certainly came back to bite him in this matchup.

Following the interception that went back the other way for six, the two teams went on to trade touchdowns before Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell tossed back-to-back touchdown passes to seal a 28-23 Purdue victory. David Bell led the way for Purdue’s receivers, hauling in nine passes for 74 yards.

O’Connell had a great bounce back game after struggling last weekend against Wisconsin and finished with 233 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

The Boilermakers now move to 5-3 on the season, while Nebraska falls to 3-6.