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Big Ten weekend review: Week 12

Here’s what happened around the Big Ten this past weekend.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football (5-6) was steamrolled yet again this weekend this time, at home against No. 8 Michigan in a 59-18 blowout.

Junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa struggled for Maryland, completing just 19-of-33 passes for 178 yards, a touchdown and one interception. On the Michigan side, quarterback Cade McNamara looked much better, finishing with 259 yards and two touchdowns.

Maryland will now look forward to playing Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey in its final regular season game. With both teams sitting on five wins each, the winner will be granted bowl eligibility and the losing team’s season will be over.

Let’s take examine how the rest of the Big Ten fared this past weekend.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Ohio State 8-0 10-1 W, 56-7, Michigan State
Michigan 7-1 10-1 W, 59-18, Maryland
Michigan State 6-2 9-2 L, 56-7, Ohio State
Penn State 4-4 7-4 W, 28-0, Rutgers
Maryland 2-6 5-6 L, 59-18, Michigan
Rutgers 2-6 5-6 L, 28-0, Penn State
Indiana 0-8 2-9 L, 35-14, Minnesota

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Wisconsin 6-2 8-3 W, 35-28, Nebraska
Iowa 6-2 9-2 W, 33-23, Illinois
Minnesota 5-3 7-4 W, 35-14, Indiana
Purdue 5-3 7-4 W, 32-14, Northwestern
Illinois 3-5 4-7 L, 33-23, Iowa
Nebraska 1-7 3-8 L, 35-28, Wisconsin
Northwestern 1-7 3-8 L, 32-14, Purdue

Statement game: No. 7 Michigan State at No. 5 Ohio State

In a must-win game for both teams, Ohio State came out and played nearly perfect football, destroying Michigan State, 56-7. This one got ugly quickly, with the Buckeyes leading 49-0 at halftime.

Ohio State signal-caller C.J. Stroud, who is currently in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race, was absolutely dominant in the statement win. Stroud completed 32-of-35 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns. All six touchdowns came in the first half as Stroud was eventually pulled from the game with the rest of the starters.

The dynamic Ohio State wide receiver trio of Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba was impressive again. Olave led the team in receiving yards with seven catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson wasn’t far behind with seven grabs for 126 and two touchdowns.

On top of that, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba has really burst onto the scene this year. The sophomore wideout hauled in 10 passes for 105 yards and one touchdown in this yesterday’s blowout victory.

Maybe just as impressive as the Ohio State offense was its defense, holding an explosive Michigan State offense to zero points through three quarters. Due to the fact that the Spartans were trailing for the entirety of the game, they weren’t able to use superstar running back Kenneth Walker IIIas much as they would have liked to. Walker had just six carries for 25 yards, a season-low.

Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne was only able to complete 14-of-36 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown late in the game.

Michigan State now likely falls out of playoff contention, dropping to 9-2 on the season. Ohio State, on the other hand, proved that it is not going anywhere. Stroud and the Buckeyes are rolling.

Surprise game: Nebraska at No. 19 Wisconsin

Wisconsin came into this game red-hot and it carried that momentum right into the beginning of this one, returning the opening kickoff 91-yards to put Wisconsin up 7-0 early over Nebraska.

Nebraska was able to answer quickly, as Nebraska running back Markese Stepp found the end zone from one yard out to tie it 7-7. That’s right about when the Braelon Allen show began.

Allen, a freshman back who has emerged as a special talent over the past few weeks, had quite the performance Saturday. After Nebraska tied the game, Allen immediately ripped off a 71-yard touchdown run to give the Badgers a 14-7 lead. Allen is listed at 6-foot-2, 238 pounds, yet he is lightning fast. He finished the game with 22 carries for 228 yards and three touchdowns.

Nebraska and Wisconsin went onto trade touchdown after touchdown for the majority of the game. Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez played well but needs to make smarter decisions when it comes to protecting the football. Martinez ended the game 23-for-35 for 351 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz threw the ball just 18 times, completing 12 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. With Allen in the backfield, there was no need for Mertz to try and do too much. As long as he makes smart decisions, Wisconsin is hard to beat.

With just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Nebraska was able to tie the game with a rushing touchdown from Marvin Scott III. Just minutes later, Allen sealed the game for Wisconsin with a 53-yard touchdown run. Allen and the Badgers are a force to be reckoned with.

Upset game: None

The Big Ten had no upsets this weekend, with pretty much every game going according to plan.

Minnesota and Purdue both took care of business on the road, beating Indiana and Northwestern, respectively. Iowa took on a hot Illinois team but was able to come away with a 33-23 victory. While Rutgers was able to keep it close with Penn State in the first half, the Nittany Lions found their groove in the second half, pulling away and closing the game out by a final score of 28-0.

As we look ahead to next week, the final weekend of the regular season, a few games are worth mentioning.

Maryland will take on Rutgers in a win-or-go-home game on the road. The most intriguing game of the week and perhaps of the entire season is the Ohio State rivalry with Michigan.

The Buckeyes have won eight straight matchups with the Wolverines. The loser of this matchup will likely be eliminated from playoff contention and it should be a very entertaining game.