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Big Ten weekend review: Week 10

There was a major upset in the conference this past weekend.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football entered this past week with a chance to pick up a statement win in College Park over No. 22 Penn State.

The Terps were able to keep it close, tying it 14-14 early in the fourth quarter. However, poor defense down the stretch and costly turnovers in the red zone put this game out of reach for Maryland.

Maryland took the loss by a final score of 31-14, but the game really was much closer than it looked. Penn State’s star wide receiver Jahan Dotson had a legendary performance, breaking the Penn State single-game receiving yards record with 242 yards and three touchdowns on 11 receptions.

Let’s take a look at how the rest of the Big Ten fared this weekend.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Weekend Outcome
Ohio State 6-0 8-1 W, 26-17, Nebraska
Michigan State 5-1 8-1 L, 40-29, Pudue
Michigan 5-1 8-1 W, 29-7, Indiana
Penn State 3-3 6-3 W, 31-14, Maryland
Maryland 2-4 5-4 L, 31-14, Penn State
Rutgers 1-5 4-5 L, 52-3, Wisconsin
Indiana 0-6 2-7 L, 29-7, Michigan

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Wisconsin 4-2 6-3 W, 52-3, Rutgers
Minnesota 4-2 6-3 L, 14-6, Illinois
Purdue 4-2 6-3 W, 40-29, Michigan State
Iowa 4-2 7-2 W, 17-12, Northwestern
Illinois 3-4 4-6 W, 14-6, Minnesota
Northwestern 1-5 3-6 L, 17-12, Iowa
Nebraska 1-6 3-7 L, 26-17, Ohio State

Surprise game: No. 3 Michigan State at Purdue

The week after being ranked No. 3 in the college football playoff rankings, Michigan State went on the road and lost to a Purdue team that certainly has had its ups and downs this season.

After Purdue took an early lead, Michigan State showed some fight, but at the end of the day, the Spartans’ defense couldn’t keep up. Purdue ended up winning this one, 40-29.

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell was unstoppable for the Boilermakers, completing 40-of-54 passes for 536 yards and three touchdowns. He was carving up the Spartans’ defense all night and he couldn’t have done it without star wide receiver David Bell. Bell hauled in 11 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown. This Purdue offensive explosion came out of nowhere and it will be interesting to see if O’Connell can keep this up.

Purdue entered halftime with a 21-14 lead but the Spartans scored early in the third quarter to tie the game back at 21. Purdue went on to score another touchdown before converting three field goals in a row, extending its lead to 37-21.

Michigan State made one final push, as quarterback Payton Thorne had a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to cut Purdue’s lead to eight with five minutes to go in the game. With 43 seconds remaining, Purdue connected on a field goal, making it 40-29 and officially putting the game out of reach.

Kenneth Walker, Michigan State’s star running back, was fantastic again in this one but there was only so much he could do as his team trailed for the majority of the game. Walker had 23 rushes for 146 yards and one touchdown. Thorne, who had also been playing great football as of late, threw for 276 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 37 yards and one touchdown.

Purdue is now the first team to take down the previously 8-0 Spartans. Michigan State fell to 8-1 on the year as Purdue improves to 6-3. The Big Ten is starting to get very interesting.

Upset game: Illinois at No. 20 Minnesota

Head coach Bret Bielema and the Illinois Fighting Illini are on a roll right now. After beating Penn State just two weeks ago, they went on the road and picked up another ranked win. This time, against the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a score of 14-6.

Illinois took control of the game early. The defense was all over the place, sacking Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan six times and forcing two interceptions, including one interception on the first drive of the game, which set the tone for Illinois’ defense all game.

Illinois’ offense was led by sophomore running back Chase Brown, who ran the ball 33 times for 150 yards. In terms of the passing game, it was solid but quarterback Brandon Peters wasn’t asked to do very much. Peters finished the game completing seven of his nine pass attempts for 80 yards and one touchdown.

By halftime, the score was 14-0 in favor of the Illini. The Minnesota offense just had no answer for Illinois’ defense. It really struggled to move the ball on the ground and Morgan was not able to pick up the slack, primarily due to the fact that he didn’t have any time to throw.

The Illini offense wasn’t able to generate any points in the second half but it didn’t matter. The defense held strong, holding Minnesota to just six points with just under five minutes left in the game.

This is a very disappointing loss for Minnesota after just recently being named the No. 20 team in the college football playoff rankings. It will look to bounce back next week when it goes on the road to play Iowa.

Illinois, on the other hand, now has two massive victories in the past three weeks. Although it is just 4-6 on the season, it’s playing with energy.

Statement game: No. 21 Wisconsin at Rutgers

Wisconsin was expected to win this game handily. However, it wasn't necessarily an expectation that this Wisconsin offense could put up 52 points on any team.

Badgers’ quarterback Graham Mertz completed 11-of-16 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The passing game hasn't always been the key for Wisconsin, with the running back duo of Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi showcasing complete dominance over the past few weeks.

That dominance continued into this weekend. Allen ran the ball 15 times for 129 yards and one touchdown, while Mellusi had 15 carries for 75 yards and one touchdown. This Wisconsin backfield is scary, especially because they’re running behind an unbelievable offensive line.

Rutgers had actually been playing better football as of late, including a win over Illinois last week. It was just completely outmatched in every facet of the game against Wisconsin. Starting quarterback Noah Vedral was intercepted twice by the Wisconsin defense and Rutgers never even threatened the Badgers in this one.

The final score ended up being 52-3 in favor of Wisconsin and even though Rutgers isn’t anything special, this is a statement win for the Badgers. They proved that if they can move the ball through the air, they can put up points and win football games. We’ve known for a while that the Wisconsin defense is very good, the question has always been whether they can score.

Mertz is going to be the X-factor for the Badgers down the stretch. If he can get things rolling, this Wisconsin team could surprise a lot of people in the coming weeks.