All seven of this weekend’s Big Ten games were intriguing, highlighted by narrow victories, standout individual performances and surprising defeats.
There were three one-possession games in the conference, but Maryland was nowhere close to participating in one. The Terps extended their losing streak to four after a 51-15 defeat to Penn State. Maryland, 5-4 and rapidly falling in the Big Ten standings, will look to end its skid this coming Saturday at Nebraska.
Here’s what stood out from over the weekend.
Close call: No. 1 Ohio State 35, Rutgers 16
After both teams traded punts early on, Ohio State broke through when quarterback Kyle McCord found wide receiver Gee Scott Jr. for a 14-yard touchdown.
Rutgers’ defense was outstanding the rest of the half, giving its offense a chance to take the lead. But the Scarlet Knights came up with just six points on multiple trips to the red zone.
Their biggest missed opportunity came early in the second half, when Gavin Wimsatt led Rutgers deep in Ohio State territory. Instead of taking a lead, though, Ohio State defensive back Jordan Hancock returned an interception for a touchdown, extending the Buckeyes’ lead to eight.
Not long after, the Ohio State offense found its rhythm, large in part to running back TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson padded Ohio State’s lead with a 9-yard touchdown.
Rutgers responded with a touchdown of its own, but that was the closest it came to pulling off the upset. Ohio State scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to hold on, 35-16, and remain undefeated.
Surprise result: Indiana 20, Wisconsin 14
Indiana, coming off a valiant effort last week against No. 9 Penn State, started fast against Wisconsin with a nine-play, 66-yard touchdown drive. Chris Freeman’s knocked in a 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter to extend Indiana’s lead to 10.
The Badgers responded almost immediately, with quarterback Braedyn Locke delivering a 54-yard touchdown strike to Bryson Green. The Hoosiers brought the lead right back to 10, however, after a 71-yard touchdown drive at the end of the half.
Wisconsin found the end zone on the first drive of the second half, but Indiana’s defense held stout the rest of the way, securing a 20-17 victory and ending a six-game Big Ten losing streak.
Performance of the week: Michigan WR Roman Wilson
Michigan is one of the best teams in the country, and one of the reasons for that is due to their explosive offense — led by quarterback J.J. McCarthy.
McCarthy’s favorite target against Purdue was wide receiver Roman Wilson. The 6-foot wideout recorded nine catches for 143 yards on Saturday.
Wilson was explosive in and out of his breaks, effortlessly plucking the ball out of the air. He was also terrific after the catch, as he made several defenders miss en route to additional yardage.
Although he didn’t score, Wilson showed why he is one of the most reliable targets on one of the best teams in the country.