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Big Ten weekend review: Week 6

A lot of favorites (including Maryland) won.

After two consecutive losses, Maryland football returned to the win column on Saturday, dominating Rutgers in New Jersey, 48-7.

11 of the remaining 12 members of the conference were also in action Saturday, with Indiana as the only team on a bye.

Although there weren’t too many surprises from Saturday’s slate, we were still able to find some notable moments. Here’s what stood out the most:

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Ohio State 7-0 10-0 W, 56-21, Rutgers
Penn State 6-1 9-1 W, 34-27, Indiana
Michigan 5-2 8-2 W, 44-10, Michigan State
Indiana 4-3 7-3 L, 34-27, Penn State
Michigan State 2-5 4-6 L, 44-10, Michigan
Maryland 1-6 3-7 Bye
Rutgers 0-7 2-8 L, 56-21, Ohio State

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Minnesota 6-1 9-1 L, 23-19, Iowa
Wisconsin 5-2 8-2 W, 37-21, Nebraska
Iowa 4-3 7-3 W, 23-19, Minnesota
Illinois 4-3 6-4 Bye
Purdue 3-4 4-6 Bye
Nebraska 2-5 4-6 L, 37-21, Wisconsin
Northwestern 0-7 2-8 W, 45-6, UMass

Biggest Surprise: No. 14 Iowa vs No. 19 Michigan

This wasn’t an upset, as the lower-ranked Wolverines were 4.5-point favorites by kickoff and won by seven. The surprise wasn’t the score discrepancy, but rather how abysmal each team’s offense operated throughout the course of the game.

Neither side is known for an explosive attack, but Michigan still scored 32.5 points per game entering Week 6, while the Hawkeyes were one point better on average. On Saturday in Ann Arbor, they combined for just 13.

As their victory would indicate, the Wolverines were led by a strong defensive unit that racked up eight sacks and four turnovers — three of which were interceptions of Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley. The defense also held the Hawkeyes to just 261 yards of total offense at 3.6 yards per play.

A 267-yard outing for Michigan’s offense kept things close to the end, but with only 1:31 to go and down only seven points, Iowa couldn’t put together a game-tying drive as time expired after an unsuccessful lateral play.

Statement game: Michigan State vs No. 5 Ohio State

Though not at the level of conference powers Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State, Michigan State is regarded as a tough opponent to beat in the Big Ten. This game was a chance for the Buckeyes to show just how dominant they can be against the best in the conference.

They did just that. In case it wasn’t obvious, the Buckeyes are legit. Ohio State simply relied on its running game and suffocating defense to beat the Spartans 34-10.

Quarterback Justin Fields wasn’t asked to do much in the air, as he completed 17-of-25 passes for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns — he also threw an interception.

But it didn’t matter. Led by J.K. Dobbins, the Buckeyes racked up 323 rushing yards at a 6.6 per-carry clip, including a pair of touchdowns. Fields’ contributions with his legs stood out, as he picked up 61 yards and a score.

Michigan State entered as 20-point underdogs and weren’t embarrassed, holding their own through a quarter and a half. But they were thoroughly outclassed by the prohibitive conference favorites, and Ohio State may not be stopped until the College Football Playoff.

Upset game: N/A

All the favorites won on Saturday, so there was no official upset on the afternoon. Underdog Northwestern played Nebraska tight, but ultimately fell to the Cornhuskers, 13-10.