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Big Ten weekend review: Week 5

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Maryland wasn’t the only Big Ten team that got blown out this weekend.

Landgrantholyland.com

The Week 5 Big Ten slate started with a bang, as Penn State barreled over Maryland to the tune of a 59-0 blowout in College Park on Friday night.

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

The Terps’ loss was certainly one to forget, but there were some big games of intrigue throughout the rest of the Big Ten this weekend. Here’s a quick recap of what went down.

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: Northwestern vs No. 8 Wisconsin

Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a top-10 upset.

The Badgers were able to defend home field in Madison against the Wildcats, carried by its stout defense and running back Jonathan Taylor. However, the game was a lot closer than many expected.

Wisconsin was a whopping 24-point favorite against the then-1-2 visitors, and when linebacker Noah Burks took an interception back to the house for a 68-yard touchdown, it led 24-3 with less than 12 minutes to go and the game was all but over.

But Northwestern mounted a late comeback to make things interesting. Less than three minutes after the pick-six, Wildcats running back Drake Anderson found the endzone. And less than five minutes after that, Northwestern scored through the air with 4:10 remaining.

A pair of failed two-point conversions made the score 24-15, still a two-possession game. Their last-gasp drive was ultimately futile, but if there are any moral victories in defeat, the Wildcats earned one Saturday.

Statement game: No. 5 Ohio State vs Nebraska

Big things were expected when Scott Frost left UCF to head up the program in Lincoln, but thus far, the results haven’t been there just yet for the Cornhuskers.

No. 5-ranked Ohio State entered Saturday as a 17-point favorite against Nebraska, but carried by Justin Fields’ playmaking ability, the game was a complete rout.

The Georgia transfer completed 15-of-21 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns, and the only reason he didn’t have a better stat line was due to the score. Up 38 points at halftime, Fields was able to hand the ball off to his talented stable of running backs all day long.

The rushers held up their end of the bargain, racking up 53 carries for 368 yards and three tocuhdowns. Standout running back J.K. Dobbins was dominant, rushing the ball 24 times for 177 yards, good for 7.4 yards per carry.

While the offense shined bright, the biggest key to Ohio State’s 48-7 victory from the defense. Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez had no room to operate from the pocket, as he completed just eight of his 17 passing attempts for 47 yards and three interceptions.

On the day, Ohio State outgained Nebraska by a 580-231 margin, more than doubling up the latter’s total yardage.

Even without Urban Meyer at the helm, it seems that it’ll take a lot to beat the Buckeyes, and it’s possible that they can run the table throughout the conference.

Upset game: Minnesota vs Purdue

In the traditional sense, the Golden Gophers’ win in West Lafayette wasn’t exactly an upset — P.J. Fleck’s squad entered Saturday an undefeated 3-0, while the Boilermakers boasted a 1-2 mark following a blowout loss to TCU right before the bye week.

But by kickoff, Purdue was a slight favorite, so its defeat is our upset of the weak.

Thanks to the arm of Tanner Morgan and his three first-half touchdowns, Minnesota got out to a 28-10 lead by halftime, and the game was well on its way to being a beatdown. But Purdue fought its way back into contention late, scoring 14 points in just over two minutes midway through the fourth quarter.

The Boilermakers cut the score to 38-31 with 3:59 to go, but Minnesota was able to run off the rest of the game clock to secure its first Big Ten win of the year.