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Big Ten weekend review: Week Six

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One ranked team survived, while another ranked team faltered in another eventful weekend in the Big Ten.

Northwestern v Michigan State Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

After two straight weeks with cancellations, Maryland football returned against the No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers this weekend. However, the Terps weren’t able to generate enough on offense and fell 27-11 to the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday afternoon.

Around the Big Ten, just 10 teams were in action this weekend. Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin did not take part in the sixth week of conference play due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

There were some surprises on Saturday, including a top-10 team in the nation falling. Here’s what stood out the most this weekend.

*Rankings are from the time that the games were played, not this week’s AP Top 25.

Big Ten East

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Ohio State 4-0 4-0 N/A
Indiana 5-1 5-1 W, 27-11, Maryland
Maryland 2-2 2-2 L, 27-11, Indiana
Michigan State 2-3 2-3 W, 29-20, Northwestern
Michigan 2-4 2-4 L, 27-17, Penn State
Rutgers 2-4 2-4 W, 37-30, Purdue
Penn State 1-5 1-5 W, 27-17, Michigan

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Northwestern 5-1 5-1 L, 29-20, Michigan State
Iowa 4-2 4-2 W, 26-20, Nebraska
Wisconsin 2-1 2-1 N/A
Minnesota 2-3 2-3 N/A
Purdue 2-3 2-3 L, 37-30, Rutgers
Illinois 2-3 2-3 N/A
Nebraska 1-4 1-4 L, 26-20, Iowa

Biggest Surprise: Penn State vs Michigan

After defeating Rutgers in triple overtime last weekend, the Michigan Wolverines were at least expected to provide a decent competition against a winless Penn State Nittany Lions team.

Even after being pegged as a 1.5 point favorite heading into the matchup, the Wolverines couldn’t muster much on offense and were pretty much outplayed from the start of the contest.

Penn State took the lead in the early portion of the game, going up by 10 at halftime with a score of 17-7. After both teams only mustered a field goal in the third quarter, the Wolverines made it a three-point game early in the fourth quarter off of a Hassan Haskins rushing touchdown. However, it wasn't enough for Michigan as Penn State would score again and win the game, 27-17, on the road.

Michigan gained just 286 total offensive yards compared to Penn State’s 417 total yards. The Wolverines turned the ball over twice in what turned out to be the only turnovers of the entire game.

Even though this was not a major upset by any means, it was certainly surprising to see the Wolverines lose by double digits to a previously winless Nittany Lions squad.

Penn State will look to carry its first win of the season into next week when it faces Rutgers on the road. Michigan will still be looking for answers in the win column when it takes on Maryland next Saturday.

Statement game: Maryland vs. No. 12 Indiana

The Indiana Hoosiers opened up as 12-point favorites headed into Saturday’s matchup against Maryland. And despite not playing their best football, the Hoosiers covered the spread and collected a 16-point victory over the Terps.

Indiana’s defense stood strong throughout the majority of the contest as the Terps were held to just three total points in the first half. Maryland only found the end zone successfully in the fourth quarter, but by then the game was already decided in Indiana’s favor. The Hoosiers were able to close out the Terps and win 27-11 at home.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was forced into three interceptions on the afternoon after completing less than 50% of his throws. The Terps went just 5-for-14 on third down conversions as a team in what was a struggle offensively.

Indiana’s starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. completed just six passes for 84 yards with zero touchdowns. However, the run game for the Hoosiers carried the offense, as the team totaled 234 rushing yards on the day en route to the victory.

Even though they weren’t performing to the best of its ability, Indiana is still sitting comfortably atop the Big Ten East standings, just behind Ohio State.

The Hoosiers will take their 5-1 record to Wisconsin next weekend to face the Badgers in what will be a must-see matchup. The Terps (2-2) look to get back over .500 when they take on Michigan.

Upset game: No. 11 Northwestern vs Michigan State

No team is safe in the Big Ten in 2020, excluding the Ohio State Buckeyes it seems.

The Michigan State Spartans, a team that had one win coming into Saturday’s game against the No. 11 Northwestern Wildcats, finished off its most complete performance of the season to claim victory in one of the biggest Big Ten upsets so far.

The Spartans jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter over the previously undefeated Wildcats. However, it looked as though Northwestern would claw its way back into the contest in the second half.

A Peyton Ramsey rushing touchdown for Northwestern in the third quarter shrunk Michigan State’s lead to 17-13. However, the Spartans outscored the Wildcats, 12-7, in the fourth quarter, closing out the game in what was a 29-20 final score in Michigan State’s favor.

The Spartans collected their most valuable win of the season and erased the 13-point spread that coined them as the underdog heading into the matchup.

Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi did just enough to get the job done, going 11-for-27 for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the air. Kicker Matt Coghlin played a big role in the upset victory for the Spartan as well, knocking in three of his four field goals attempts on the afternoon with the longest coming from 48-yards out.

Next week, the Wildcats will look to shake off the loss as they play Minnesota on the road. The Spartans, on the other hand, will surely ride the momentum from the upset win when they face No. 3 Ohio State next weekend, which is still up in the air due to coronavirus complications.