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Big Ten weekend review: Week Seven

Here’s what stood out around the conference as the regular season nears its close.

Ohio State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Maryland football didn’t step foot on the field this Saturday against Michigan due to COVID-19 cases within the Wolverines’ program, marking the Terps third cancellation of its 2-2 season.

Just 10 teams were in action this weekend in the Big Ten, as the Northwestern-Minnesota game was also cancelled.

There were a few surprises with one major upset to headline another eventful weekend in the Big Ten conference. 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 5-0 5-0 W, 52-12, Michigan State
Indiana 6-1 6-1 W, 14-6, Wisconsin
Maryland 2-2 2-2 N/A
Michigan State 2-4 2-4 L, 52-12, Ohio State
Michigan 2-4 2-4 N/A
Penn State 2-5 2-5 W, 23-7, Rutgers
Rutgers 2-5 2-5 L, 23-7, Penn State

Big Ten West

Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Team Conf. Record Overall Record Weekend Outcome
Northwestern 5-1 5-1 N/A
Iowa 5-2 5-2 W, 35-21, Illinois
Wisconsin 2-2 2-2 L, 14-6, Indiana
Minnesota 2-3 2-3 N/A
Illinois 2-4 2-4 L, 35-21, Iowa
Nebraska 2-4 2-4 W, 37-27, Purdue
Purdue 2-4 2-4 L, 37-27, Nebraska

Biggest Surprise: Penn State vs Rutgers

It finally seems as though the Penn State Nittany Lions have found somewhat of a groove on the field.

Despite being big favorites against a previously 2-4 Rutgers team, it was fair to question the capabilities of this Nittany Lions squad, as they dropped their first five games of the season with their first win coming against a similarly disappointing team in Michigan last weekend.

However, they laid to rest the worries of yet another upset, as the Nittany Lions were able to outlast Rutgers on the road.

Penn State started out the game looking like the ranked preseason team they were said to be, as the Nittany Lions scored the game’s first 17 points. After going into halftime up 17-0, Penn State was able to stifle the Rutgers offensive for the rest of the game and capture its second win of the season, 23-7.

The Nittany Lions’ defense held the Scarlet Knights to just 205 total offensive yards and forced Rutgers to just 3 for 15 on 3rd down conversions. Rutgers also lost a fumble in the contest.

This was the 14th straight time Penn State has defeated Rutgers. Penn State will carry its two-game winning streak against Michigan State next Saturday. Rutgers, now sitting at 6th in the Big Ten East standings, will look to regroup when it takes on Maryland in Week Eight of Big Ten football.

Statement game: No. 4 Ohio State vs Michigan State

Another week of Big Ten football, another week of winning for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio State opened the game as 22.5 point favorites over the Michigan State Spartans, and the Buckeyes did more than enough to get the job done this weekend.

The undefeated Buckeyes played a complete performance against Michigan State, once again proving they deserve to be atop the Big Ten standings.

Ohio State jumped out to a quick 28-0 halftime lead, which was emphasized with a pick-six from Buckeyes’ defensive tackle Haskell Garrett late in the second quarter.

The Buckeyes then scored the first touchdown in the third quarter off a 64 yard rushing touchdown, which all but sealed the deal in the contest. Ohio State went on to win 52-12 in what was yet another dominant performance.

Quarterback Justin Fields produced another quality game for the Buckeyes, going 17-for-24 for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game. The Ohio State product also added two scores on the ground.

Ohio State outscored Michigan State in every quarter en route to the 40-point win on the road. The Spartans were held to just 13 total first downs and 261 yards on offense in what was a lackluster performance.

The Buckeyes will ride their undefeated record against Michigan next Saturday at noon. Michigan State will hunt for its third win of the season when it takes on Penn State on the road in the final weekend of Big Ten play.

Upset game: No. 12 Indiana vs No. 16 Wisconsin

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. went down with a season-ending ACL injury last week, and the Hoosiers’ hopes for eclipsing Ohio State in the Big Ten were all but shattered.

It certainly seemed as though Indiana would fall victim to its injury woes, as the ranked Wisconsin Badgers were its next matchup on the road as a 13.5 point favorite. However, Indiana’s defense had other plans in mind.

The highly-anticipated matchup started out as a stalemate, with both teams going scoreless in the first quarter.

Indiana broke the ice with an early score in the second quarter with a Jack Tuttle passing touchdown. This game was Tuttle’s first career collegiate start.

Tuttle’s initial touchdown throw and extra point after proved to be enough for the rest of the game. Wisconsin only mustered two field goals throughout the game and Indiana held on for a 14-6 win on the road.

Tuttle finished with 13-for-22 for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game. Indiana only managed 217 offensive yards, but still came away with its sixth win of the season.

Indiana's win over Wisconsin was its first win against the Badgers since 2002 and the Hoosiers tied a program record with its sixth Big Ten victory of the season.

In the final week of Big Ten play, the now 6-1 Hoosiers will carry their upset win in its matchup against Purdue on Saturday. Wisconsin will search for answers on the offensive side of the ball next week when it takes on another ranked team in Iowa on the road.