Around The Big Ten Recap: Week 12
Saying that this was a crazy week around the Big Ten would be an understatement. Saturday’s games were filled with excitement and adrenaline, which every college football fan craves. But has the excitement been any different than any other week? A team trying to defend its perfect season and also a game involving two top ten teams were in action on Saturday.
No. 9 Michigan State at No. 3 Ohio State: MSU 17-14
Perhaps the upset of the season around the Big Ten happened on Saturday in Columbus. Ohio State came into the game on a twenty-three game winning streak dating back to last season. This was for sure their toughest test of the season and was a chance for the Buckeyes to make a statement in the college football world. It was a slow start for both teams with the rain and wind howling in the Shoe. That was a big part of the game, but the bigger story was Connor Cook and Tyler O’Connor. Cook suffered a shoulder injury in the team's prior game against Maryland. O’Connor got the start in a game that he’ll remember for the rest of his life. The passing game was dull for both sides, with O’Connor only passing for 89 yards and J.T Barrett only throwing for 46 yards. The game was tied with three seconds left when Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger hit the game winning 41-yard field goal as time expired to give the Spartans a 17-14 win. After the loss, running back Ezekiel Elliott showed his displeasure towards the play calling of Ohio State. Elliott spoke for the team and stated, “We weren’t put in the right situations to win.” The chances of Ohio State making it into the College Football Playoff are now slim to none after the defeat. Michigan State had not led for both of their wins against Ohio State and Michigan this season. The Spartans will host Penn State next Saturday, and Ohio State will try to rebound facing Michigan.
No. 20 Northwestern at No. 25 Wisconsin: NU 13-7
This was a critical game in the Big Ten with both of these teams sitting at 8-2. Wisconsin has been in many defensive battles this year and was in one again on Saturday night. Northwestern was coming off of a shaky win at home against Purdue a week before and started strong against the Badgers. The Wildcat defense shut out the Wisconsin offense in the first two quarters and took a 10-0 lead into halftime. A quick Wisconsin touchdown in the third brought the game to within three. Wisconsin gave Northwestern many favors in the game, turning the ball over on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter. Only three points were scored off of the two turnovers; however it forced Wisconsin to have to score a touchdown. After a late drive push by Wisconsin was stopped by the Northwestern defense, the Wildcats captured their ninth win of the season. Justin Jackson had a nice day on the ground, rushing for 140 yards, while Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave threw for a solid 229 yards in the loss. Wisconsin will drop out of the rankings, but the Wildcats will move up. To end the year, Northwestern will host Illinois, and Wisconsin will travel to Minnesota.
Purdue at No. 5 Iowa: Iowa 40-20
The Hawkeyes are good; scary good. Even though they haven’t played a top tier team yet this season, this team can do damage in the postseason. Another win this past Saturday put them at 11 on the season. With Purdue being as bad as they are, it was almost guaranteed that 11-0 was possible. This Iowa defense can do damage, and they showed again why they are so good by forcing two punts, causing a fumble, and stopping Purdue three times on fourth down plays. It has been a dismal season for the Boilermakers, but quarterback Austin Appleby didn’t look awful. He completed only a little over 50 percent of his passes and threw a touchdown. The Boilers also put up close to 140 yards rushing too. Iowa will travel to Nebraska, where they will have to face a hungry Huskers’ team looking to become bowl eligible. Purdue will look to close out the season with a victory taking on Indiana.
Also around the Big Ten, Rutgers defeated Army, Minnesota beat Illinois, and Indiana picked up their first Big Ten win of the season in a rout of Maryland.
Only one week to go in the college football regular season with a few teams in the Big Ten fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Will Iowa finish the season undefeated, and will Michigan State win the east? Only days to go until the final week of Big Ten regular season football.
Mike Wszolek is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.