Around the Big Ten: Week 12
Christopher Hess, Kyle Cannillo and Jack Brusco discus the best Big Ten Conference matchups for week 12.
As the Big Ten Conference moves to week 12 of action, Northwestern clinched the West division and secured a trip to Indianapolis with a win over Iowa. The East division, on the other hand, is still up for grabs as the week the 13 battle between Michigan and Ohio State battle will most likely determine who represents the East in Indianapolis.
Lovie Smith’s Illinois Fighting Illini dropped to 4-6 overall in a 54-35 loss to Nebraska where the Illini turned the ball over five times. The Illinois offense was able to rack up 509 total yards led by former Nebraska quarterback AJ Bush Jr’s 187 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
As a team, Illinois rushed for 383 yards and five scores. However, the defense also surrendered 606 total yards. The Illini will head back home to Champaign and welcome Iowa to Memorial Stadium at 3:30 p.m. on November 17.
Logan Justus kicked a 42-yard field goal with 2:32 remaining in the final frame to give Indiana a 34-32 lead over Maryland and the Hoosiers were able to move to 5-5 overall with a 34-32 win. Stevie Scott rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown while towing the rock 19 times and Donovan Hale had 92 yards receiving to complement one score. The Hoosiers were able to keep their bowl hopes alive and only need one more win to reach bowl eligibility. Tom Allen’s team will have a tall task ahead of them as they will travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan at 4 p.m. on November 17.
Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa Hawkeyes were limited to just 64 yards rushing and fell to Northwestern 14-10 at Kinnick Stadium. Quarterback Nate Stanley went 27 for 41 with 269 yards passing and one touchdown. Iowa dropped to 6-4 overall and will travel to Illinois for a 3:30 p.m. showdown on November 17.
The Maryland Terrapins fell behind 31-15 to Indiana with 7:05 remaining in the third quarter. Tyrell Pigrome connected with Jeshaun Jones on a 15-yard pass to give the Terps a 32-31 lead with 4:54 to go in the final frame. However, a field goal just a few moments later forced Maryland to descend to 5-5 overall with a 34-32 loss to the Hoosiers.
Anthony McFarland rushed for 210 yards on 29 carries and Tyrell Pigrome went 10 for 13 with 146 yards and one touchdown through the air. Maryland remains on the cusp of bowl eligibility with two games remaining and will take on Ohio State at noon in College Park on November 17.
Michigan picked up its ninth straight win by soundly defeating Rutgers 42-7 in Piscataway, advancing to 9-1 overall on the season. Quarterback Shea Patterson completed 18 of his 27 pass attempts for 260 yards and three touchdowns with two of them going to Nico Collins.
The Wolverines will look for their 10th straight win as the Indiana Hoosiers will invade the Big House at 4 p.m. on November 17 before the colossal matchup with Ohio State on November 24.
Michigan State was behind 9-6 heading into the final frame. As the fourth quarter went on, the punting of Drue Chrisman flipped field position and that factor ultimately led to the Spartans’ demise as Mark Dantonio’s team fell 26-6 to Ohio State.
Michigan State accumulated only 274 total yards and was held to just 54 yards rushing. The Spartans dropped to 6-4 and will look to rebound on the road at Nebraska on November 17 at noon.
In a driving snowstorm, Minnesota’s ground-game froze the Purdue defense en route to a 41-10 thumping of the Boilermakers. Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 155 yards on 18 carries and the Golden Gophers rushed for 265 yards on 41 carries.
The Minnesota defense also held Purdue to 88 yards on 30 carries where the longest rush of the day was just 15 yards. PJ Fleck’s team surged to 5-5 overall and will welcome Northwestern to TCF Bank Stadium at noon on November 17, needing just one win to reach bowl eligibility.
In its last four games, Nebraska has accumulated a record of 3-1 after starting the season 0-6. The Cornhuskers throttled Illinois 54-35 behind an offensive explosion where Scott Frost’s team put up 606 total yards, including 316 yards rushing. Adrian Martinez completed 24 of his 34 passes for 290 yards and threw three touchdown passes.
Devine Ozigbo rushed for 162 yards and found paydirt three times. Stanley Morgan also had 131 receiving yards on eight receptions to complement two scores. Nebraska moved to 3-7 overall and will host Michigan State at noon on November 17 in a crossover matchup.
At just 6-4 overall but 6-1 in conference play, the Northwestern Wildcats clinched the Big Ten West division title and punched their ticket to Indianapolis with a 14-10 win over Iowa. Isaiah Bowser racked up 165 yards on 31 carries and found the end zone once.
Clayton Thorson found Bennett Skowronek down the far sideline on a 32-yard pass to give Northwestern a 14-10 lead with 9:27 to go in the fourth quarter, and a few fourth down conversions gave the Wildcats their first West division title. Pat Fitzgerald’s team will look to ride the momentum of being division champs into Minneapolis for a battle with Minnesota on November 17 at noon.
Dre’Mont Jones and Drue Chrisman were the unlikely leaders in Ohio State’s 26-6 win over Michigan State. Jones recovered a Spartan fumble in the end zone to give the Buckeyes a 16-6 lead and punter Drue Chrisman flipped field position on almost every single punt of the afternoon. The Buckeyes rose to 9-1 overall and will play Maryland in College Park on November 17 at noon.
Penn State was in shambles after a 42-7 annihilation against Michigan. However, the Nittany Lions gobbled up a 22-10 win against division crossover opponent Wisconsin on a bitterly cold day in Happy Valley. Miles Sanders rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown on 23 touches and Jahan Dotson led all wideouts with 39 yards receiving.
The Nittany Lion defense held Wisconsin to just 60 yards passing and forced four turnovers. Penn State moved to 7-3 overall in 2018 and will hit the road to take on Rutgers at noon on November 17 for an East division matchup.
The Purdue Boilermakers were held to a season-low in total yards and points in a 41-10 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Boilermakers managed just 233 total yards and were 0 for 12 on third down attempts throughout the game. Jeff Brohm’s team dropped to 5-5 overall, and Wisconsin will enter West Lafayette on November 17 with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
For the ninth straight game, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights failed to put up more than 17 points in a 42-7 loss to Michigan. Isaih Pacheco rushed for 142 yards on 16 touches including an 80-yard scamper to tie the game at seven apiece in the first quarter.
Chris Ash’s squad stumbled to 1-9 and they currently sit at the bottom of the Big Ten East. Rutgers will play host to Penn State on November 17 at noon as the Scarlet Knights have only beaten the Nittany Lions twice in 28 meetings.
The Wisconsin Badgers were able to put up 209 rushing yards against Penn State with Jonathan Taylor accounting for 185 of those yards. However, four turnovers and the inability to establish a passing game influenced a 22-10 loss dropping the Badgers to 6-4 on the season.
Taylor scored on a 71-yard run early in the first quarter but was kept in check for a large remainder of the game. Paul Chryst’s troops will now hit the road for a trip to West Lafayette for a clash with Purdue on November 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Christopher Hess is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in history. To contact him, email email@example.com.