Around the Big Ten: Week Six

Story posted October 4, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Maddie Brightman

This is a weekend all Big Ten Football fans have been waiting for, this Saturday five in-conference games will feature ten of the twelve Big Ten teams. Many teams will play Big Ten opponents for the first time this season and many others will host teams for their homecoming weekend.

Illinois (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Nebraska (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten), 12:00 ET

Last weekend, the Fighting Illini decimated the Miami of Ohio Red Hawks, 50-14, in an exciting win at Memorial Stadium. With three wins this season, Illinois has already surpassed their painful 2-10 record from last year. Newly hired offensive coordinator, Bill Cubit, has redesigned the Illinois offense and helped them jump nearly 80 spots in the national power rankings. Illinois will embark on their first road test Saturday, when they open Big Ten play against a strong Cornhuskers team.

The Cornhusker’s defense will look to pressure Big Ten passing efficiency leader, Nathan Scheelhaase, who completed a career-high five touchdown passes last weekend against the Red Hawks. After scoring 59 points against South Dakota State and last week’s bye, Nebraska hopes to have a strong performance in their first conference game. The Cornhuskers will look to bring senior quarterback Taylor Martinez back into the lineup and come out victorious during their homecoming weekend.

Penn State (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Indiana (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten), 12:00 ET

The Nittany Lions will open Big Ten play this Saturday after a three game home-stand and bye week.  Penn State will take on sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld and a Hoosier offense that has scored over 170 points this season. The Nittany Lions offense has scored a combined 133 points this season with the help of stand out wide receiver Allen Robinson and freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

Penn State’s 2013 opponents have scored between 0-17 points per game (with the exception of UCF, who scored 34), whereas the Hoosiers have faced teams scoring nearly 35-45 points each game.  This weekend, Indiana will rely on a high scoring performance from their offense and a defense looking to stop the Nittany Lion’s run game.

Michigan State (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Iowa (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), 12:00 ET

Michigan State has begun the season with a solid 3-1 record and is coming off a close 17-13 loss, against a previously ranked Notre Dame squad. The Spartans suffered a difficult loss after allowing the Fighting Irish to score all of their points as a result of penalties, interceptions, and a failed trick play. The Michigan State defense has only allowed 233 yards per game all season and is considered one of the top ten defenses in college football. The Spartans will take on Iowa this weekend for their first in conference game.

Iowa completed their first Big Ten victory last weekend in a 23-7 win over the Golden Gophers. The Hawkeyes are currently undefeated on the road and their only loss came during the first week in a close game against Northern Illinois. Senior linebacker James Morris was named Big Ten defensive Player of the Week after recording eight tackles in the win against Minnesota. Morris also completed a sack and an interception last week against the Golden Gophers.

This weekend the Hawkeyes will host the Spartans during homecoming weekend, where they hold a 55-41-5 record in homecoming games.

Minnesota (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 19 Michigan (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten), 3:30 ET

Minnesota suffered their first loss last weekend against Big Ten opponent Iowa. Phillip Nelson and the Golden Gophers have scored a total of 174 points this season and an average of 35 points per game. Last weekend, Nelson only completed 50% of his passes and the offense had a total of only eleven first downs.

The Golden Gophers had two turnovers and had possession for less than 25 minutes. Junior running back David Cobb has a total of 362 yards this season and looks to have a big game against the Michigan defense. Minnesota will visit the Big Blue House this Saturday for homecoming weekend.

The Wolverines are tied with the Wildcats for the only undefeated record in the Legends Division. Michigan is coming off of a bye week and a close game against UConn. No. 19 Michigan had a total of 289 yards against the Huskies and came back to win the game during the 4th quarter.

This season the Wolverines have a total of 860 passing yards and quarterback Devin Gardner has thrown a total of seven touchdown passes. Raymon Taylor and Desmond Morgan lead the team with 25 and 34 tackles respectively.

No. 4 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) vs. No. 16 Northwestern (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten), 8:00 ET

The Buckeyes will travel to Ryan Field this Saturday with the best record in all of the Big Ten. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin last weekend 31-24, for their first conference win. Prior to last weekend’s win against the Badgers, the Buckeyes had scored between 40-76 points each game.

Urban Meyer’s No. 4 ranked team has scored 241 points, recorded 1,436 yards rushing, and completed eleven sacks in just five games. Quarterback Kenny Guiton, has thrown thirteen touchdown passes and linebacker Ryan Shazier has recorded a total of 37 tackles.

The Wildcats will host the Buckeyes Saturday for their 4th straight home game and will look for a win at Ryan Field during their homecoming weekend. Northwestern has started the season 4-0 and will take on their first Big Ten opponent this Saturday night.

Quarterback Trevor Siemian has completed 65% of his passes this season and has thrown four touchdown passes. Wide receiver Tony Jones has record 362 yards this season and defensive lineman Tyler Scott has compiled three sacks.  Last weekend the Wildcats had a bye, but beat Maine 35-21 on Saturday the 21st.

Bye: Wisconsin (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten), Purdue (1-4, 0-1 Big Ten)

Maddie Brightman is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email mvb5601@psu.edu.