Around the Big Ten: Football - Week 11
Host Logan Bourandas and analysts Jeremy Ganes and John Murphy look ahead to the upcoming week in Big Ten football and give their predictions in some of the biggest matchups:
We are into the last month of the regular season in the Big Ten Conference and there is still a lot to be decided on the field. Division championships, conference title hopes, and College Football Playoff chances are all on the line for teams as we prepare for a big week in the Big Ten.
No. 4 Penn State at No. 17 Minnesota
The biggest game on the Big Ten slate is a battle between two 8-0 teams. This is the biggest game in a long time for the Golden Gophers as they try to pick up their first win over a ranked opponent this season, firmly take control of the Big Ten West, and solidify themselves as a power. The Nittany Lions will look to pick up another quality win to bolster their resume and continue to impress the committee.
No. 18 Iowa at No. 13 Wisconsin
The loser of this game is likely eliminated from the Big Ten West race as both of these teams come in with two conference losses. The Badgers will look to get back on track after being beat down in Columbus two weeks ago, and will try to get Jonathan Taylor back on track after being shut down by the Buckeyes. The Hawkeyes will look to keep playing stout defense, but need their offense to score more points. Scoring has been hard to find for the Hawkeyes in conference play.
Maryland at No. 1 Ohio State
This looks like acomplete mismatch on paper. The Buckeyes come into this game as one of the most dominant teams in the nation with a top-three scoring offense and scoring defense. Maryland comes into losers of six of their last seven and is trying to find some sort of offensive identity. The Buckeyes won’t take the Terrapins lightly though, as last year it took them overtime to knock off Maryland in College Park.
Illinois at Michigan State
Two teams going in the complete opposite direction, Illinois comes into this game winner of three in a row and with a win will become bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. Michigan State limps into this game on a three-game losing streak and will be without star linebacker Joe Bachie, who was suspended by the Big Ten for a failed drug test.
Purdue at Northwestern
The Boilermakers, after a pregame speech from Drew Brees, got an emotional win over Nebraska last week, and is looking to keep their bowl hopes alive even while continuing to be decimated by injuries. Purdue will start third-string quarterback Aidan O’Connell on Saturday and continues to be without star receiver Rondale Moore. Pat Fitzgerald is trying to put some sort of confidence in his Wildcats, as it has been a forgettable year at Northwestern. The Wildcats are still looking for their first conference win.
Kevin McConlogue is a senior majoring in broadcast-journalism with a minor in political science. To contact him email email@example.com.