Around the Big Ten: Week Five

Story posted September 27, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Ariel Epstein

A highly unusual week five includes a mere four games, two conference match-ups and only six Big Ten teams. 

Northern Illinois (3-0) vs. Purdue (1-3), 12:00 ET

What occurred during a devastating 41-10 loss to Wisconsin last week, makes the Boilmakers eager for redemption, in their home game against an undefeated Northern Illinois team. 
Senior quarterback, Rob Henry, totaled a lowly 135 yards for Purdue last week. Running backs, Akeem Hunt (31 yards) and Dalyn Dawkins (15 yards), accumulated just 46 total yards for the entire game.

Meanwhile, the Badgers ran the ball right over the Boilmakers’ defense for a hefty 388 yards. Northern Illinois will be a tough matchup for a struggling Purdue team. The Huskies have scored at least 30 points in each of their first three starts this season and are ranked 11th overall in rushing yards. 

Miami (OH) (0-3) vs. Illinois (2-1), 12:00 ET

After a loss to No. 19 Washington and a bye week, Illinois is looking to close out their four game home-stretch with a victory. The Fighting Illini started off the season at 2-0, while scoring at least 40 points against both of their opponents. 

Illinois quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase, is all about the passing game, thus his offense being ranked 21st overall in passing yards. Scheelhaase’s go-to playmaker, wide receiver Ryan Lankford, has produced 225 yards and a touchdown this season. This may be trouble for the visiting Red Hawks, since in their first two starts this season, the defense dropped at least 40 points and their offense was shut out last week.  The Red Hawks have not been able to earn more than 14 points yet in the 2013 season. Illinois has their first conference and away game against Nebraska next week and are hoping to enter the matchup at 3-1. 

Iowa (3-1) vs. Minnesota (4-0), 3:30 ET

A Big Ten conference game is kicking off this weekend on the home field of the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers. Both Iowa and Minnesota are coming off of high scoring games with the Hawkeyes dominating Western Michigan 59-3, and Minnesota’s win over San Jose State 43-24. 

The Golden Gophers recorded over 40 points in three out of their four games this season, without their defense surrendering much. Quarterback Philip Nelson’s offense is ranked 22nd overall in points scored, and 13th in rushing yards, with the help of their double-threat running backs, David Cobb (332 yards, five touchdowns) and Rodrick William Junior (277 yards, three touchdowns).

Hawkeye’s sophomore quarterback, Jake Rudock, threw for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the game against Western Michigan. His main receiver was Damond Powell who tallied two receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. The Hawkeyes defense has been superior to their opponents in the past three games, only giving up a maximum 21 points.

No. 23 Wisconsin (3-1) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (4-0), 8:00 ET

Two ranked Big Ten teams will be facing off in Ohio Stadium this Saturday night. Ohio State is coming off a huge win over Florida A&M, shutting them out 76-0 bringing their record to 4-0 for the second year in a row. The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off their first conference win of the season over Purdue, 41-10. 

With the leadership of Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton (664 yards, 13 touchdowns) the team is ranked fourth overall for points scored with at least 40 points a game and sixth in rushing yards due to the electric senior running back Jordan Hall (422 yards, eight touchdowns).

However, the Badger’s running game might outdo the Buckeyes since they are ranked third overall in rushing yards with Melvin Gordon racking up an incredible 624 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Sophomore quarterback, Joel Stave, has led his offense with 761 yards and six touchdowns in the first four games this season, after connecting with his main receiver Jared Abbrederis for 365 of those yards and three touchdowns. With a Badger’s defense ranked 10th for overall points scored against them, including two shut out games this season, this matchup will be a hard fought brawl under the lights in Columbus, Ohio.

Bye: Indiana (2-2), Michigan (4-0), Michigan State (3-1), Nebraska (3-1), Northwestern (4-0), Penn State (3-1).

Ariel Epstein is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ase5096@psu.edu.