We are officially in the second half of the college football season! The conference is chugging along, with each week being teams meeting expectations, always with at least one surprise. And surprise it was, with a top ten team losing at home.
Every team in the conference was playing this weekend for the first time this season. That oddity is primarily due to the first week’s Nebraska-Akron game being cancelled due to severe weather conditions.
In any case, let’s get to the games themselves...
Iowa (5-1) 42 Indiana (4-3) 16
Up until early in the second quarter, it looked like Indiana may be able to hang with the Hawkeyes. Then that changed, and dramatically. Iowa quarterback Nate Sudfeld had an amazing day, throwing for 320 yards with six touchdowns against one interception. With those kind of numbers, you can imagine the receivers did well too, and you’d be correct. Two Hawkeyes had receptions of over 50 yards, courtesy of Mr. Sudfeld.
The Iowa defense was murder against the run, with Indiana’s lead rusher Stevie Scott running for a grand total of 29 yards all day. Those numbers kind of say it all. The Indiana offense was bottled up by the fact that Iowa kept them off the field.
Northwestern (3-3) 34 Nebraska (0-6) 31 OT
Wow, what a battle this was! Nebraska, fighting for their reputation, took and early lead, but the Wildcats refused to go away. They fought back, and tied it up with just 12 seconds remaining in regulation, and then won it in overtime with a 37 yard field goal. Despite playing a very good game, Nebraska remains winless in 2018.
#3 Ohio State (7-0) 30 Minnesota (3-3) 14
This looked like Ohio State was going to be the big story of the day. The Buckeyes just kept giving the Golden Gophers opportunities to stay in the game, and they took advantage. Minnesota held a 14-10 lead until late in the second quarter, and only trailed by three at the half.
The second half, however, was all Ohio State. Whatever was said in the locker room worked, and the Buckeyes rolled off 13 unanswered points to win this one easily.
Purdue (3-3) 46 Illinois (3-3) 7
Illinois scored first yesterday and took a seven point lead on the visiting Boilermakers. Unfortunately for the Illini, that was the last time they would see the end zone. Purdue responded with 46 unanswered points to bury Illinois.
Michigan State (4-2) 21 #8 Penn State (4-1) 17
In a packed Beaver Stadium, the Michigan State Spartans did not have the lead in this game for 59:41 of the game. In the shocker of the day, Michigan State took their first lead of the day with 19 seconds left when Brian Lewerke passed to Felton Davis III to the left for a 25 yard touchdown. That was all they needed to stun the Nittany Lion fans as Penn State falls for the second game in a row.
#12 Michigan (6-1) 38 #15 Wisconsin (4-2) 13
Shea Patterson led the Michigan Wolverines to a big victory over the ranked Wisconsin Badgers in a match that was touted as measuring both of these teams. This victory was Michigan’s first win against a ranked team since they won against Wisconsin two years ago. It was also their sixth straight win since losing to Notre Dame in the first game in early September. It was a good and important win for Michigan, who meets cross-state rival Michigan State next week.
Maryland (4-2) 34 Rutgers (1-6) 7
Rutgers looked inept against the Terrapins in what was a poor game from almost everyone with the exception of punter Adam Korsak. Quarterback Artur Sitkowski threw for a grand total of eight yards with no touchdowns against four interceptions. Isaiah Pacheco had his first big day, gaining over 100 yards and a very late touchdown in the failed effort by the Scarlet Knights. Poor play was exhibited by offense, defense, and special teams as the Terps romped to the all-too-easy win.
The final game of the day between Michigan and Wisconsin led a full slate of Big Ten games yesterday, and with the second half of the season underway, it is apparent the top half of the conference is still measuring as a strong as usual. A second straight loss by Penn State is the only surprise on the day, and as we get ready for the CFP rankings to begin, Ohio State continues to place itself in a strong position. However, Michigan’s strong showing against Wisconsin puts them in a “don’t forget about me” situation, too. If this continues through November, the last week’s game between these two heavyweights will take on the feel of a conference championship, no matter who the winner plays in Indianapolis!