It was a strange week across college football and the Big Ten didn’t escape the bizarreness! Minnesota proved the doubters absolutely right with a disappointing performance which will quite rightly drop them out of the CFP rankings. Michigan State were left heartbroken and no longer undefeated, Wisconsin routed Rutgers, and Ohio State had to dig deep to beat Nebraska. Let’s dive into the B1G Week 10 Review.
B1G Week 10 Review – Michigan State 29 Purdue 40
Purdue absolutely loves turning dreams into nightmares. For the second time, this season the Boilermakers have taken down an undefeated top 3 team, sending shockwaves across the college football landscape. Michigan State will be desperate not to follow Iowa’s downward spiral after being torched by Aidan O’Connell and elite wide receiver David Bell.
The threat was well known, the Spartans will have prepared for him all week. David Bell is just too good. It was a classic case of strength v weakness as Purdue’s best asset picked apart Michigan State’s weakest spot on defense. The Spartan secondary allowed Bell 217 yards and a touchdown, and in total gave up 536 yards in the air! I mentioned in the preview that if Aidan O’Connell got time he could take over this game, and he sure did!
The Boilermakers scored on their first drive, with O’Connell somehow evading the pass rush on 3rd down to find David Bell in the endzone. Purdue had control for most of the first half and managed 3 touchdowns in the 1st half. Jeff Brohm is known for his trick plays and pulled out a doozy to earn a 21-7 lead. An end-around handed to Jackson Anthrop turned into a reverse as he handed the ball off. He pitched it back to O’Connell to throw a screen pass, finding Anthrop again who took the ball 39 yards for a touchdown. A quick-thinking, fun, and explosive play that is well worth a watch.
Michigan State recovered from that 14 point deficit with scores on either side of halftime to tie the game, but couldn’t grab the lead at any point. Kenneth Walker III finished with decent stats but nothing on his recent performances. The Spartans couldn’t keep pace with Purdue and fell victim to the Big Ten giant slayers. Watch out Ohio State!
B1G Week 10 Review – Ohio State 26 Nebraska 17
The nation’s leading offense wasn’t able to get up through the gears against a tough-as-nails Nebraska defense. Ohio State clung to a narrow lead pretty much all game but struggled to put the Cornhuskers away.
The formidable trio of receivers at Ohio State’s disposal down to a duo. Garrett Wilson sat out with an undisclosed injury and Jaxon Smith-Njigba took full advantage of his increased role. He caught a school-record 15 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown in a brilliant display. Even if Wilson is back next week JSN will surely demand a bigger target share after this.
Smith-Njigba’s 75-yard touchdown gave Ohio State a 14 point lead and could have opened the floodgates. It was key for Nebraska to strike back before the half and they did immediately. Adrian Martinez found Samori Toure for a 72-yard score. Anything you can do and all that! Martinez has been playing with a broken jaw since September and proved his toughness with a gritty performance.
The Cornhuskers will be bitterly disappointed that they couldn’t convert their 2nd half dominance into a win. They shut down the Buckeyes’ offense, limiting them to just 2 field goals after the break. Unfortunately, offense and special teams couldn’t take advantage, leaving too many points on the field.
B1G Week 10 Review – 7 Michigan 29
Back on track. Michigan’s defense showed what they are all about, smothering Indiana and limiting them to just 195 total yards. The Hoosiers couldn’t get rolling behind freshman QB Donaven McCulley who had a tough day. The young signal-caller has shown promise in his fledgling college career and has huge potential, but the Wolverines made sure that this was not his breakout day.
Michigan established an early lead and never looked back. Hassan Haskins clocked 168 yards on 27 carries to grind down the Indiana defense. Cade McNamara had an efficient day too, throwing for 2 TDs and averaging 9.3 yards per attempt.
The only negative for the Wolverines is Blake Corum’s injury. He left the game early with a lower leg issue and didn’t return. Haskins stepped into the lead role well but the duo works best as a 1-2 punch. Michigan will be hoping Corum can recover in time to face a strong Penn State defense next week.
Indiana is spiraling in the wrong direction, this being their 4th loss in a row. The injuries have stacked up and the Hoosiers need a complete reset. Bring on 2022.
B1G Week 10 Review – Penn State 31 Maryland 14
Jahan Dotson has been a consistent bright spark throughout an up and then down Penn State season. The wide receiver is the second record-breaker of the week, tallying 242 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Maryland Terrapins. Dotson’s big day helped Penn State snap their losing streak and did his draft stock no harm at all.
The game was tough to watch in the 1st half. The punt-fest was only punctuated 3 times – a touchdown each and a turnover on downs. Penn State held a 1 point lead thanks to a missed PAT from Terps kicker Joseph Petrino, but Maryland drew the scores level at 14 with the 1st play of the 4th quarter. Unfortunately for them, parity didn’t last long. Sean Clifford found Jahan Dotson 2 plays later and the speedster raced away from the Terps defense for an 86 yard TD and a lead Penn State would not surrender again.
B1G Week 10 Review – 52 Rutgers 3
Wisconsin blasted their way to bowl eligibility, brushing Rutgers aside with ease. The Badgers have won 5 in a row, and are now looking like the team we expected they would be.
The top-ranked defense stomped all over Rutgers, reeling in 3 interceptions and making it a miserable weekend for the Scarlet Knights. There really are no positives for Rutgers to take from this game, best to pack it away and move on sharpish! Wisconsin ran the ball at will and opened up the passing game for Graham Mertz who had his best game of the year by far. The quarterback has struggled, leaning heavily on his running backs. This week he balled out, throwing for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Wisconsin has gone from a 1-3 disaster to controlling the Big Ten West. Win out and the Badgers claim the West title and are in the conference championship game.
B1G Week 10 Review – Illinois 14 Minnesota 6
I admit it, I got sucked into the Minnesota underdog story. I wanted to believe Bowling Green was a blip and rooted for the Golden Gophers as they’ve overcome injury after injury. The hype was not justified and I’m sorry. Minnesota will rightly tumble out of the CFP rankings. Most scoffed at their inclusion in the first place and will now feel justified.
Illinois rode their defense and running game to victory – sensing a Big Ten theme here?! Chase Brown rushed the ball 33 times for 147 yards. 33 times! Brandon Peters only attempted 9 passes all game as the Fighting Illini rarely deviated from giving Brown the ball.
Minnesota’s run game was bottled up for the first time all season and Tanner Morgan couldn’t put the team on his shoulders. To be fair, he wasn’t given much time in the pocket and was sacked 6 times as the Illinois pass rush got home again and again. Morgan threw 2 picks as well on another day to forget for the Golden Gophers.
B1G Week 10 Review – Iowa 17 Northwestern 12
Iowa got back to winning ways in a low-scoring affair at Northwestern. It took all 60 minutes and a quarterback change but the Hawkeyes traveled home from Ryan Field with smiles on their faces. None bigger than that of Alex Padilla. The Sophomore quarterback entered the game early as Spencer Petras couldn’t overcome the shoulder injury picked up last week. Padilla was visibly nervous as he got the first few snaps under his belt, but grew into the game quickly.
Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats had Andrew Marty under centre following Hilinski’s benching last week. Marty managed to move the ball fairly well but didn’t protect it well enough against the defense at the top of the INT charts. The Hawkeyes claimed 3 more to help seal the win and condemn Northwestern to a 6-6 season at best.