Big Ten Sampler: Week 8

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten in review and preview

Not a lot of surprises outside of Evanston.

Ohio State 34, Iowa 24

In a game eerily similar to Northwestern's loss to the Buckeyes, Iowa jumped out to an early lead and played well for most of the game until OSU's offense got Carlos Hyde rolling.  Jake Rudock even threw a costly interception late in the game.  We will see if Iowa bounces back better than Northwestern.

Michigan State 14, Purdue 0

The Spartan offense was back to its early season form, struggling to move the ball against a bad Purdue defense.  Their defense, on the other hand, not only recorded a shutout but also scored a touchdown of its own.

Michigan 63, Indiana 47

Michigan, apparently feeling nostalgic for the Rich Rodriguez era, left their defense in the locker room.  Indiana, of course, always takes that approach.  Jeremy Gallon was the best performer in a game full of big offensive performances, catching 14 passes for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Wisconsin 56, Ilinois 32

I'm not sure whether Illinois is the poor man's Indiana or Indiana is the poor man's Illinois.  Either way, Wisconsin went up 21-0 in the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way even as the Illinois offense recovered.  Still, Illinois held the Badgers under 300 yards rushing, which is a victory of sorts.

Georgia Tech 56, Syracuse 0

I am not that surprised that GT scored early and often; their offense sometimes catches an opponent completely unprepared.  The shocking part of this game was Syracuse failing to score a point, as their offense gained only 208 yards and turned the ball over 3 times.  Syracuse was looking like Northwestern's best win, but this game puts their quality in serious doubt.

Ball State 38, Western Michigan 17

Western Michigan's offense was relatively frisky, but they continue to be mostly hopeless.

Maine 34, William and Mary 20

Maine scored the first 24 points and allowed 13 points in the fourth quarter, with the game well out of hand; this was not as close as the score.  The win over a fairly good William and Mary team keeps Maine undefeated team in the Colonial Athletic Association; there is a very serious possibility that they are Northwestern's best win to date.

Next Week

What to watch to erase the memory of a 20 point Hawkeye win.

11:00 CT

#24 Nebraska @ Minnesota

Taylor Martinez has apparently returned to practice, but his status for Saturday's game is still unknown.  Whatever his status, Nebraska should be able to beat Minnesota easily even without their starting quarterback.

12:00 CT

Maine @ Villanova

Sagarin ranks two CAA teams ahead of Maine: Villanova and Towson.  Both already have a conference loss, and Towson doesn't play the Black Bears.  A win would put Maine fully in the CAA driver's seat.

2:00 CT

Western Michigan @ UMass

UMass is a very bad football team (dead last in F/+) that lost to Maine and has only beaten Miami (OH).  They are favored by 3.5 points.  PILLOW FIGHT!

2:30 CT

Michigan State @ Illinois

I could see a day on which Illinois scores a few touchdowns and watches Michigan State's offense self-destruct.  I just don't think that day is at all likely.

7:00 CT

Penn State @ #4 Ohio State

Ohio State is yet to look dominant in conference play, so it should be worth your time to tune into this game just in case this is the week their struggle to put opponents away catches up to the Buckeyes.  I'm betting on another 10 point win, though.

10:00 CT

Cal @ Washington

A Cal loss would be their seventh, mathematically eliminating the Bears from bowl contention.

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