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Around the Big Ten, Week 11: Madness

Michigan goes down as other favorites win.

Michigan v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Every Sunday, after an entire Saturday’s worth of college football, we'll take a look around the Big Ten. As the conference as a whole fights as respectability in the non-conference, or as its power dynamics shift on a week-to-week basis in this fall, we'll follow every team and try to piece together the puzzle that is the 13-week-long season all the way up until Indianapolis.

Here are the top three storylines from Week 11:

Michigan falls in Iowa City

The Wolverines (9-1, 6-1) fell to the Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3) 14-13 in a stunning upset at Kinnick Stadium. It was a defensive battle; starting quarterbacks Wilton Speight and C.J. Beathard combined for just 169 yards passing on the night. The Michigan offense looked out-of-sync all night, and Hawkeye kicker Keith Duncan nailed a 33-yard field goal as time expired to seal the win. The Wolverines still control their own destiny in the Big Ten East, but it’s now tough to envision a scenario in which they lose another game and still make the College Football Playoff. And Ohio State looms to close out the year.

Penn State uses big fourth quarter to beat Indiana

Penn State (8-2, 6-1) has been on a roll ever since knocking off Ohio State, and it didn’t stop Saturday against Indiana (5-5, 3-4). Despite Saquon Barkley being held in check, Trace McSorley threw for 332 yards and the Nittany Lion defense forced five Hoosier fumbles en route to a 35-21 win in which Penn State outscored Indiana 24-7 in the fourth quarter.

Nebraska outlasts Minnesota

In a critical game for both teams, the Cornhuskers (8-2, 5-2) scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to defeat the Golden Gophers (7-3, 4-3) 24-17. Tommy Armstrong returned from the injury he sustained against Ohio State and played well, accounting for 278 total yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers. The Golden Gophers, who were tied for first place in the Big Ten West entering this week, now have a long way to go to get to the Big Ten Championship Game, especially with a matchup with Wisconsin looming in the final week of the season.

Other games:

  • Ohio State (9-1, 6-1) throttled Maryland (5-5, 2-5) 62-3 in College Park. The Buckeyes have now won two straight games by a score of 62-3, and have played extremely well since their close win over Northwestern. They’ll take on Michigan State next week in East Lansing before hosting Michigan on the final day of the season.
  • Wisconsin (8-2, 5-2) rolled Illinois (3-7, 2-5) 48-3. The Badgers rushed for 363 yards and four touchdowns on the day, and averaged nearly six yards per carry. This game wasn’t close from the beginning.
  • Michigan State (3-7, 1-6) picked up its first Big Ten win of the season over Rutgers (2-8, 0-7) 49-0. This was the third time this season Rutgers was shutout. Rutgers was outscored 185-0 against Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State this season.