It’s late, but here’s the Big Ten action you may have missed this weekend.
No. 2 Penn State 42, Michigan 13
Penn State may not have looked quite like a national title contender against Northwestern, but that was not the case last week. The Nittany Lions breezed past Michigan behind 108 yards and 2 touchdowns from Saquon Barkley and another 3 rushing touchdowns from Trace McSorley. Now, in the Big Ten matchup of the year, Penn State travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State. The winner could win the East.
No. 16 Michigan State 17, Indiana 9
Michigan State’s offense was abysmal in this game, but its defense bailed out the Spartans in a very Northwestern fashion. After trailing for most of the game and scoring just 3 points, Michigan State scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win and cover against Indiana.
No. 5 Wisconsin 38, Maryland 13
Yeah, Wisconsin would have to do something very dumb to lose the division.
Rutgers 14, Purdue 12
Folks! Rutgers beat Purdue! Rutgers has back-to-back conference wins! This is not a drill! Purdue’s offense could do absolutely nothing against the Rutgers defense (what?) until the last drive of the game, in which the Boilermakers scored but failed on the two-point conversion to hand the Scarlet Knights a win. This is huge for Rutgers, and a very, very bad loss for Jeff Brohm and Purdue. Purdue must win three of its next five to gain bowl eligibility, an outcome that seemed almost certain after it defeated Minnesota in Week 2. Purdue also held Wisconsin to 17 points in Madison last week. College football is bizarre.
Minnesota 24, Illinois 17
I honestly didn’t know this game happened. Minnesota had 292 yards on the ground but were tied with Illinois in the fourth quarter at home. The Gophers had 47 passing yards and were 3-for-11 on third down with three turnovers to boot. There was a small window of time in which this young Minnesota team looked better than Northwestern. Now, it’s hard to make that argument.