It was a crazy week in the Big Ten. While we were mostly watching Northwestern’s epic overtime win over No. 16 Michigan State, the rest of the country was watching Ohio State’s epic win over Penn State. Then they probably didn’t watch Nebraska/Purdue, but that game was also pretty darn good. We’re here to recap everything you missed.
No. 6 Ohio State 39, No. 2 Penn State 38
This was arguably the best game of the entire college football season thus far. Ohio State did everything it could to throw away the game in the first half. Saquon Barkley took the opening kick 97 yards to the house. Penn State went up 14-0 within five minutes, and then went up 21-3 after 15. But unlike in its game against Oklahoma, Ohio State never stopped fighting. J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State defense methodically led the Buckeyes to within a score in the fourth quarter, despite Penn State doing everything it possibly could to hold the Buckeyes off.
When Tyler Davis kicked a 24-yard field goal with 6:33 remaining to make it 38-27, OSU seemed done for. Barrett was able to find Johnnie Dixon for a 10-yard touchdown with 4:31 left, but a failed two-point conversion again put Penn State in the driver’s seat. Then, OSU came up with the best defensive series of the entire season, given the situation, forcing a three-and-out that gave Barrett the ball back almost immediately. Barrett, who threw 16 CONSECUTIVE COMPLETIONS, found Marcus Baugh for a 16-yard score to put Ohio State up 39-38. The Buckeyes failed on another two-point conversion, but their defense came up with another devastating three and out to end the game.
(Incidentally, my personal favorite football game of 2017 remains Navy 48, Air Force 45, because service academy football is the best.)
No. 5 Wisconsin 24, Illinois 10
Illinois’ season over/under for wins in 2017 was 2.5 wins. Illinois won its first two games of the season, making anyone who took the over look very happy. Illinois has not won a game since, and could very well go 2-10. Don’t gamble, everybody.
Wisconsin didn’t look great, but the Badgers won. After going up 17-3 at halftime, Chryst and Co. basically just coasted.
Nebraska 25, Purdue 24
Maryland 42, Indiana 39
The state of Indiana should take a long break from football. In two very dumb football games, Indiana and Purdue came out on the wrong side by a combined four points. It was stupid. Indiana was up 33-28 heading into the fourth quarter, but defensively cratered and couldn’t score in the final period. This type of second half collapse has happened to the Hoosiers multiple times this season.
Purdue’s loss was even dumber. Up 24-12 with 14 minutes left, Nebraska scored two touchdowns, including one with 21 seconds remaining, to win the game. Jeff Brohm’s tenure started brightly, but two awful losses to Rutgers and Nebraska have turned the hype train around for a bit. Send your thoughts to our friends at Crimson Quarry and Hammer and Rails. Maybe they can reconcile their differences and mourn two horrendous losses together.
Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Indiana all blew fourth quarter leads. At least Northwestern survived.
Iowa 17, Minnesota 10
*yawns* Well, Minnesota didn’t score until the fourth quarter. Iowa held on for a tough 17-10 win. Just about the only great thing that happened in this game was Noah Fant (the pass dropper?) making fun of the ROW THE BOAT slogan in his celebration.
Michigan 35, Rutgers 14
Hey, at least it wasn’t 78-0!