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 for respectability in the non-conference, or as its power dynamics shift on a week-to-week basis this fall, we’ll follow every team and try to piece together the puzzle that is the 14-week-long season all the way up until Indianapolis.
Here are the top storylines from Week 11:
Minnesota tops No. 4 Penn State
The Gophers snagged their first win over a top five team in 20 years by beating undefeated Penn State to advance to 9-0. The Gophers gained momentum right off the bat with a 66-yard touchdown run by Rashod Bateman on their first possession. Quarterback Tanner Morgan threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns to secure an early lead and win.
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford came into the matchup leading the conference in total offense and had only thrown three interceptions total in the first eight games. Against Minnesota, he threw three interceptions and went 23-43.
At the rate they are going, the Gophers will likely be looking at their first trip to a Big Ten championship. Those are fun.
Illinois upsets Michigan State in final seconds
The Fighting Illini became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014 with a touchdown in the last five seconds of the game to edge out Michigan State. Illinois (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 entering the fourth, but completed a 20-point comeback before securing the win with the final touchdown. Brandon Peters threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns to make this comeback possible.
This is the fourth straight win for the Fighting Illini, who have become known for their tendency to force turnovers. They have totaled 26 turnovers this season and had four on Saturday. The loss to Illinois is the fourth straight loss for Michigan State, making the Spartans 4-5 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
Wisconsin survives Iowa 24-22
Jonathan Taylor rushed for a season-high 250 yards, 130 of which came in the fourth quarter, to help Wisconsin hold out against Iowa on Saturday. His 250 yards on 31 carries broke the program record for the most ever by a Badger against the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes pushed back in the fourth, outscoring the Badgers 16-3, but were ultimately unable to tie the game. This win keeps Wisconsin in the running for the Big Ten West title and gives them momentum once again following two losses to Illinois and Ohio State.
Ohio State 73, Maryland 14
The Buckeyes were up 42-0 at halftime in what was an unsurprising and unforgiving blowout against Maryland. Despite star defensive end Chase Young being suspended for the game, Ohio State totaled 705 offensive yards and racked up 73 points, the most the school has scored in a Big Ten game since 1950.