Aside from Northwestern’s crushing loss at Michigan, there were plenty of other fantastic Big Ten games to keep your eyes on this past weekend. While teams such as Iowa and Nebraska were on bye this past week, four other great games were played. Whether you chose to avoid those games or just chose to step away from football for the weekend, we’re recapping the best games in the conference right here in this week’s edition of Around the Big Ten.
Penn State and Illinois play the longest game in college football history
Recently, the NCAA made changes to its college football overtime rules, implementing a two-point conversion sudden death after the end of a second overtime in an effort to reduce game lengths and prevent injuries.
The Nittany Lions and the Fighting Illini apparently didn’t get the memo. By the end of their game in State College, nine overtimes had been played, breaking the previous record of overtimes played that was co-held by the Texas A&M vs. LSU 74-72 thriller in 2018 and a somewhat less-exhilirating matchup between Western Michigan and Buffalo in 2017, as well as a number of other games.
The game in regulation was a somewhat boring one. It was tied up 10-10 after four quarters and just six total points were added to that scoreline by the end of the game. Both Penn State and Illinois didn’t score in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh overtime periods. They then both broke through in the eighth overtime to make the score 18-18, and Illinois finally pulled off the upset by stopping the Nittany Lions’ offense in the ninth overtime and then scoring themselves.
It’s very important to note that the Illini won this game largely on the ground, with Chase Brown carrying the ball 33 times for 223 yards and one touchdown and Joshua McCray rushing 142 yards on 24 carries. Perhaps most hilariously, the under still hit in this game, despite it being the longest game ever played by overtime length.
Ohio State further proves it’s still Ohio State
Remember when everyone was doubting Ohio State after its loss to Oregon? Those were good times.
Surprise, surprise, the Buckeyes are back and they may just have the top offense in the country. Their game against Indiana was over just midway into the second quarter when Chris Olave caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from CJ Stroud to make the score 30-7. The game was shockingly tied with three minutes left in the first quarter, only for Ohio State to lead 44-7 by halftime due to a 30-point (!) second quarter that left Indiana fans, as well as the rest of the college football world, stunned.
In the end, the Buckeyes steamrolled the Hoosiers by a final score of 54-7. This wasn’t just a blowout, it was a full-on massacre. Ohio State finished the game with 539 yards of offense, Indiana had just 128. Additionally, OSU recorded 31 first downs throughout the game, while IU had just 10. The Buckeyes did all of this without forcing a single turnover. Their offensive efficiency and defensive poise was remarkable, and they’ve climbed back up to No. 5 in this week’s AP Poll because of it.
The Boilermakers run out of steam
Well, that run of being ranked in the AP Poll was fun while it lasted, right?
Coming off of their shocking upset of the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes last weekend on the road, the Boilermakers came into their game against Wisconsin with a metaphorical hangover. The No. 25 team in the country looked sloppy, with quarterback Aidan O’Connell throwing three interceptions and the team finishing with five total turnovers. In the end, Purdue was flat out outplayed on their home turf, getting rocked by the Badgers 30-13.
We’ve known for a while that Wisconsin’s defense is still elite. Much like the rest of the Big Ten West, it’s the Badgers’ offense that lets them down. That wasn’t necessarily the case on Saturday, with Bucky and Co. taking their run game and shoving it down the throat of Purdue’s front seven. By the end of the game, Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen (who’s just 17 years old, by the way) had combined for nearly 300 yards rushing and three touchdowns. With the win, Wisconsin now sits firmly in Big Ten West title contention and will welcome, you guessed it, No. 9 Iowa to Camp Randall this weekend.
Minnesota 34, Maryland 16