Week five was a calm one in the Big Ten. There were plenty of blowouts and no noteworthy comebacks. The top teams won again. The teams at the bottom of the Big Ten barrel continued to show why they’re there. One wide receiver may have elevated his name into the national conversation. Meanwhile, two middle-of the-pack teams collected key wins to stay afloat. All that and more on this week’s edition of Around the Big Ten.
Penn State, Michigan and Maryland score big road wins to move to 5-0
We have talked ad nauseam about each of these teams, and we’re going to talk about them some more! Each had blowout victories over the bottom of the Big Ten on Saturday. Penn State got the day started with a 41-13 win over Northwestern. The Nittany Lions started slow and the game was tied at 10 at the half, but they came out firing in the second half and eventually blew out the Wildcats as expected. Michigan followed that up with an absolutely dominant display in Lincoln. They ran the Huskers out of their own sold-out stadium 45-7 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. For the first time all season, they looked like the Michigan team everyone has been waiting all year to see.
Maryland then wrapped up the day for this trio with a blowout victory of its own. The Terrapins rocked Indiana 44-17 in Bloomington behind Taulia Tagovailoa’s 352 yards and five touchdowns through the air. The win sets them up for a big game next Saturday, when they take on fellow undefeated Ohio State in Columbus. It’s the first of many big games in the Big Ten East this season.
Purdue and Iowa collect key conference victories
The Boilermakers steamrolled Illinois 44-19 on Saturday to help get their season back on track. Purdue starting quarterback Hudson Card played clean football, finishing 18-of-26 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while the rushing attack performed like a high-speed locomotive to the tune of 189 yards and three touchdowns. The win leaves Purdue in an early tie for second place in the Big Ten West along with Minnesota and Iowa.
Speaking of Iowa, the Hawkeyes also got to 1-1 in conference play on Saturday by outscoring Michigan State 13-0 in the fourth quarter to spark a 26-16 victory in Iowa City. The result, however, comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that they got the win, in large part due to defensive back Cooper DeJean, who recorded six tackles and an interception to go along with his go-ahead 70-yard punt return touchdown. The bad news is the win came at the expense of starting quarterback Cade McNamara, who suffered an apparent leg injury in the first quarter.
Roman Wilson for Biletnikoff?
Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best wide receiver in college football. But when it comes to the race for the Biletnikoff, it’s Wilson that stands out among Big Ten pass catchers as the most deserving for the award. Wilson leads the FBS in receiving touchdowns with eight after adding two more Saturday in Michigan’s aforementioned blowout win over Nebraska. Oh, and peep the first of those two touchdowns below.
In addition to that catch of the year candidate and those eight touchdowns, Wilson has 19 receptions for 326 yards this season, which is 17.2 yards per catch for those of you scoring at home. Will the pace he’s on be enough for him to win the award? That’s not for me to decide. I just really wanted an excuse to watch that catch again. It also happens to be the perfect way to wrap up this week of Big Ten action.
Rutgers 52, Wagner 3
Minnesota 35, Louisiana 24