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Big Ten Sampler: Week 10

The Big Ten in review and preview

Gregory Shamus

Penn State 24, Illinois 17

Penn State took a 14-0 lead in the first half, but Illinois broke their normal pattern by fighting back to take a 17-14 lead with 5:30 to play. Then everything went wrong in a hurry: Penn State tied the game with a field goal with 41 seconds remaining, scored a touchdown in overtime, and intercepted Nathan Scheelhaase in the end zone to secure the win.

Wisconsin 28, Iowa 9

Iowa hung with the Badgers for most of the day, closing the gap to 14-9 with a field goal in the last minute of the third quarter. The fourth quarter, however, was all Wisconsin, as they scored a touchdown on a short field and then drove 75 yards to provide the final margin. Iowa's defense did fairly well against Wisconsin's two-headed rushing attack, holding James White and Melvin Gordon to a combined 194 yards on 36 carries, but the Hawkeyes had nothing going on the other side of the ball, averaging only 4 yards per play and turning the ball over twice.

Ohio State 56, Purdue 0

Purdue is not very good at football.

Minnesota 42, Indiana 39

Indiana battled back from a 35-13 deficit in the third quarter, scoring four straight touchdowns to take a 39-35 lead in the fourth quarter. After their defense allowed another Minnesota touchdown, the Indiana offense put together one last drive, moving the ball deep into Minnesota territory before a dropped lateral turned into the turnover that sealed the game for the Gophers.

Michigan State 29, Michigan 6

Michigan State's defense didn't give Michigan a chance; they destroyed the Wolverine offensive line on both run and pass plays (7 sacks, -48 yards rushing on 29 carries) while limiting the damage when Devin Gardner got a pass away (14-27, 210 yards and an interception). A strong second half from the Spartan offense ensured a comfortable win.

Arizona 33, Cal 28

Cal's defense played a respectable game, holding Arizona below their per game and per play yardage averages. The offense, meanwhile, mostly kept up with the Wildcats, but a safety and a pair of interceptions from the hand of Jared Goff proved too much to overcome.

Syracuse 13, Wake Forest 0

Wake Forest didn't have anything going on offense, mustering only 198 yards including a 19 carry, 25 yard rushing effort. It took until the third quarter, however, for Syracuse put the ball in the end zone with a run by Terrell Hunt and a wide receiver pass.

Northern Illinois 63, Western Michigan 19

Last week, Western Michigan managed their first win of the year over UMass; the universe returned to its normal operation this week. As usual, the Bronco defense was roasted (612 yards at 9.3 yards per play) and their offense had no answers.

Maine 19, Stony Brook 14

Maine barely escaped with the win over a team near the bottom of the CAA, needing a fourth quarter touchdown to pull ahead of the Seawolves for good. Still, their prospects in the CAA look extremely good: with three games remaining, they are the only undefeated team, and they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the second place team, Delaware.

This Week

No Northwestern game, so here are your other options.

11:00 CT

Penn State @ Minnesota

Minnesota is on a three game winning streak, while Penn State needed overtime to escape a bad Illinois team. I expect the Gophers to win without much trouble over a struggling opponent.

Iowa @ Purdue

Iowa goes on the road to take on their MOST HATED RIVAL Purdue. Purdue has been shut out in two straight games; I expect that streak to end, because shutouts are hard, but I don't expect the Boilermakers to come close to actually winning.

12:00 CT

Western Michigan @ Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan's only win came in their season opener against Howard; Western Michigan's came against UMass, whom Sagarin considers almost as bad as EMU's FCS victim. Not recommended viewing.

2:00 CT

Cal vs. USC

If Cal can win just one PAC-12 game this year, please let it be this one.

2:30 CT

Illinois @ Indiana

Indiana's path to bowl eligibility involves winning this game and their season finale against Purdue and finding a way to upset one of Wisconsin and Ohio State on the road. Illinois is more of an obstacle to that scenario than Purdue, but not by much.

Nebraska @ Michigan

Nebraska also suffered numerous injuries last week, but at least they get to take on a Michigan team coming off a brutal beating at the hands of Michigan State. Michigan should win, and they might even get their running game going against a shaky Nebraska defense.

#24 Wisconsin vs. BYU

In the last non-conference game of the year, Wisconsin hosts a 6-2 BYU team. This game makes Wisconsin's strength of schedule much less embarrassing, but they are still a strong favorite.

Syracuse @ Maryland

At 4-4 with a trip to Tallahassee left on the schedule, Syracuse needs to win this game to keep a bit of cushion for their bowl hopes. The oddsmakers gave them a decent chance, as the game opened with Maryland as a 3.5 point favorite, but that line has moved significantly in Maryland's favor.

Maine @ Albany

Maine is 8-1 (5-0), while Albany is 1-8 (0-5). This should be no problem for the Black Bears.