Kent State Golden Flashes (3-8)
Lost to Bowling Green 42-7
Woof. Neither of these teams was great heading into this game, and so I had legitimate hope that the Flashes could add at least one more win to their season total. Then Bowling Green woke up, scored 21 straight points, allowed a touchdown, and scored another 21 straight. KSU gets another bottom-dweller this week, but I’d probably still chalk this up as a season-ending loss ahead of time.
Up Next: Northern Illinois Huskies (4-7)
Pitt Panthers (7-4)
Beat Duke 56-14
Pitt played Duke in a game that was back-and-forth for the first quarter and a half before Pitt took a 28-14 lead into halftime. Duke would not score in the second half, while Pitt added another four scores, including a punt return for a touchdown. Pitt looks to finish its season strong against an inferior ACC opponent.
Up Next: Syracuse Orange (4-7)
Temple Owls (8-3)
Beat Tulane 31-0
Temple relied on quarterback Phillip Walker to lead them to victory, and he responded by throwing for 337 yards and two touchdowns. If the Owls win this weekend they’ll head to the AAC championship game to face off against the Navy Midshipmen, by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker over the South Florida Bulls. Quite the nice season for the team that started out 1-2.
Up Next: East Carolina Pirates (3-8)
#3 Michigan Wolverines (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
Beat Indiana 20-10
For the second week in a row, Michigan looked underwhelming against an inferior opponent. Midway through the third quarter the Wolverines found themselves down 10-6 before De’Veon Smith rattled off two 30+ yard touchdown runs to seal the game. On the day quarterback John O’Korn was just 7 of 16 for 59 yards, and no touchdowns. The Game this weekend is going to be a stiff test against a staunch Ohio State defense.
Up Next: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 7-1)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-3, 5-3)
Beat Northwestern 29-12
Minnesota used prototypical bend-don’t-break defense against Northwestern to win by a convincing margin. On the day, Northwestern outgained Minnesota 339 yards to 328, had 6 more first downs, and led in time of possession – yet only scored two touchdowns, and missed both two point conversion attempts. The Gophers cannot win the B1G West, but they can play spoiler by upsetting Wisconsin this weekend.
Up Next: #6 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2, 6-2)
Maryland Terrapins (5-6, 2-6)
Lost to Nebraska 28-7
Another top 25 opponent, another blowout loss for the Terrapins. Maryland could be a pretty solid team in the next few years, but this year 6-6 seems right – they’re better than the bottom feeders, but nowhere near the upper echelon teams. Luckily for them they should get that elusive sixth win this week when they host Rutgers.
Up Next: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-9, 0-8)
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 7-1)
Beat Michigan State 17-16
Well that was awfully close, huh? In a week where inclement weather imposed itself on many games, the Buckeyes’ offense regressed a bit. J.T. Barrett threw for just 86 yards, and Michigan State actually outgained OSU in yardage. Mark Dantonio went for the two-point conversion and the win, rather than playing for overtime, which ultimately cost the Spartans. Still, I’m not particularly confident in any outcome for The Game next week after watching both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines struggle.
Up Next: #3 Michigan Wolverines (10-1, 7-1)
Purdue Boilermakers (3-8, 1-7)
Lost to #6 Wisconsin 49-20
Once again Purdue played a good Big Ten team, and once again Purdue got shellacked. The Boilermakers actually led after one quarter, 3-0. But then the Badgers scored 35 points in the second quarter, and that was that. Purdue gets its intrastate rivals this weekend, but I have a feeling this team just wants to finish off the season and look for its new coach.
Up Next: Indiana Hoosiers (5-6, 3-5)
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 5-3)
Beat Illinois 28-0
A week after upending Michigan, the Hawkeyes completely shut down the Illini. The scoring started with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown, and then a relentless commitment to running the ball. Iowa attempted just 17 passes while rushing 49 times. Like Minnesota, the Hawkeyes cannot win the B1G West, but they can throw a wrench into things by defeating one of the two contenders.
Up Next: #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-2, 6-2)
Indiana Hoosiers (5-6, 3-5)
Lost to Michigan 20-10
If ever there were a time for #teamchaos to live up to their moniker, this weekend would have been it. Midway through the third quarter the Hoosiers found themselves up 10-6. Unfortunately they then allowed two long touchdown runs and the Michigan defense did the rest. Indiana can make back-to-back bowls if they can defeat Purdue this weekend, which seems like a pretty safe bet.
Up Next: Purdue Boilermakers (3-8, 1-7)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-9, 0-8)
You kind of feel bad for Rutgers, don’t you?
I mean, you’re always going to dislike Rutgers, since they’re another east coast team, we vie for the same recruits, and their first year in the B1G was not particularly well met (at least by the fans). But watching them flounder this badly is just kind of sad. I remember thinking several times throughout the game that even the coaches seemingly have given up on the season – with several missed scoring opportunities, Penn State had only managed nine points in the first half. And the Rutgers offense was not having a ton of productivity, so I was continually baffled by the Knights only ever punting on fourth and short. Granted it would be a tough go against our defense, but it really seemed like Rutgers was just playing to not lose badly, rather than trying to win. Hopefully things turn around (at least a little bit) for the Knights in the coming seasons, because this is depressing.