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Creeping the B1G: Wisconsin Escapes, Maybe

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Northwestern could have won the game, but they decided to be good guests instead.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Only two teams were on a bye this week, so we had a near full slate of games. Of the six games, three were decided by single digits.

Nebraska 28, Illinois 6

Nebraska finally looked like a competent team on both sides of the ball. Illinois did the best it could to match Nebraska early, driving down the field after the Husker’s first touchdown drive. The Illini couldn’t punch it in, nor could they stop Nebraska on its own drives. After a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, the Huskers went on cruise control and that was the end of that. Illinois, in fairness to them, is playing a lot of freshmen this season, but the level of ineptitude showcased in the past two games is still hard to ignore.

What this means for Nebraska: The capped a bad week off with a win, so that, good. Let’s see how good that’ll be.
Up Next: vs Wisconsin
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What this means for Illinois: Not many people expected this to be a win, but they have to play better if they expect to win any more games the rest of the way.
Up Next: at Iowa

No. 10 Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 24

Northwestern looked like they were going to do it in the first half, but Wisconsin was too much for them to handle in the second half. The Wildcats made life miserable for the Badgers for as long as they could, actually coming back to from three scores with a chance to tie in the last minute, but they were unable to complete the comeback. Wisconsin’s non-conference schedule did not provide much of a challenge to the Badgers, and the first time they played a team with half a pulse, they completely stunk up the field, almost giving it away. Wisconsin had three turnovers in the first half, two of which were Alex Hornibrook interceptions. The Badgers pretty much handed Northwestern the game, especially in the first half, but the Wildcats didn’t take advantage.

What this means for Wisconsin: This was, in writing, one of the tougher games on their schedule. With that out of the way, they might only have one other team to worry about before November.
Up Next: at Nebraska
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What this means for Northwestern: Can’t win the West when you start 0-2 in the Big Ten.
Up Next: GETTIN’ GOT!

Maryland 31, Minnesota 24

Maryland is on their last quarterback before they have to put linebackers in again. Maryland went to Minneapolis and took care of Minnesota anyway. Like Wisconsin, Minnesota was also a team that didn’t really play anyone out of conference, and may have looked better than they really were. Unlike Wisconsin, they were unable to overcome their early hole to win. The Terrapins spent most of the first quarter in Minnesota territory, and if not for a close call on fourth down in one of the first drives, the game wouldn’t have looked close. I’m done overreacting to Maryland after this win. They are who they are, how good that is will be determined later.

What this means for Maryland: Six wins is still possible. A good showing next week against a team they’re not supposed to stay close with and maybe they’ll be alright after all.
Up Next: at Ohio State
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What this means for Minnesota: Losing to Maryland at home doesn’t inspire much confidence, but the season is early. Wisconsin looks human after almost giving the game away.
Up Next: at Purdue

Michigan State 17, Iowa 10

Give the credit to Michigan State, who was on the positive side of a multiple-turnover game this time around. But man, Iowa has to be kicking themselves for this performance. They shut the Spartans out in the second half, had plenty of opportunities to tie the game, and came up short mostly of their own volition. They fumbled the ball on 3rd and goal at the Michigan State five, followed that up with another fumble at the Michigan State 38, and still, somehow, found themselves with a 7-point deficit and the ball with a little less than a minute left in the game. Their 2-minute offense was not optimal.

What this means for Michigan State: 1-0 in the Big Ten is still 1-0 in the Big Ten, regardless of how they looked against Notre Dame (which wasn’t that bad if not for all the turnovers).
Up Next: at Michigan
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What this means for Iowa: A 0-2 hole in the Big Ten may be hard to overcome, especially with Ohio State still on the schedule. Crazier things have happened, but it’s hard to see the Hawkeyes win out and Wisconsin losing another game to some other team.
Up Next: vs Illinois

Ohio State 56, Rutgers 0

Why would anyone subject themselves to this massacre? The silver lining for Rutgers is that they actually made it interesting for a quarter this time around.

What this means for Ohio State: Nothing. Beating Rutgers means nothing.
Up Next: vs Maryland
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What this means for Rutgers: Holding the Buckeyes to seven in the first quarter is a good thing, right?
Up Next: BYE

Did Not Play: Michigan, Purdue