The Scarlet Knights’ personal nightmare is over. Rutgers has finally scored on one of Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan State. They had yet to score a point on one of those four team under Chris Ash. Let’s see if it lasts.
No 5 Wisconsin 24, Illinois 10
Oh look, Wisconsin turned the ball over in the first half again! Oh look, Wisconsin beat their overmatched opponent anyway! At this point, this piece should stay the same every week, changing only Wisconsin’s opponent. The warning remains though: Turn the ball over against a team that can make you pay, and good bye undefeated season.
What this means for Wisconsin: You don’t get brownie points for playing with a handicap. Put the overmatched teams away early and move on.
Up next: at Indiana
What this means for Illinois: Nobody expected them to win this game, and they didn't. Season’s almost over, Illini.
Up Next: at Purdue
Michigan 35, Rutgers 14
Yes, folks, that’s points on Rutgers’ side. Janarion Grant took a direct snap 65 yards to the house, snapping the Scarlet Knight’s scoreless streak against the big four in the East. It wasn’t enough though, as Michigan’s defense suffocated them the rest of the way. Brandon Peters finally saw meaningful time on the field, as he took over for John O’Korn in the second quarter and never looked back. After O’Korn’s early mistakes, Jim Harbaugh may not have had another choice. The question now though, is “why didn’t you start him sooner?!”
What this means for Michigan: Nothing. This was a game they were expected to win. They’re still good for 8-4 until proven otherwise.
Up next: vs Minnesota
What this means for Rutgers: Even in the blowout loss, they actually looked decent. Maybe Chris Ash is doing a decent job after all?
Up Next: vs Maryland
Northwestern 39, No. 16 Michigan State 31
Will you look at that, Northwestern is playing like the West contender every Medill graduate predicted them to be before the season. Game itself wasn’t too eventful until overtime, as the Wildcats took a 17-10 lead well into the fourth quarter. Michigan State, however, would go on to tie it with less than 30 seconds left, and the game would go on to three overtimes. A late interception by Brian Lewerke sealed the victory for Northwestern in the third overtime. Instead of throwing the ball away after the botched snap, Lewerke tried to go for the gold instead. You had two more downs dude...
What this means for Northwestern: On paper, this was their most difficult game remaining. They could finish 9-3 and look like a good win for Penn State, after all.
Up Next: at Nebraska
What this means for Michigan State: Winning the East is out of the question without winning out. And Michigan State is not winning out. They’re already bowl eligible, though, and that’s leaps and bounds better than last season.
Up Next: A REALLY PISSED OFF TEAM*
Maryland 42, Indiana 39
Here we go again. Maryland pulls another one out their, yeah, and beats an Indiana team we all came to believe was a lot better than their record, due to being burdened with starting the season against the top four teams in the East. If you looked at just the statistics, you’d think Indiana dropped the hammer on Maryland. That is, of course, if you believe special teams aren’t part of the equation. Blocked punts, massive returns, and an untimely turnover by Indiana gave Maryland all the production it needed to keep the score close and win it in the end.
What this means for Indiana: They need to win three of the next four to go bowling. Maybe they’ll be the team to make Wisconsin pay for all the early turnovers?
Up Next: vs Wisconsin
What this means for Maryland: Here’s a good representation of this Maryland team:
Up Next: at Rutgers
Iowa 17, Minnesota 10
This game was a little reminiscent of Iowa’s debacle against Northwestern last week, where they took a 7-0 lead into the half then slowly let Minnesota in the game in the second half. Unlike last week, though, the Hawkeyes actually scored enough to keep the Gophers at arm’s length, going up 14-0 in the third quarter then playing keep away the rest of the game. James Butler returned for Iowa, which is great news for a team that was relying way too much on Akrum Wadley.
What this means for Iowa: They get to keep the pig, they get the two back in their one-two punch, and the Ferentz gameplan worked. What more could you ask?
Up Next: vs Ohio State
What this means for Minnesota: at 4-4 overall, they’re going to need to win two more to reach bowl eligibility, unless they can back their way into one at 5-7. Their remaining schedule might make either option unattainable.
Up Next: at Michigan**
Nebraska 25, Purdue 24
Oh Purdue. You had so much promise. You started out so well, taking Louisville to the brink, following that up by blowing out both Ohio and Missouri, and even giving Michigan a run for its money. Now, having lost three of the last four, you find yourself in a situation where you have to win three of the next four just to make a bowl.
Nobody really expected Purdue to make a bowl before the season, so it shouldn’t be held against them if they don’t, but it’s probably still disappointing for them to see the season turn out like this. As per Nebraska, being in position to need a second half comeback effort, capped by a last-minute drive to beat Purdue, says everything that needs to be said about the program.
What this means for Nebraska: Maybe they can scrape two more wins off their remaining schedule? Minnesota looks like the only winnable game on paper, but who knows.
Up Next: vs Northwestern
What this means for Purdue: They’re competitive and have looked way better than anyone expected them to. No one likes moral victories, but compared to what they had before, this is great.
Up Next: vs Illinois
*Or maybe a really deflated team that knows it’s not making the playoff without a ton of help. Who knows.
**With an effective quarterback, at that!