Iowa 45, Illinois 16
For a second there it looked like Iowa was about to go off the rails. Illinois had not looked good for a few weeks now, coming off back-to-back blowout losses against South Florida and Nebraska. In the first half in this game, however, they were able to move the ball with an ease we hadn’t seen so far this season. A 17-13 game at the half quickly turned into a 45-16 blowout. After the teams traded punts in the beginning of the third quarter, Iowa picked off Jeff George Jr. and ran it back to open up the game. Illinois would score three more, but it was all Iowa after that.
What this means for Iowa: Given the state of the West, they are technically not out of it yet. All they need is to win out, and hope Wisconsin loses another.
Up Next: BYE
What this means for Illinois: It was only for a half, but it’s encouraging to see the Illini look like an actual football team on the field. Now, if they can do that for two halves, they might be able to win some games.
Up Next: vs Rutgers
Purdue 31, Minnesota 17
This was a sneaky good game that got extended due to weather delay. Don’t let the score fool you. Minnesota was actually winning 17-16 with about 2:30 left in the game, but Purdue marched right down the field to take the 24-17 lead after the two-point conversion by Elijah Sindelar was good. Minnesota’s last minute attempt at a tie went south when Connor Rhoda, who had a tough day overall, threw the game-sealing pick-six.
What this means for Purdue: At 3-2, and with games against Rutgers, Northwestern, and Illinois left on the schedule, a bowl game is entirely realistic.
Up Next: at Wisconsin
What this means for Minnesota: Forget competing for the West. Minnesota’s goal right now is to get to a bowl game.
Up Next: vs Michigan State
Indiana 27, Charleston Southern 0
To be quite honest, I expected Indiana to score just a little more than they did, but the game was never in doubt. Payton Ramsey couldn’t have asked for a better opponent in his first start as quarterback, which allowed him to go 32-41 for 321 yards, with two touchdowns. Lucky for Ramsey, two of the four (now five?) toughest opponents are behind the rearview mirror.
What this means for Indiana: This game was always going to be a win, barring any miraculous play from Charleston Southern. It still puts Indiana one step closer to a third consecutive bowl bid, a feat they would do for the first time in program history were they to win three more games.
Up Next: vs Michigan
No. 10 Ohio State 62, Maryland 14
Maryland didn’t score an offensive touchdown until Ohio State had 62 on the board. Maryland didn’t reach 100 total yards for the game. Maryland lost third/fourth string quarterback Max Bortenschlager for the game, and could be out for more than just this one. This was a terrible showing for the Terrapins, and another blowout of a weaker team by the Buckeyes. The only notable tidbit from this game is that Ohio State’s special teams are still a work in progress, and will need to be shored up as the rest of the schedule gets tougher.
What this means for Ohio State: Nothing. Beating all the teams they’re supposed to beat is great, and doing it the way they are is a sign that they’re still as good as anyone in the Big Ten, but Maryland didn’t pose a challenge, at all. Losing their starting right tackle, however, may have implications down the road.
Up Next: at Nebraska
What this means for Maryland: Pray that Bortenschlager is able to go next week, as they would literally be down to their last quarterback if he’s out for an extended period of time.
Up Next: vs Northwestern
Michigan State 14, No. 7 Michigan 10
Michigan’s defense can only do so much when their offense is unable to move the ball through the ground, and trying it through the air leads to turnovers. This is the second straight game where Michigan State was held scoreless for the entire second half (the Spartans wouldn’t actually record a first down until well into the fourth quarter), yet managed to win the game. Five turnovers will sink any team, but Michigan needs to figure something out pronto, because otherwise they’ll resemble another team in recent memory that started 4-0 only to finish 6-6.
What this means for Michigan State: The loss to Notre Dame is going farther and father down the rearview mirror, and the Spartans are playing excellent defense. Their problem, however, is that their offense isn’t any better than the team they just beat.
Up Next: at Minnesota
What this means for Michigan: In their remaining schedule, there’s only one defense that, as of today, will have trouble stopping this putrid offense. And even that one held Washington down for most of their game.
Up Next: at Indiana
No. 9 Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 17
This is another game that was closer than the score indicated. Tanner Lee’s tendency to gift the other team six points came back in this game (in fairness to him, Devine Ozigbo had more to do with this one than Lee himself), spotting Wisconsin 7 points right off the bat. Not to be outdone, Alex Hornibrook threw a pick six of his own, which tied the game at 17 early in the third quarter. From there on out, the Badgers did what they do best, and ran the ball down Nebraska’s throat for long drives.
What this means for Wisconsin: Iowa is probably the only team with a prayer on their remaining schedule, and that schedule still has Purdue and Michigan.
Up Next: vs Purdue
What this means for Nebraska: The loss was expected, and they did play it close for three quarters, but the opportunities for wins are starting to slim down with each game.
Up Next: vs Ohio State
Did Not Play: Rutgers