B1G Weekly Recap: Wisconsin Gains Control in B1G West, Buckeyes Take Care of Minnesota

In a game that will likely decide the Big Ten West champion, Wisconsin took Nebraska behind the woodshed on the back of a record-setting day of Melvin Gordon. Ohio State battled the elements and themselves to beat Minnesota, leaving the Buckeyes one win away from returning to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern, Rutgers, and Michigan State all came out victorious this weekend.

Ohio State 31, Minnesota 24

J.T. Barrett broke three Ohio State records in this game, which, at 15 degrees at kickoff, was the coldest game that the Buckeyes had played since 1964. Barrett ran for a quarterback-record 189 yards, set the record for longest TD run by a QB with his 86 yarder, and became Ohio State’s single-season touchdown record-holder as he is now responsible for 38 Buckeye touchdowns.

David Cobb was impressive for the Golden Gophers, rushing the ball 27 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns as Minnesota fell to 7-3 on the season. The Gophers will travel to Nebraska next week while the Buckeyes return to the Horseshoe to welcome the Hoosiers of Indiana.

Penn State 30, Temple 14

Penn State turned a close game into a blowout in the second half as the Nittany Lions capitalized on five Temple turnovers to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2011. Akeel Lynch ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and Bill Belton added 92 on the ground to go with a score of his own.

Christian Hackenberg was just 12-26 for 112 yards but the Nittany Lions didn’t need him to be at his best for this one. Penn State makes a trip to Champaign to take on the Fighting Illini on Saturday.

Iowa 30, Illinois 14

Iowa went into Memorial Stadium and dominated the Illini to get the bad taste of their blowout loss to Minnesota out of their mouths. Iowa outgained Illinois 587-235 in total offense, including 304-88 on the ground. Mark Weisman led the way for the Hawkeyes with 134 rushing yards.

Jake Rudock finished with 210 passing yards and two scores as Iowa moved to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes will go back home this week to play Wisconsin and Illinois will host Penn State.

Wisconsin 59, Nebraska 24

Nebraska started the game off hot, jumping out to an early 17-3 lead. That’s as good as it would get for the Cornhuskers, as Wisconsin would score the next 56 points to blow out their opponents. Melvin Gordon added to his already impressive Heisman resume with his greatest performance yet. Gordon broke LaDainian Tomlinson’s 15-year-old record for most rushing yards in a game with 408. Oh, and he did it in just three quarters as he sat out the entire 4th quarter.

Nebraska struggled all day, managing just 180 yards of offense. Ameer Abdullah was not at his best, getting burnt repeatedly in pass protection and rushing for just 69 yards in the game. Wisconsin now holds the edge in the race for the Big Ten West and will look to continue their run next week when they go to Kinnick Stadium to take on Iowa. Nebraska will try to rebound back at home when Minnesota comes to Lincoln.

Northwestern 43, Notre Dame 40 (OT)

Northwestern went in to South Bend and knocked off the Fighting Irish thanks to a Jack Mitchell field goal in overtime after Notre Dame missed a field goal on their opening possession of overtime. The Wildcats bounced back in a huge way after rushing for a whopping negative 9 yards rushing last week to gain 263 yards on the ground.

Justin Jackson carried the majority of the load, rushing for 149 yards and a touchdown as Northwestern kept their slim bowl hopes alive with the win moving them to 4-6 on the season. The Wildcats go to Purdue next weekend to continue their march towards bowl eligibility.

Rutgers 45, Indiana 23

Rutgers became bowl eligible as they ran away from Indiana in the second half after going into the break trailing 13-10. The Scarlet Knights outscored the Hoosiers 35-10 over the final 30 minutes behind 217 yards passing and two TDs from Gary Nova, with both touchdowns going to Leonte Carroo.

If not for Melvin Gordon, the Big Ten’s best rushing day would have belonged to Indiana’s Tevin Coleman, who carried the ball 32 times for 307 yards and a touchdown. Things don’t get any easier for Indiana, who will travel to Columbus to play Ohio State, and things will certainly get tougher for the Scarlet Knights, who make a trip to East Lansing to take on the Spartans.

Michigan State 37, Maryland 15

Michigan State bounced back from the loss to Ohio State by shutting down Maryland throughout the game, holding the Terrapins to just six yards on the ground. C.J. Brown did throw for 246 yards and two touchdowns but he was also picked off three times.

Jeremy Langford ran for 138 yards and two scores as he continues his impressive senior campaign, crossing the 1,000-yard mark in this game. Maryland travels to Ann Arbor this weekend while Michigan State hosts Rutgers while hoping Ohio State will slip up in their last two games to make the Big Ten Championship Game.

Will the Buckeyes clinch their spot in the Big Ten Championship Game this weekend? Has Wisconsin grabbed their place as well, or will there be an upset in the West over the next two weeks? Let us know what you think the matchup will be in Indianapolis!

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