B1G Weekly Recap: Iowa Knocks Off Wisconsin, Sparty Survives Purdue

The first full weekend of conference games for the Big Ten was filled with dramatic finishes, as only two of the seven games were decided by more than one score. Iowa went in to Camp Randall and took down no. 19 Wisconsin in a turnover-fueled battle. In the lone nonconference game of the week, Penn State needed a late 4th down stop in their own territory to avoid the upset against Army.

Michigan 28, Maryland 0

The Wolverines’ hot start continued into B1G play when they went on the road and easily dispatched Maryland. Despite leading just 6-0 at halftime courtesy of two Kenny Allen field goals, there was never much doubt of who was going to emerge victorious in this one.

Jake Rudock put up a very Jake Rudock-esque line of 16-32 for 180 yards while tossing a touchdown and an interception. The Wolverine defense was the star again this week, allowing just 105 total yards and holding the Terrapins to 1-18 on 3rd down. The Wolverines return home next weekend to host Northwestern while Maryland will try their luck on the road at the number one team in the country.

Michigan State 24, Purdue 21

It was a tale of two halves in a rain-soaked East Lansing on Saturday afternoon. Michigan State looked every bit of the no. 2 team in the country as they jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead behind two LJ Scott rushing touchdowns and a touchdown pass from Connor Cook to R.J. Shelton.

The second half was the Markell Jones show, including two 4th quarter touchdown runs before finishing with 157 yards, as he lead put the Boilermakers on his back and got them to within 3 points with less than 7 minutes to play before the magic ran out. Purdue drops to 1-4 on the season and will try to turn things around back in West Lafayette when Minnesota comes to town and Michigan State remains undefeated and hit the road at Rutgers as a tuneup for their trip to Ann Arbor in two weeks.

Penn State 20, Army 14

One of these days, Christian Hackenberg will show why some NFL scouts had him as a potential no. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. This was not one of those days. Hackenberg was just 10-19 passing for 156 yards and a 3rd quarter touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki. The Nittany Lions were actually outgained by Army (293-264) and had less first downs (19-14) over the course of the game.

Nick Scott opened the scoring in the 1st quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run but finished the day with just 54 yards on 12 carries. Penn State is back in conference play with a home game this week against Indiana.

Northwestern 27, Minnesota 0

You might as well give the B1G Coach of the Year trophy to Pat Fitzgerald now, as the former NU linebacker has the Wildcats humming on all cylinders as they improved to 5-0. Clayton Thorson was effective again against the Gophers, completing 14 of 19 passes for 128 yards and using his legs to find the end zone twice from short yardage.

Minnesota managed just 173 yards of offense (99 passing, 74 rushing) while turning the ball over twice. The Gophers will be looking to even their conference record when they take a trip to Purdue and Northwestern will also hit the road in a Top 25 battle in Ann Arbor.

Iowa 10, Wisconsin 6

Sometimes a dramatic game is not necessarily a good game. That was the case in this one in Madison. The teams combined for 541 yards of offense (Iowa 221, Wisconsin 320) while turning the ball over six times and committing 14 penalties. Jordan Canzeri carried the load for the Hawkeyes but a C.J. Beathard pass to George Kittle from a yard out in the 2nd quarter was the difference.

Wisconsin rushed for just 86 yards as a team and Joel Stave was 21-38 for 234 yards but was picked off twice. Iowa takes their 5-0 record back home for a date with Illinois while the Badgers try to get back on track when they visit Nebraska in a do-or-die matchup for both teams.

Ohio State 34, Indiana 27

It took a red zone stand from the Silver Bullets as time expired, but Ohio State managed to escape Bloomington with their undefeated record intact. Ezekiel Elliott was the star for the Buckeyes as he rushed for the second-most yards in school history. Three second half touchdown runs of 50+ yards certainly helped that cause.

The Hoosiers took a big blow when star running back Jordan Howard went down with an ankle injury early in the game. Howard tried to tough it out but was never really effective and left the bulk of the carries to Devine Redding. Redding found the end zone twice but had just 45 yards on 30 carries on the day. Ohio State heads back to Columbus for a Homecoming matchup against Maryland and Indiana will look to bounce back against Penn State in Happy Valley.

Illinois 14, Nebraska 13

In this upset of the week, Illinois took down Nebraska in Champaign following a strong 4th quarter from Wes Lunt and company. Down 13-0 heading in to the final frame, Lunt found Marchie Murdock from 22 yards out early in the quarter and then connected with Geronimo Allison from the 1-yard line with just :10 left in the game to complete the comeback.

Tommy Armstrong struggled all day for the Cornhuskers, completing just 10-31 from 105 yards while throwing an interception. Nebraska will be desperate to avoid an 0-2 start to B1G play when they host Wisconsin and Illinois looks to keep the good times rolling into Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes.

What was the biggest surprise of the weekend? The Spartans and Buckeyes struggling or the Wolverines and Wildcats posting big shutout victories?

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