B1G Weekly Recap: Northwestern Holds Off Nebraska, Michigan State Runs Away From Indiana

Close ballgames all across the Big Ten this week, with only Ohio State’s victory over Rutgers never really being in doubt. Michigan State used 24 4th quarter points to pull away from visiting Indiana while Northwestern was able to go in to Lincoln and emerge victorious after a few rough weeks.

Northwestern 30, Nebraska 28

Nebraska won the battle for total yards (373-333), time of possession (38:58-21:02), and first downs (22-14) but could not come out on top where it mattered. A Tommy Armstrong Jr. touchdown run with 4 minutes to go brought the Huskers within two but the two-point conversion fell to the turf and Nebraska couldn’t recover in time to get the win.

Clayton Thorson had a big day for the Wildcats, passing for 177 yards and a touchdown but doing most of his damage with his legs, gaining 126 yards and scoring another touchdown on the ground. Northwestern will get a week off before heading to Penn State and Nebraska looks to right the ship with a trip to West Lafayette to take on Purdue.

Wisconsin 24, Illinois 13

When Wisconsin QB Joel Stave had to leave the game in the 1st quarter with a head injury, an entire state held their breath as another loss would surely knock the Badgers out of the running for another berth in the B1G Championship. Backup Bart Houston filled in admirably, throwing for 232 yards and two scores while leading Wisconsin to a come-from-behind victory in Champaign.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn had 55 yards rushing on the day for the Illini, with 36 of those coming on a touchdown run midway through the 3rd quarter that gave Illinois the lead for a brief time. Wisconsin heads back to Camp Randall this week when Rutgers comes to town and Illinois will hit the road and try to take down Penn State.

Penn State 31, Maryland 30

Despite completing just 13-29 of his passes, Christian Hackenberg made enough big plays to lead his team to a win in Baltimore. Hackenberg ended up with 315 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came from 20+ yards out. Saquon Barkley had a slow day on the ground, rushing for just 65 yards but he did find the end zone to get the scoring started in the 1st quarter.

Perry Hills ran for a touchdown and threw for another that gave the Terrapins the lead late in the 3rd quarter but could not complete the comeback after the Nittany Lions retook the lead in the final frame. Penn State will be at home this weekend hosting Illinois and will look to pull off the upset of Iowa in Iowa City.

Michigan State 52, Indiana 26

The scoreline suggests a dominating performance from the Spartans, but Indiana more than held their own on the road for most of this game. If not for a pair of missed extra points, the game would’ve been tied heading into the 4th quarter and Michigan State was leading by just five points until a late barrage of touchdowns with less than five minutes to play put the game out of reach.

Connor Cook had one of his best days as a Spartan, throwing for 398 yards and four touchdowns as Michigan State remained unbeaten on the season. Indiana will take a week off before playing host to Iowa and the Spartans also have this week off as they prepare for a trip to Nebraska.

Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7

Granted it was just Rutgers, but the number one team in the country finally looked the part as the Buckeyes easily dismantled the Scarlet Knights in J.T. Barrett’s first start of the season. Barrett showed no signs of rust as he passed for over 200 yards and ran for over 100 while finding the end zone five times total on the night.

Ezekiel Elliott surpassed the 100 yard mark on the ground once again, trailing only Archie Griffin and Eddie George for most 100 yard games as a Buckeye. Michael Thomas got in on the 100 yard fun as well, racking up 103 yards receiving to go with a touchdown. Ohio State gets the week off to get ready for the stretch run that starts with a primetime visit from Minnesota while Rutgers hope to take down Wisconsin in Madison.

What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s slate of games? Are you already looking forward to the November 21 matchup in Columbus?

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