B1G Weekly Recap: Iowa Survives in Bloomington, Nebraska Stuns Michigan State

Iowa took another step towards an undefeated regular season and a trip to Indianapolis in early December (it can be more fun than it sounds – I promise) when they held on to beat Indiana. Penn State lost any chance it had of representing the Big Ten East in Indy when they dropped a tight affair at Northwestern. Nebraska knocked off Michigan State late to end any chance of a three-way tie at the top of the East.

Northwestern 23, Penn State 21

It looked like Northwestern was going to run away with one early, as the Wildcats jumped out to a 20-7 halftime lead. Saquon Barkley’s second touchdown of the day gave the Nittany Lions the 21-20 lead early in the 4th quarter which is where it would stay until Jack Mitchell won the game for Northwestern with a 35-yard field goal with :09 on the clock.

The running backs were the stars of the show, with Barkley racking up 120 yards to go with his pair of touchdowns and Justin Jackson shouldering the load with 186 yards for a Clayton Thorson-less Wildcat bunch. Penn State gets a week off to heal and rest up for a home game against the Wolverines and Northwestern will take on Purdue in Evanston.

Iowa 35, Indiana 27

When Griffin Oakes hit a 28-yard field goal to cut the Hawkeye lead to 21-20 early in the 4th quarter, it looked like the Hoosiers’ upset bid might be in the cards. However, Iowa took the punch and responded with one of their own in the form of a 9 play, 75 yard drive that culminated in LeShun Daniels Jr.’s second rushing touchdown of the day.

C.J. Beathard combined with George Kittle on the Hawkeyes’ next drive from 10 yards out to put the game out of reach. Jordan Howard was impressive yet again for Indiana, rushing for 174 yards on 22 carries that included two 2nd quarter touchdowns that gave the Hoosiers the lead. Iowa heads back home to face Minnesota and Indiana will welcome some visitors from Ann Arbor.

Michigan 49, Rutgers 16

Another day, another blowout suffered by the Rutgers football program. Once again, the Scarlet Knights proved just how inept they can be, scoring no offensive touchdowns and finishing the day with 225 yards of total offense. Janarion Grant took a kickoff back to the house that was the only trip to the end zone on the day for Rutgers.

The Wolverines easily outmatched their opponents, thanks in large part to a solid outing from QB Jake Rudock. Rudock had his best game, statistically, as a Wolverine, completing 18-25 for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Rutgers needs to win out to gain bowl eligibility and they’ll start that road next week at home against Nebraska while the Wolverines will be on the road as they head to Bloomington.

Nebraska 39, Michigan State 38

In the upset of the day, Michigan State went in to Lincoln and left with their tails between their legs. Tommy Armstrong Jr. took Nebraska 91 yards in just 38 seconds to win the game with a controversial touchdown pass from 30 yards out to Brandon Reilly. Armstrong finished the day with 320 yards passing and two touchdowns each on the ground and through the air.

Connor Cook did a lot for the Spartans, throwing for 335 yards and four scores, but it wasn’t enough to keep Michigan State undefeated. Sparty will look to get back on track on home turf next week against Maryland and Nebraska will head to Rutgers with bowl eligibility still a possibility.

Ohio State 28, Minnesota 14

It wasn’t always the prettiest game for Ohio State, but Cardale Jones stepped up in J.T. Barrett’s absence and got the job done. A win is a win and that’s all Ohio State needs to keep doing to earn another spot in the College Football Playoff. Jones finished the night with 187 yards passing and a touchdown pass to Michael Thomas. Jones also sealed the victory late in the 4th with a 38 yard touchdown run.

Ezekiel Elliott hit the 100-yard plateau for the 14th straight game for the Buckeyes while K.J. Maye was the star for the Golden Gophers, hauling in 10 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota will hit the road against another undefeated team next week in Iowa while the Buckeyes will head to Champaign to battle for the Illibuck.

How are you handicapping the B1G East race now that Michigan State has fallen? Will Iowa take care of business and continue their stranglehold on the B1G West against Minnesota?

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