B1G Weekly Recap: Iowa Finishes Undefeated, Michigan State Takes the East

A playoff spot will be on the line this weekend in Indianapolis when Iowa and Michigan State square off for the Big Ten Championship. Iowa had sewn up their spot a week ago but still had to take care of Nebraska to finish off an unbeaten regular season. Michigan State only needed a home victory over Penn State to head back to Indy for the third time in five years.

Iowa 28, Nebraska 20

Nebraska dominated on the box score in every category except the one that matters as their upset bid of undefeated Iowa fell short. Tommy Armstrong threw for 296 yards but also threw four interceptions, including a pick-six that gave the Hawkeyes a lead they would never relinquish.

Iowa’s two scoring drives in the second half lasted a combined total of three plays, two of them being long touchdown runs by Jordan Canzeri. Canzeri finished the day with 140 yards on 17 carries to go with his two scores. Nebraska awaits their bowl fate despite finishing the season 5-7 thanks to not enough teams getting to six wins and Iowa will make the trip east to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship.

Ohio State 42, That Team Up North 13

It’s a good thing Urban Meyer didn’t listen to all of the Twitter hot takes and bench Ezekiel Elliott for this one, huh? The junior running back earned his third pair of gold pants while running all over the Wolverine defense. Elliott finished with 214 yards on the ground to go with a pair of touchdowns.

The offense ran at tempo for much of the game until it was well in hand, allowing for J.T. Barrett to pick apart the Wolverines both on the ground and through the air. Barrett had three rushing touchdowns and a passing score to Jalin Marshall on the opening drive of the second half. Both teams now wait to see where they will be going bowling, with Ohio State still having a slim chance at getting in the College Football Playoff.

Indiana 54, Purdue 36

Indiana’s going bowling! No, not down at the local alley but in a real bowl game! The team that started out 4-0 and dropped to 4-6 looked like it was going to be on the outside looking in once again come bowl season but the Hoosiers rebounded to win their last two and earn a spot in the postseason.

Nate Sudfeld threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns while Devine Redding carried the rock for a career-high 144 yards as Indiana took the Old Oaken Bucket back to Bloomington.

Maryland 46, Rutgers 41

In one of the more exciting games of the B1G weekend, it was a battle with nothing but pride on the line as both teams had already been knocked out of bowl eligibility. The teams combined for nearly 1,200 yards of offense and Maryland finished the game on a 43-17 run after the Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 24-3 midway through the 2nd quarter.

Both teams will be looking to rebuild for the future this offseason, as they will be searching for head coaches following the dismissal of Randy Edsall during the season and Kyle Flood’s firing after this game.

Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 21

Five turnovers by the Golden Gophers doomed their chances of gaining automatic bowl eligibility against Wisconsin. Minnesota drops to 5-7 but have said they will accept a bowl bid should one come their way.

Wisconsin quietly put together another 9-win season, riding the legs of Dare Ogunbowale 33 times for 155 yards and a score in this one. It was the Badgers’ 11th straight victory over Minnesota.

Michigan State 55, Penn State 16

Once the rout in Ann Arbor was over, Buckeye Nation turned a hopeful eye to East Lansing, needing a Penn State miracle to get in to the Big Ten Championship. Prayers were denied seeing as James Franklin is still the coach of the Nittany Lions and still getting blown out by ranked teams as the coach of the Nittany Lions.

Connor Cook came back from his shoulder injury for Senior Day at Spartan Stadium and put on a show for the crowd. Cook threw for 248 yards and three TDs in his final home game. Penn State drops to 7-5 on the season and Michigan State will be playing a de facto College Football Playoff quarterfinal against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship.

Northwestern 24, Illinois 14

Despite dropping to 5-7 on the season and possibly on the outside looking in of a bowl game, Illinois rewarded interim coach Bill Cubit with a 2-year contract. Wes Lunt threw for 241 yards with 100 of them going to Josh Ferguson, but the Illini offense could only muster one scoring drive on the day.

Somehow Northwestern managed to win 10 games without anybody really knowing about it. Stanford will certainly point to that when they make their case for the Playoff should they take down USC in Santa Clara. Justin Jackson took the lead for the Wildcats, rushing for 172 yards and a score on 37 carries in Soldier Field.

Who do you have winning this year’s Big Ten title? Can the Buckeyes sneak in the back door of the College Football Playoff?

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