It’s been one unpredictable season in the Big Ten this season as no one has been able to predict a reliable outcome for games this season.
Strangely enough, the two best teams in the conference this season are ineligible for postseason play in Penn State and Ohio State. With the rest of the Big Ten fighting not only for respect but bowl games as well, games are becoming more interesting each week.
There could be as much as eight bowl eligible teams out of the Big Ten when the regular season ends, but for now, each game will be a battle as it was shown this past Saturday.
No. 7 Ohio State 29-Purdue 22 OT
The Buckeyes lost quarterback Braxton Miller after a huge hit in the third quarter, and had to rely on junior signal caller Kenny Guiton to lead them to victory over Purdue. The Boilermakers lead the Buckeyes 22-14 with under a minute remaining when Ohio State drove downfield to tie the score with a two-yard touchdown pass from Guiton to Chris Fields. In overtime, the Buckeyes scored first with a Carlos Hyde touchdown run and prevented Purdue to score, notching their eight win of the season.
Wisconsin 38-Minnesota 14
After winning its first four games of the season, the Golden Gophers have struggled with three consecutive losses and could find themselves out of the bowl picture. Wisconsin had one of its better offensive games as James White rushed for 175 yards and Montee Ball added 166 yards rushing. Minnesota was hardly ever in this game as the Badgers continue to bolster its rushing attack over the past three games.
No. 23 Michigan 12-Michigan State 10
What a snooze fest of a game this was. The Spartans are just horrible on offense as they rushed for a measly 112 yards. The Wolverines weren’t much better on offense as Michigan State’s defense limited Michigan to 326 yards of total offense and no touchdowns. Instead, the Wolverines had to rely on the feet of kickers Brendan Gibbons and Matt Wile. Gibbons successfully completed three field goals including the game-winner with: 05 remaining. Wile added a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter as the Wolverines received their scoring from four field goals on Saturday.
Nebraska 29-Northwestern 28
The Wildcats have struggled on offense the past three weeks and it cost them in this game. Also losing Venric Mark to a possible concussion didn’t help either as the Cornhuskers managed to score on consecutive drives in the fourth quarter. After trailing 28-16 with 8:31 remaining, Taylor Martinez led Nebraska on scoring drives of 76 and 80 yards to go ahead 29-28 over Northwestern. The Wildcats couldn’t capitalize on the Cornhuskers three turnovers in the first half, and were stalled on offense by a tough Nebraska defense.
Navy 31-Indiana 30
This had the makings of a win for Indiana and sure enough, it wasn’t. The Midshipmen rushed for 257 yards to sink the Hoosiers and earn its first victory over a Big Ten opponent since 1979. Indiana has been horrible on defense this season and it showed on Saturday. The Hoosiers were unable to stop one of the poorer offenses in the country from scoring. This loss could hinder any chances Indiana had at reaching a bowl game this season.
Penn State 38-Iowa 14
The Nittany Lions have played much better since beginning the season 0-2 as they won their fifth consecutive game on Saturday. Penn State jumped out to a 31-0 lead in the third quarter and rushed for 215 yards. Quarterback Matt McGloin was efficient against the Hawkeyes as he passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Iowa’s offense continued its struggles with Penn State limiting the team to 189 yards of total offense.
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