What happened this weekend? Here’s everything you need to know about Week 10 of the Big Ten season.
Big Ten Week 10 Roundup, Rankings, Bowl Projections & What You Need To Know
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Big Ten Week 10 Rankings
1. Michigan (9-0)
2. Ohio State (8-1)
3. Wisconsin (7-2)
4. Penn State (7-2)
5. Nebraska (7-2)
6. Northwestern (4-5)
7. Iowa (5-4)
8. Minnesota (7-2)
9. Indiana (5-4)
10. Maryland (5-4)
11. Purdue (3-6)
12. Illinois (3-6)
13. Michigan State (2-7)
14. Rutgers (2-7)
Big Ten Week 10 Roundup
Ohio State 62, Nebraska 3
Prediction: Ohio State 27, Nebraska 20, OSU -17.5
Quick Take: So much for the idea of Ohio State being sluggish. Nebraska is a good, sound team that just got its doors blown off because it didn’t have the athleticism, speed, or skill to keep up. The Buckeyes showed just how dangerous they can really and truly be when everything is working right. Mike Weber ran as hard has he has all year – cranking out a solid 72 yards and a score on 11 carries – while J.T. Barrett overcame a few open misfires with a 26-of-38 day for 290 yards and four scores. All the parts were rolling as the Buckeyes seemed to want to show the College Football Playoff committee just how good it could be.
Nebraska has to blow this off fast. Losing Tommy Armstrong to a frightening-looking injury – he came back to the sidelines after being carted off – might have been the moment when the season had its turning moment. Now the Huskers need a whole bunch of luck to get back into the Big Ten West race, and it needs to find something offensively that works again after Armstrong and Ryker Fyfe completed 9-of-33 passes. It’s Ohio State, though. This is going to happen.
Michigan 59, Maryland 3
Prediction: Michigan 44, Maryland 10, Michigan -31
Quick Take: The team is simply special. Michigan is air-tight right now on both sides of the ball, with Wilton Speight completing 19-of-24 passes for 363 yards and two scores. De’Veon Smith led a fantastic day for the ground game that averaged seven yards per pop – Smith ran for 114 yards and three scores – and the offense spent the day toying with the Wolverines. They’re making destruction look easy.
Maryland will have better days. The offense moved the ball at times, and it came up with yards, but drive after drive kept on stalling, with Caleb Rowe throwing for 203 yards with two picks, and the running attack at least giving it a shot – Lorenzo Harrison came up with one nice run. It ran into a buzzsaw from start to finish.
Wisconsin 21, Northwestern 7
Prediction: Wisconsin 21, Northwestern 17, UW -7
Quick Take: It’s not always pretty, and the placekicking is soon going to become a major issue, but Wisconsin keeps on rolling to the Big Ten West title. Outside of a late Northwestern scoring drive, the Badgers were never really in any real danger with the offense holding on to the ball for well over 40 minutes. Northwestern was able to throw the ball a bit on short to mid-range plays, but the Badgers bottled up just about everything they needed to keep the momentum. Corey Clement ran for 106 yards, while Bradrick Shaw became a major factor, pounding out 54 yards on 11 carries, looking like the No. 2 back.
Northwestern couldn’t come up with the takeaways it normally does against the Badgers. The defense was solid, and didn’t get tested down the field, but it got beaten up on the line as the UW offense kept pounding and pounding some more. Clayton Thorson took over the offense, throwing 52 times, and Austin Carr caught 12 passes for 132 yards and a score, but there wasn’t any pop outside of Carr’s late first half touchdown grab.
Penn State 41, Iowa 14
Prediction: Iowa 27, Penn State 24, Penn State -7.5
Quick Take: So much for the idea of Penn State being vulnerable to a rested, good Iowa team with a solid defense. Saquon Barkley continues to put on a show as one of the nation’s most dangerous backs, ripping off 167 yards and a score, and taking a pass 44 yards for a touchdown to bust the game wide open. While the offense was consistent and unstoppable – Tracy McSorley was on, throwing for 240 yards and two scores – the defense did its part stuffing the Iowa running game, holding it to 30 yards on 26 carries. The Hawkeyes didn’t go anywhere.
Iowa came up with a clunker. Penn State had a lot to do with that, but the offense failed when C.J. Beathard wasn’t making something happen, while the defense wasn’t even close. This was a Nittany Lion attack that couldn’t seem to move the chains on a regular basis, but it rolled on third downs and came close to hitting the 600-yard mark. It’s just not Iowa’s year.
Indiana 33, Rutgers 27
Prediction: Indiana 34, Rutgers 16, IU -14
Quick Take: Indiana tried to give away the game, and Rutgers almost took it. The Hoosiers missed kick after kick, and gave the ball away four times – kickstarting the Scarlet Knight offense at times – but the offense was just too good. Devine Redding scored twice, and Richard Lagow threw three touchdown passes and 394 yards, but there was way too big a hole the Hoosiers dug for themselves, and it took a minor miracle to get out of it and stay alive for a bowl bid.
Rutgers continues to get a big year from Darius Hamilton on the defensive front, but it’s not enough to save a defense that couldn’t come up with enough key stops late. The offense had its moments with Giovanni Rescigno coming up with 248 yards, but the running game went nowhere for long stretches. There were plenty of big pass plays, but Indiana’s offense was just too good – when it wasn’t giving the ball away.
Illinois 31, Michigan State 27
Prediction: Michigan State 30, Illinois 17, MSU -9.5
Quick Take: So, apparently, Michigan State really is that bad. Tyler O’Connor and Damion Terry managed to combine for 315 passing yards after a mediocre first half, but the offense stalled time and time and time again, settling for four field goals and not being able to drop a hammer on the Illini when the chances were there. The Spartans spread out the running attack, and the offense started to roll in the second half, but then it was the defense that couldn’t hold up. The O had its chance in the final moments, and got stuffed – that’s been the season.
The Illinois defense has had consistency problems, but the linebacking play has been stellar at times. Hardy Nickerson deserves to be a shoo-in for All-Big Ten honors, while Tre Watson was seemingly in on everything with a game-high 16 tackles. There’s still little from the passing game – Jeff George managed to come up with two touchdown passes – while Kendrick Foster ran for 146 yards and two scores, ripping through the porous MSU defensive front. It’s not going to happen with at Wisconsin, Iowa, and at Northwestern, but the Illini are still alive for a bowl game.
Minnesota 44, Purdue 31
Prediction: Minnesota 38, Purdue 17, Minnesota -17
Quick Take: Minnesota always seems to make things interesting. It struggled to put away Rutgers, and this week it struggled early on against Purdue. But when the Gopher running game needed to work, it did, with Rodney Smith finishing with 153 yards and three scores, and Mitch Leidner taking off for 74 yards and two scores to go along with a solid passing day with 231 yards. It wasn’t until the defense started to come up with key stops in the second half that everyone could start to breathe again.
The Golden Gophers came up with three turnovers after halftime, but that didn’t mean the secondary could stop David Blough. He threw one pick, but he also bombed away for close to 400 yards with four touchdowns to keep the pressure on. Purdue is still in the hunt for a bowl game if everything goes right, and the air show will be fun the rest of the way, but the defensive front doesn’t have a prayer.
Big Ten Week 10 Bowl Projections
Capital One Orange Bowl
National Funding Holiday Bowl
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Foster Farms Bowl
Quick Lane Bowl