What happened this weekend? Here’s everything you need to know about Week 11 of the Big Ten season.
Big Ten Week 11 Roundup, Rankings, Bowl Projections & What You Need To Know
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Big Ten Week 11 Rankings
1. Ohio State (9-1)
2. Michigan (9-1)
3. Wisconsin (8-2)
4. Penn State (8-2)
5. Nebraska (8-2)
6. Northwestern (5-5)
7. Iowa (6-4)
8. Minnesota (7-3)
9. Indiana (5-5)
10. Maryland (5-5)
11. Purdue (3-7)
12. Illinois (3-7)
13. Michigan State (3-7)
14. Rutgers (2-8)
Big Ten Week 11 Roundup
Iowa 14, Michigan 13
Prediction: Michigan 30, Iowa 16, Michigan -22
Quick Take: Outside of a few big plays from Akrum Wadley, the Iowa offense didn’t go anywhere, C.J. Beathard struggled, and moving the ball was like pulling teeth at times, but the defense did its job and now Iowa shook up the Big Ten title chase. For one of the only times this year – Wisconsin being the other – the Michigan O line was beaten. Jaleel Johnson had everything to do with that, coming up with nine tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss, including a safety.
Michigan couldn’t get control of the game, mainly because Wilton Speight never got into a groove. He had open receivers, but he couldn’t generate the big moment to change the game around after taking a first half lead, managing just three second half points. Even so, all the Wolverines needed to do was come up with one late stop after the offense failed to get a first down and a bad penalty gave Iowa the shot at the win, and it couldn’t do it.
Ohio State 62, Maryland 3
Prediction: Ohio State 41, Maryland 14, OSU -29
Quick Take: For the second straight week, the Ohio State offense found its groove. Now the team is starting to look like the 2014 version in terms of peaking at the right time, with Mike Weber and the running game rolling without a problem, and J.T. Barrett running for two scores and throwing for 253 yards and two more touchdowns. Maryland never had a chance to breathe, with the Buckeyes putting up 45 first half points like they were running a light scrimmage. Terp quarterbacks completed plenty of plays, Caleb Rowe and Tyrrell Pigrome combined to hit 14-of-26 throws – but they didn’t go anywhere.
Nebraska 24, Minnesota 17
Prediction: Minnesota 26, Nebraska 23, Nebraska -7
Quick Take: Tommy Armstrong came off his apparent concussion, and appeared to suffer a hamstring injury late, to gut out a good game completing 19-of-27 passes for 217 yards and two scores, and ran for 61 yards and a touchdown to keep Nebraska’s Big Ten title hopes alive. Win out, get a Wisconsin loss, and it’s in. Minnesota failed to score in the second half, with the running game held to a dead stop – running for just 2.5 yards per carry, putting the pressure on Mitch Leidner to win through the air. The Gophers just don’t have the playmakers to pick up the slack if the ground attack isn’t controlling the game. The Husker D held Minnesota to just 265 yards of total offense and didn’t allow a point in the second half.
Wisconsin 48, Illinois 3
Prediction: Wisconsin 34, Illinois 10, Wisconsin -26.5
Quick Take: Now that’s how Wisconsin is supposed to look. Illinois might not be very good, but the Badgers did what they’re supposed to do, with Corey Clement running for 123 yards and three scores, Dare Ogbunowale adding 103 yards, and Bradrick Shaw continuing to get more and more work, running 19 times for 80 yards and a score. The Illinois offense never got going, with Jeff George Jr. and Wes Lunt combining to complete just 7-of-24 passes for 101 yards and four picks – all four interceptions from Georgia. The Illini were never in the game.
Penn State 45, Indiana 31
Prediction: Penn State 37, Indiana 34, Penn State -7
Quick Take: The game was far, far tougher than the final score might indicate. Penn State got a final minute scoop-and-score to put the game away as part of a 24-point fourth quarter. Saquon Barkley was swarmed over with just 58 yards on 33 carries, but he came up with two key touchdown runs, while Trace McSorley bombed away for 332 yards and two scores. For the first time in weeks, the Nittany Lion lines had problems – that won’t be an issue against Rutgers.
The Indiana offense worked well enough to provide the push for three quarters, but the defense couldn’t hold up late. Devine Redding ran for 108 yards and two scores, and Richard Lagow threw for 292 yards and two scores, but the offense stalled late when it needed to crank up at least one key drive.
Northwestern 45, Purdue 17
Prediction: Northwestern 41, Purdue 20, Northwestern -13.5
Quick Take: Northwestern needed this. It took a while for the Wildcats to put the game away, but Purdue doesn’t have full sixty-minute staying power as it plays out the string. The mistakes keep on coming, with David Blough throwing three picks to stall a few decent drives, but there was no keeping up with the Wildcat offense. Clayton Thorson threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns with two picks, Justin Jackson and John Moten each ran for over 100 yards with several big plays, and Austin Carr stayed hot. If he’s not the Big Ten’s best receiver, he’s not far off with two touchdown grabs for 12 on the year. Now the Wildcats are just a win away from bowl eligibility with Minnesota and Illinois to close.
Michigan State 49, Rutgers 0
Prediction: Michigan State 27, Rutgers 23, MSU -14.5
Quick Take: Now that’s the Michigan State everyone was waiting for. The Spartans didn’t mess around, ripping off 21 first quarter points and keeping it all going, with Tyler O’Connor throwing three touchdown passes and LJ Scott running for 122 yards and a score. What went right? The offensive line dominated from the start, while the defense pitched a gem. The Scarlet Knights only came up with 149 yards of total offense and generated eight first downs. Could this possibly mean the Spartans might pull up out of the nosedive and screw up Ohio State or Penn State? That’s a stretch, but at the very least, they looked the part – they aren’t the Big Ten’s worst team, while Rutgers, obviously, has a long, long way to go. Giovanni Rescigno completed just 6-of-16 passes for 40 yards with two picks.
Big Ten Week 11 Bowl Projections
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Capital One Orange Bowl
National Funding Holiday Bowl
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Foster Farms Bowl
Quick Lane Bowl