Big Ten Quick Thoughts, Takes On Every Game: Week 9

Big Ten Quick Thoughts, Takes On Every Game: Week 9

Big Ten

Big Ten Quick Thoughts, Takes On Every Game: Week 9

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Penn State 28, Michigan State 7

This should’ve been perfect for Michigan State. The weather was awful, it was all set to come down to the defenses taking over and … Michigan State had nothing. The Penn State passing game was just fine, Sean Clifford threw through the rain for four scores, Pat Freiermuth carved up the Spartans for 60 yards and three scores, and it was never really a game.

The Penn State defense had something to do with that. Micah Parsons led the way with another All-America-caliber performance – 12 tackles with a broken up pass – Michigan State’s running game never busted out anything big, and Brian Lewerke completed just 16-of-34 passes with a pick.

And now comes the respect for the Nittany Lions. With Oklahoma losing and Notre Dame getting bombed by Michigan, everything is coming together at just the right time for James Franklin’s club, at least when it comes to the polls. The team finally gets some time off before dealing with the trip to Minnesota. Win that, and with Indiana, at Ohio State and Rutgers to go.

Michigan State will find a way to get to six wins and a bowl. At 4-4, it needs two wins – at Rutgers is one, Maryland is another. But it’s about more than that, especially if the Spartans get by Illinois next. Something has to happen to make the season special, and that can only come at Michigan in a few weeks. Forget about winning that if the O doesn’t find something it can rely on fast.

Minnesota 52, Maryland 10

Minnesota sidestepped the landmine. Maryland was supposed to be healthier, and it didn’t matter. Maryland was supposed to be rested, and it didn’t matter. Maryland was supposed to have nothing to lose, and it didn’t matter. Minnesota was supposed to be tired, looking ahead to Penn State, and not quite consistent enough. Instead, the Gophers played like they really and truly are ready to take the next step up in competition. They were dominant from the start and didn’t let up.

The running game continues to kick it in. Maryland didn’t have any answers after the Gophers started blasting away, allowing 321 yards and close to six yards per carry. Best of all, considering what’s coming up next, the O held the ball for almost 43 minutes.

Michigan, at Ohio State, Nebraska, at Michigan State. Good luck, Maryland. 3-9 isn’t how this is supposed to go in Mike Locksley’s first year.

No, really. Where’s the Maryland offense? Josh Jackson was expected to be back at quarterback, but he only got in for two passes. Tyrrell Pigrome hit six of nine passes, but one pick went for a pick six. RB Anthony McFarland came back, and he didn’t do much of anything with his ten carries. There are no answers, and the O isn’t improving, getting down 45-3 before finally coming up with a touchdown late in the fourth. This is going great.

Playtime is over. Minnesota still hasn’t beaten anyone who’s guaranteed of going bowling, and now comes Penn State, at Iowa, at Northwestern, and Wisconsin. It’s still unbeaten going into November, and there’s interest on a national level. This is going great.

Illinois 24, Purdue 6
Iowa 20, Northwestern 0
Rutgers 44, Liberty 34
Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 7
Indiana 38, Nebraska 31
Michigan 45, Notre Dame 14

NEXT: Indiana 38, Nebraska 31; Michigan 45, Notre Dame 14

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