KEEP YOUR FRENEMIES CLOSER: BIG TEN WEEK 9

By Adam Jacobi on October 30, 2017 at 8:05 am
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© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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In which we marvel at PSU-OSU, and not at Wisconsin-Illinois.

NO. 5 WISCONSIN 24, ILLINOIS 10

Look, let's just move on.

Illinois Week 10: at Purdue
Wisconsin Week 10: at Indiana

MARYLAND 42, INDIANA 39

Now here's the good stuff. MAX BORTENSCHLAGER won his second Big Ten game by throwing for two touchdowns, and the Terps used a blocked punt to get back in the game in the second quarter. Indiana's now 0-5 in the Big Ten, and chaos isn't really chaos if it just ends in a loss every time. Maybe this is a leadership issue. Can we get Les Miles in Bloomington instead?

Indiana Week 10: vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
Maryland Week 10: at Rutgers

MICHIGAN 35, RUTGERS 14

That giggling sound you heard from the eastern half of Big Ten territory Saturday afternoon? That was thanks to Michigan struggling badly early on against Rutgers. The Wolverines didn't take the lead for good until late in the second quarter, after inserting freshman QB Brandon Peters. Peters dazzled in his debut, going 10-for-14 for 124 yards and a score in relief of John O'Korn and leading the Wolverines to touchdowns on his first three drives. And if there's one thing we know for sure about Michigan, it's that the Wolverines definitely never mess up the progression of young quarterbacks, so they're basically set now and nothing can go wrong!

Michigan Week 10: vs. Minnesota
Rutgers Week 10: vs. Maryland

NORTHWESTERN 39, NO. 16 MICHIGAN STATE 31

Northwestern continued its assault on football as a thing we know and enjoy with its 3-OT victory over visiting Michigan State. The Spartans turned the ball over three times and biffed two field goals in regulation before needing an insane Felton Davis III touchdown catch with 25 seconds left to force OT. Northwestern moves to 4-4 (3-2), and bowl eligibility looks increasingly likely. Let's never speak of this game again.  

Michigan State Week 10: vs. No. 7 Penn State
Northwestern Week 10: at Nebraska

NEBRASKA 25, PURDUE 24

Nebraska stormed back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to stun the Purdue faithful in West Lafayette, with Tanner Lee's 13-yard pass to Stanley Morgan Jr. with 14 seconds left providing the difference. With the win, Mike Riley's job is safe for another week, even as this was way more of a "evaluate where our opponent is as a program" win than when Bo Pelini got the ax. Hell of a reminder that nice guys finish last, as Leo Durocher once said... but they usually get to come back and try it again.  

Nebraska Week 10: vs. Northwestern
Purdue Week 10: vs. Illinois

NO. 6 OHIO STATE 39, NO. 2 PENN STATE 38

Well, this was clearly the Big Ten's game of the year and quite possibly OSU's best in the Urban Meyer era. Let's remember — Ohio State was facing the second-ranked team in the country and gave up touchdowns on/as a direct result of the following plays:

  • Kickoff return for TD
  • Fumble returned to the Ohio State 18
  • Interception in end zone nullified by sketchy pass interference call
  • Kickoff returned to the Ohio State 23 (by a linebacker!)
  • Interception in end zone reversed to touchdown on review

...and the Buckeyes still won the game. J.T. Barrett was absolutely unstoppable, going 33-for-39 for 328 yards and 4 TDs and rushing for 95 more yards in the win. Barrett completed his last 16 passes in the game and led the Buckeyes back from an 11-point deficit with under five minutes left. 

Ohio State now leads the East, and the only ranked team left in the Buckeyes' way is Michigan State — and that game's in Columbus. There's also the tilt in Iowa City, where Top 5 teams dare not tread, but can you really imagine Iowa doing much against that Buckeye defensive line? Like, at all??? Do Iowa's linemen get to use cattle prods? It's only fair.

Ohio State Week 10: at Iowa
Penn State Week 10: at No. 24 Michigan State

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