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The Whistlestop Tour: Week 9 in Big Ten Football

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A successful week for Purdue in the Big Ten leads to more smiles.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The whistlestop tour is a lot more fun when Purdue wins! We even got a mention during the Weekend Recap edition of the Shutdown Fullcast. Let us bask in the glory of a Purdue when as we take our weekly look around the league:

Iowa 31, Maryland 15

The Hawkeyes held Maryland to 74 yards passing and had three interceptions and strangled the Terrapins to death:

The upshot of it all: Iowa's offense scored just three points in the second half, through a 49-yard field goal from Marshall Koehn.  The Hawkeyes' other score came on a screen pass intercepted by Desmond King and returned 88 yards for a touchdown, one of three interceptions on the day by Iowa's defense.  A Will Likely 105-yard kickoff return won the second half for the Terps.

Testudo Times points out that Maryland has not beaten a ranked team since 2010:

The Terps need to win out in their final four games to attain bowl eligibility. By S&P+ projections, the odds of that happening are about 5.3 percent, and they'll probably be lower after statistical profiles are updated on Monday. The Terps are playing out the string from this point forward, and that's not an easy thing to swallow with still a full third of the season left to go. College football is cyclical, and Maryland was always likely to have a down year.

Michigan 29, Minnesota 26

Minnesota had two plays inside the one to get a win, but could not score. That is just astounding:

The problem I have here is that with 19 seconds and a timeout you should have been able to run at least 2 plays and still be able to kick the FG.  If you threw it each time you could probably run three plays before kicking it.  But resting on the fact you try one play to catch them off guard and then assume you'll sneak it in on 2nd down was short-sighted.

Maize N' Brew will take a win, especially after what happened against Michigan State:

Yesterday was one game, but Michigan showed that they are a new team with a new attitude. Michigan had every chance to quit and let the game become a blowout when Rudock went down, but they hung around, in a spot that the RichRod and Hoke Wolverines would have folded like a house of cards. They hung around just long enough to win. And while luck could be attributed to the way they won, the win was earned with hard work.

Penn State 39, Illinois 0

This was a good, old-fashioned romp for Penn state as they dominated in every phase of the game:

Oh, what a difference a few weeks make. After week one, it appeared Penn State was in for a season worse than last year's. However, with each passing week, this team has continued to improve ever so slightly. On Saturday, we finally saw all of those marginal improvements gel together in what may have been the Nittany Lions' best team performance under James Franklin. And the best part? This team has yet to reach its true peak.

After a 3-1 start Illinois is struggling and now they get a Purdue team that might have some confidence:

Illinois' early season performance with Bill Cubit at the helm was a nice story -- it was. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it'd be to fight through a coaching change one week before a season starts. But fast forward a few months and the reality is that Illinois is a missed Middle Tennessee field goal and a stunning mental gaffe by Mike Riley away from being 2-6.

Purdue 55, Nebraska 45

Even Boiled Sports wasn't as grumpy:

Purdue looked tougher, stronger, faster and better coached. Yeah, I just said that. The only place where Purdue looked questionable was in the kicking game; a point after TD was blocked, and Hazell (correctly) demonstrated that he has no faith in Griggs.

In spite of Purdue dominating the game, they still seem to have a strong disdain for success as the defense did everything it could to keep the Cornhuskers' hopes alive in the fourth quarter- missed tackles, busted coverage and poor spacing allowed the disgruntled Nebraska faithful to stay away from becoming completely suicidal.

As expected, Corn Nation is not a happy place:

The Blackshirts gave up 55 points to Purdue. I understand the Boilermakers had a short field to play with a lot of the game because of the 5 turnovers, but this is an offense that was ranked 102nd in the nation coming into the game. There are some plays where our pre snap defensive alignment, left the middle of the field more exposed than it should be. I saw a couple secondary guys unnecessarily hit one another.

I understand we have switched defensive schemes, but I believe at this point in the season we should have seen more progress. It's a new staff and a new scheme, but it's not like they all of a sudden lost their ability to play football. There were some defensive players who received well deserved pre-season All-Conference and even greater than that type expectations coming into this year, but not everyone has lived up to that so far.

Wisconsin 48, Rutgers 10

The Badgers got Corey Clement back and did to Rutgers what they normally do to Purdue:

Patience is Wisconsin running back Corey Clement sitting in the shadows of future NFL running back James White and Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon for two seasons. Patience is the vexation brought about by exiting the season opener against Alabama on primetime television after finally taking over the reins.

Patience is a mid-season trip to Germany for sports hernia surgery, then watching helplessly as the offense that you were supposed to headline sputters repeatedly in a 10-6 loss to Iowa. Patience is missing seven consecutive games in a season that was supposed to be your national breaking out party.

On the Banks did not have a lot to say after a complete butt-whipping for the second straight week:

Whenever a QB posts a QBR in single digits, it isn't just  bad, it's embarrassing. Chris Laviano returned to 2014 form and I can only say a quick prayer for those of you who watched what went on with the Rutgers "offense" on Saturday.

I DO stand by what I wrote about Chris Laviano, at the time that I wrote it. However, Saturday just turned all that support to sh*t. I can't hang on any longer. I'm done. I'm sick of what the Rutgers football program has turned into.

Non-Conference Update:

Marshall 34, UNC-Charlotte 10 - The Thundering Herd continues to roll as they are now three games away from a repeat trip to the C-USA title game.

Illinois State 27, Indiana State 24 - The Trees blew an 8-point lead after 3 quarters at No. 3 Illinois State, but Brock Spack's team came back for a late win.

Virginia Tech 26, Boston College 10 - It was a typical Beamer win in a week where he announced his retirement effective at the end of the season.

Bowling Green - On Bye