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The Whistlestop Tour: Week 13 of Big Ten Football

We must #Cancel9Windiana

Purdue v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

It was a busy week around the league with all 14 teams plays, so let’s jump right into it:

Ohio State 28, Penn State 17

Reagardless of what the Buckeyes do next week they are headed to Indy for the Big Ten Championship game again:

Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins were the one-two punch for Ohio State’s offense, as Dobbins led the way on the ground while Fields utilized both his arm and his legs to drive the Scarlet and Gray down the field and put points on the board. The conditions were a bit soggy, maybe aiding in the three Buckeye fumbles, as OSU really attacked the Nittany Lions on the ground all game long. Dobbins ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while Fields put up 188 yards and two TDs through the air and another 68 yards rushing.

Penn State had its chances in this one, but could not pull it off:

I mean, nobody is going to dog Penn State’s effort on Saturday. They made a game that shouldn’t have been close into a battle all the way to the end. That being said, the game was there for the taking for Penn State. It felt like Penn State had quite a few opportunities in the first half that could’ve changed the game. They weren’t able to take advantage, however, and that played a big part in the loss. When you hold the No.1 offense in the country to just 14 points in the first half, you need to have some life on offense and they simply couldn’t produce.

Minnesota 38, Northwestern 22

Bonus points for PJ Fleck giving a Boiler Up in his press conference after this:

Minnesota had one job at Northwestern today and the did it in comfortable fashion, winning 38-22. This game was never in doubt and should have been an even bigger rout. We’ll get to the opportunities for an improvement. First, let’s take a moment to note all the records set by the Gophers today.

For the first time ever, a Minnesota team has won 7 Big Ten games. Boom.

Northwestern’s season is almost mercifully over:

Despite finding offensive momentum at times in the middle of the game, Pat Fitzgerald’s crew ultimately could not recover from a very slow start. Minnesota picked apart the Wildcats’ defense both on the ground and through the air, with NU allowing 422 total yards on the day and forcing only a single punt.

Wisconsin 45, Purdue 24

The Boilers played hard, but had no answer for a relentless Badger team:

Let’s just start with the bad news. Wisconsin fumbled the ball five times and lost three of them. Jack Coan managed to turn a wide-open Quintez Cephus into an under-thrown interception.

Apart from the glitches, things went pretty smoothly for the Badgers. They ran for 403 yards, and Coan completed 78.9% of his passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns.

Speaking of passing touchdowns, Wisconsin’s wide receivers can flat out play. I don’t feel like I have enough expertise to say they are under-utilized; however, it sure looks like they have been under-utilized. Just take a look at this touchdown grab by Cephus.

Michigan 39, Indiana 14

The Hoosiers gave the Wolverines a bloody lip, then Michigan kicked ass for a few hours:

Shea Patterson had a heck of a game versus Michigan State last week, and he kept that production churning right along against Indiana. Patterson was assertive and dominated. The senior QB consistently found open receivers and got rid of the ball on time. In all, Patterson was 20-of-32 for 366 yards with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. Patterson became the first quarterback in Michigan history to have consecutive games with 4 touchdown passes or more, and is now tied with Jake Rudock for the most touchdown passes in a single game in Michigan history (5).

Indiana is still having a fantastic season and is alive for nine wins:

For the better part of the first half, Indiana looked like the team we expected to see, at least offensively. Then they went into the locker room and whatever came out in the Indiana jerseys wasn’t the Hoosier team we saw this season. After earning some respect last week and battling in the fourth quarter, this week the fourth quarter was spent with the announcing crew questioning just how good Indiana was. Tremendous.

Iowa 19, Illinois 10

There were a lot of field goals:

Nate Stanley finished his final home game with 308 yards on 18/35 passing attempts, no touchdowns and one interception. The run game was overall ineffective, but Tyler Goodson and company made plays when it counted most. Goodson finished the day with 21 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. The Illini, meanwhile, out-rushed Iowa’s running back corps, 192 yards to only 79. Oof. It felt like every Iowa drive but its first stalled out, and Keith Duncan had his work cut out for him. He finished the day 4-6, with a long of 45.

There were not quite enough field goals:

Just over a year removed from one of the most embarrassing losses in Illinois Football history — a 63-0 shellacking at the hands of Iowa — the Illini made Saturday afternoon’s contest at Kinnick Stadium a battle, despite losing 19-10. The loss brings Illinois’ four-game winning streak to a close ahead of the regular season finale against Northwestern.

Michigan State 27, Rutgers 0

The Spartans stay alive for a bowl, needing a home win over Maryland to to get one:

Yeah, not even close. These two teams have a combined record of 6-14, with a conference record of 2-12 (and both conference wins were by the Spartans).

There are officially more characters in this sentence than points Rutgers has scored in Big Ten play this year:

This must have been what opponents felt like against Leonte Carroo. Tre Avery struggled in place of Damon Hayes who was extremely limited on his senior day. Cody White was lining up all over the formation and getting making tough plays. What made this extra infuriating is that I wasn’t overwhelming impressed with White. Sure this is through Scarlet colored glasses, but I don’t think he’s any better of a player than Bo Melton. I just feel so sorry for Bo who may be the biggest victim in a Rutgers Football uniform in my lifetime, which is saying something.

Nebraska 54, Maryland 7

Yes, this was a Big Ten football game:

300+ yards rushing for Nebraska. Nine for 10 in the red zone.

Husker Nation needed this one. A dominant win is a salve to soothe all wounds.

Scott Frost’s postgame interview gives a whole new meaning to the term “explosive” offense.

How does one recover from a home ass-kicking of this magnitude:

Entering into the game, Maryland and Nebraska were the two worst field goal kicking units in the Big Ten. After going 12-of-14 during his freshman campaign, Terp kicker Joseph Petrino has only hit 1-of-4 this season — the worst percentage in the conference. The Cornhuskers had only hit 7-of-15 attempts in their 10 games. But today Nebraska went 4-of-4 on field goals, while the Terps never ran a play in the red zone.

Non-Conference Opponents:

Nevada 35, Fresno State 28 - The Wolf Pack continue to be a thorn for Purdue, costing us a bowl game. At least they are pretty good at 7-4 now.

Vanderbilt 38, East Tennessee State 0 - at least the Commodores won with ease today.

Oklahoma 28, TCU 24 - A questionable spot late cost the Horned Frogs