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Week 5 Big Ten Preview

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We have a very interesting set of games this week.

Illinois v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

This week is mostly conference play for the first time this year, with a few stragglers of non-conference games out there. We have some surprises so far in Maryland and Michigan State both being undefeated, as well as some big disappointments in Indiana and Wisconsin. Then you have Nebraska, who officially moved to “dead coach walking” with a loss.

Friday

#5 Iowa (4-0, 1-0) at Maryland (4-0, 1-0) 8pm, Fox Sports 1

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

Testudo Times Preview

Both teams are undefeated and that makes this game incredibly interesting. Maryland has a heavy back end of the schedule with the big four of the east, but still has games against Minnesota, Rutgers, and Indiana to try and get to a bowl. Iowa’s defense has been impressive, but the offense has not. Can they drag Maryland down into a strugglefest? It will be interesting. Iowa 24, Maryland 21

Saturday

#14 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) at Wisconsin (1-2, 0-1) B1G NUDE SATURDAY, FOX

Maize N’ Brew Preview

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

The longer the season goes on the more I start to hope this is the year Purdue finally ends the streak against Wisconsin. The Badgers have not been good at all, while Michigan has one of the best running games in the country. They have run wild on anyone and everyone so far. It makes this game look like a mismatch, as Wisconsin uncharacteristically is not Wisconsin this year. Michigan 31, Wisconsin 17

Charlotte (3-1) at Illinois (1-4) Noon, BTN

The Champaign Room Preview

The Illini can’t drop another home game to a G5 game, can they? Charlotte has not been bad. They have a Power 5 win over Duke in week 1. In all three wins they have scored at least 31 points, while Illinois continues to struggle to score. The Illini might be the worst team in the Big Ten this year, but they can surely handle business here, right? Illinois 27, Charlotte 20

Minnesota (2-2, 0-1) at Purdue (3-1, 1-0) Noon, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

I don’t have a good feeling about this one. Minnesota is a lot better then they have shown so far, especially in the passing game, and they have the running game to grind us into fine powder. It is going to be worse if David Bell and Payne Durham are out, too. Ideally, Purdue finds a way to win in 13-9 ugly fashion again if Bell and Durham are out and both get the bye week to heal up before the stretch run. Unfortunately, Purdue has no running game at all right now and that is a big reason the offense is not moving. I expect punts. I expect incomplete passes. I expect stuffed runs on 3rd and 1. Nothing good ever happens with Minnesota, and if Bell is still out that will continue. Minnesota 21, Purdue 13

#11 Ohio State (3-1, 1-0) at Rutgers (3-1, 0-1) 3:30pm, BTN

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

On the Banks Preview

Rutgers kept it close with Michigan last week, and Michigan might (gasp) be better than Ohio State this year. The Buckeyes beat up on a hapless Akron a week ago, but the defense still has some major questions it needs to answer. With another traditional power in Clemson struggling and already out of the playoff race there is precedent that another of the usual playoff locks might be in danger. Ohio State 34, Rutgers 28

Indiana (2-2, 0-1) at #4 Penn State (4-0, 1-0) 7:30pm, ABC

Crimson Quarry Preview

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

The wankfest over Indiana started last season when they beat Penn State by half an inch in the season opener. The Nittany Lions can put it to bed with a win here. IU barely escaped Western Kentucky last week and now they get a solid Penn State team at night in Happy Valley. Bad things happen in the dark there. Look for a Penn State win, then the narrative to turn to “Yeah, well, we’ve played three top 10 teams. What did you expect?” Penn State 30, Indiana 14

Western Kentucky (1-3) at #17 Michigan State (4-0) 7:30pm, Fox Sports 1

The Only Colors Preview

Speaking of Western Kentucky, they are 1-3, but have a feisty passing offense that can score quickly. Michigan State broke math in beating Nebraska last week. It certainly looked like a letdown game, but the Spartans have been really good thus far. Their ground game has been one of the best in the country, and I think it keeps rolling this week. Michigan State 27, Western Kentucky 17

Northwestern (2-2, 0-1) at Nebraska (2-3, 0-2) 7:30pm BTN

InsideNU Preview

Corn Nation Preview

If Northwestern wins this I think you can end Nebraska’s season. They’d be 0-3 in the conference then and would still have to play Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa. The other three games against Purdue, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are far from guarantees, either. This is the easiest game left for the Cornhuskers, and they absolutely have to get it or Scott Frost is dead coach walking. Nebraska 24, Northwestern 20