1. The Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0; 1-0; #1 AP; #1 CP) remained undefeated with a 34-27 win over the Indiana Hoosiers (4-1; 0-1) that literally came down to the last play of the game. The star of the afternoon was Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott who had 23 carries for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns (runs of 55, 65, and 75 yards), and another 12 yards on a pair of receptions. The rest of the Buckeye offense combined for 231 yards and 3 turnovers. The Buckeye defense was generally solid (10 punts, 9 three-and-outs), but could not force any turnovers and allowed Indiana's back-up quarterback Zander Diamont to run for a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. At the end of the game, Indiana had the ball at the Ohio State 9-yard line with the chance to tie the score, but Diamont's final pass attempt fell incomplete in the end zone.
2. The Michigan State Spartans (5-0; 1-0; #4 AP; #3 CP) had a surprisingly difficult time with the lowly Purdue Boilermakers (1-4; 0-1), barely holding on with a 24-21 win. Sparty had a significant edge in total yards (406 to 301) and turnovers (3 to 0) and time of possession (37:24 to 22:36), but Purdue's Markell Jones had 157 yards rushing and a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns (including a run of 68 yards) to make the game close. Even with the win, Sparty dropped two spots in the AP poll and one in the coaches poll.
3. The Michigan Wolverines (4-1; 1-0; #18 AP; #21 CP) whitewashed the Maryland Terrapins (2-3; 0-1) by the score of 28-0. It was the second straight shutout for the Wolverines, who have given up only 38 points on the season. Michigan is #2 in scoring defense in FBS (7.6 points per game), #2 in total defense (184.0 yards per game, 3.1 yards per play), and #1 in third-down defense (.194 conversion rate). The Wolverine offense, on the other hand, has been barely competent, checking in at #77 in total offense (392.6 yards per game) and #74 in scoring offense (27.8 points per game). Maryland has been bad all year, and this marks their third blow out loss on the season (West Virginia, 45-6; Bowling Green, 48-27). Terp QB Caleb Rowe was particularly bad, completing just 8 of 27 for 47 yards and 3 INTs.
4. The Northwestern Wildcats (5-0; 1-0; #13 AP; #14 CP) remained undefeated with a 27-0 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-2; 0-1). Northwestern has been doing it on defense this year - they are #5 in total defense in FBS (247.4 yards per game), #2 in third-down defense (.200 conversion rate), and #1 in scoring defense (7.0 points per game). The Wildcat offense managed just 312 yards on 70 plays (4.45 yards per play), but the defense held the Gophers to 173 yards on 65 plays (2.66 yards per play). Minnesota starting QB Mitch Leidner was benched after going 10 of 21 for 72 yards, an interception, and a fumble, but his replacement, Denny Croft, wasn't much better (5 of 11 for 27 yards). After playing TCU tough in the opening game of the season (a 23-17 loss), Minnesota has looked really bad: 3-point wins over non-P5 Colorado State, Kent State, and Ohio, and now a blow out loss to start Big Ten play.
5. The Penn State Nittany Lions (4-1; 1-0) had a non-conference match-up with the Army Black Knights (1-4), who might just be the worst team in the FBS. Despite being matched up with a cupcake, the Lions struggled to a 20-14 win. Penn State managed to gain just 264 yards of total offense and were 5 of 15 on third down conversions. The Lions' defense couldn't stop the Knights' running attack (261 yards, 4.75 average) even though only two of Army's 57 plays were passes (1 complete for 32 yards; 1 sack). Penn State resumes conference play next week against Indiana.
6. How long before we see billboards in Lincoln with Bo Pelini's face and the caption: Do you miss me now? To put it simply, hiring an elderly Mike Riley from a perennial PAC-12 whipping boy made absolutely no sense, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-3; 0-1) are paying the price for their mistake. Yesterday, the Huskers took a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1;1-0), but fell apart down the stretch and failed to ice the game in the final minute. Nebraska's offense managed just 292 yards on 65 plays (4.49 yards per play); was 4 of 17 on third down; and committed a pair of turnovers. Husker QB Tommy Armstrong led the clown show: he completed 10 of 31 passes for 105 yards and an interception. In typical Big Ten fashion, the teams combined for 18 punts for 756 yards (42.0 yards per punt).
7. The Big Ten Suckfest of the Week does not belong to Nebraska-Illinois, as surprising as that must seem. No, that honor goes to Wisconsin-Iowa, who combined for 16 points, 541 yards, 4.07 yards per play, 9 of 28 on 3rd down, and 14 penalties for 144 yards. For sake of comparison, Baylor managed 63 points and 680 yards all by itself this week. Iowa QB C.J. Beathard completed just 9 of 21 passes for 77 yards, a TD, an INT, and a fumble, and he was the winning quarterback! Wisconsin QB Joel Stave had 234 yards passing, but threw two interceptions and fumbled on the goal line to kill a scoring drive. At the end of the day, Iowa (5-0; 1-0; #22 AP; #23 CP) scored 10 of the 16 combined points. The loss dropped Wisconsin (3-2; 0-1) out of both polls.
8. Rutgers was idle this week, which is about as good as it gets for Rutgers.
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