Big Ten Week 11 Recap and Power Rankings

By Ryan Clark

Week 11 is now complete.  Can we finally say that Minnesota is for real yet?  With their victory, the Gophers maintained their two-game lead in the West, and with the loss, the Nittany Lions fell back a game in the East.  We saw an unbelievable comeback by Illinois, and Purdue’s 3rd-string QB get the job done on the road.  Aside from Ohio St/ Maryland, we saw some pretty exciting games in the B1G.  Yep, not a bad weekend at all.

West:

1.  #17 Minnesota (9-0, 6-0) defeated Penn St 31-26.  Tanner Morgan went 18/20 for 339 yards, and three TD’s, while the defense got three crucial INT’s off Sean Clifford, including one in the end zone at the end of the game to seal the win.  Up next: at Iowa.

2.  #13 Wisconsin (7-2, 4-2) beat Iowa 24-22.  Jonathan Taylor rushed 31 times for 250 yards (8-yard average), while Jack Coan went 16/25 for 173 yards and two TD’s.  Up next: at Nebraska.

3.  #18 Iowa (6-3, 3-3) lost to Wisconsin 24-22.  After three quarters, the Hawkeyes were down 21-6.  The offense came alive in the 4th, but by then, it was too late.  Up next: vs Minnesota.

4.  Illinois (6-4, 4-3) beat Michigan St 37-34.  In their largest comeback victory in history, the Illini scored 27 points in the 4th to steal the day.  With the win, the Illini are now bowl eligible.  They even brought a bowling ball with them on the trip. 

5.  Purdue (4-6, 3-4) beat Northwestern 24-22 on a J.D. Dellinger FG at the end of the game.  3rd-stringer-now-starter Aidan O’Connell went 34/50 for 271 yards and two TD’s.  Not bad for his first start.  Up next: Bye.

6.  Nebraska (4-5, 2-4) had a bye this week.  Up next: vs. Wisconsin.

7.  Northwestern (1-8, 0-7) lost to Purdue 24-22.  The Wildcats outgained the Boilermakers 435-345, but penalties and untimely turnovers did them in.  Up next: vs. UMass.

East:

1.  #1 Ohio St (9-0, 6-0) squeaked by Maryland 73-14.  The Buckeyes tallied 705 yards of offense on the day, while only giving up a total of 139.  Up 42-0 at the half, coach Ryan Day pulled his starters.  The backups hardly missed a beat.  Up next: at Rutgers.

2.  #4 Penn St (8-1, 5-1) lost to Minnesota 31-26.  The Nittany Lions racked up 518 yards of offense and held the ball for 10 minutes longer than the Gophers, but Sean Clifford’s three INT’s (including the one that would have won them the game) were too much to overcome.  Up next: vs. Indiana.

3.  #14 Michigan (7-2, 4-2) had a bye this week.  Up next: vs Michigan St. 

4.  Indiana (7-2, 4-2) had a bye this week.  Up next: at Penn St.

5.  Michigan St (4-5, 2-4) lost to Illinois 37-34.  At the end of the 3rd, the Spartans were up 31-10 and in complete control.  Then the wheels fell off.  Brian Lewerke threw three INT’s on the day, including a 76-yard INT return by Illinois’ Sydney Brown.  Up next: at Michigan.

6.  Maryland (3-7, 1-6) lost to Ohio St 73-14.  No one expected them to win this one, but I’m not sure how many people expected them to get blasted by almost 60 either.  Are the Terrapins really that bad, or are the Buckeyes just that good?  Probably both.  Up next: Bye.

7.  Rutgers (2-7, 0-6) had a bye this week.  Up next: vs Ohio St.

Overall (with games remaining):

  1. Ohio St – at Rutgers, vs Penn St, at Michigan
  2. Minnesota – at Iowa, at Northwestern, vs Wisconsin
  3. Penn St – vs Indiana, at Ohio St, vs Rutgers
  4. Michigan – vs Michigan St, at Indiana, vs Ohio St
  5. Wisconsin – at Nebraska, vs Purdue, at Minnesota
  6. Iowa – vs Minnesota, vs Illinois, at Nebraska
  7. Indiana – at Penn St, vs Michigan, at Purdue
  8. Illinois – at Iowa, vs Northwestern
  9. Michigan St – at Michigan, at Rutgers, vs Maryland
  10. Purdue – at Wisconsin, vs Indiana
  11. Nebraska – vs Wisconsin, at Maryland, vs Iowa
  12. Maryland – vs Nebraska, at Michigan St
  13. Northwestern – vs UMass, vs Minnesota, at Illinois
  14. Rutgers – vs Ohio St, vs Michigan St, at Penn St