While Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State, all which were ranked in the top 20 before the season began, continued their freefalls, Indiana and Northwestern, who did not start the season ranked, remained undefeated.
Games of the Week:
Nebraska Cornhuskers 30, Penn State Nittany Lions 23
This season keeps getting worse for Penn State. After starting the season ranked No. 8 in the country, Penn State has lost its first four games. The Nittany Lions 0-4 start marks their worst start to a season since 2001. The Nittany Lion defense has been abysmal this season, as they have given up at least 30 points in each game. The lack of playmaking ability on defense could be in large part due to the opt-out of Micah Parsons, who was projected to be the best defensive player in the Big Ten this season.
In the game, the Nittany Lions found themselves down big early, as Nebraska went up 24-3 before quarterback Sean Clifford was benched for backup Will Levis. Though Levis wasn’t particularly effetiant, finishing the game 14-for-31 passing, he led a nice comeback effort. Penn State found themselves down seven points on Nebraska’s nine yard line with just over two minutes remaining, but failed to punch it in. With the win, Nebraska picked up its first home victory since October 5 last season. While Scott Frost finally got back in the win column, James Franklin’s bunch continues to head in the wrong direction.
Northwestern Wildcats 27, Purdue Boilermakers 20
For the first time since 1926, both Northwestern and Purdue came into the contest undefeated. With the win, the Wildcats are now 4-0 for the first time since 1996 and are atop the Big Ten West standings. Though the game was close, Northwestern took the lead on the first drive of the game and never surrendered it. For the fourth straight contest, the Wildcats gave up less than 21 points. The big win for the Wildcats now sets up a huge game with unbeaten Wisconsin this weekend. Whoever wins that contest will likely be the winner of the Big Ten West.
Performances of the Week:
Ty Fryfogle, Wide Receiver, Indiana
After his first game with over 140 yards receiving against Michigan last week, Ty Fryfogle topped his performance with 11 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Fryfogle’s longest catch of the day was a 65 yard touchdown reception, and on his other touchdown the Indiana wideout broke a few tackles to get into the endzone. Fryfogle had the best game of his career on Saturday and the state of Michigan should be glad they won’t have to play against the talented wideout again this season.
Jake Hansen, Linebacker, Illinois
After having just 22 tackles with zero interceptions, sacks or pass defenses in the first three weeks of the season, Jake Hansen dominated against Rutgers, as he had 15 tackles, one sack, one interception and one pass defense. Hansen’s play on defense was a huge reason why Illinois was able to defeat Rutgers for their first win of the season.
Plays of the Week
James McCourt Knocks Down A Field Goal For the Win
For the second straight season, James McCourt made a game winning field goal with less than five seconds remaining on the clock. After missing two 40 plus yard field goals earlier in the game, including a 46 yard field goal that would have put Illinois up with just over three minutes remaining, McCourt got a chance at redemption with a 47 yard field goal attempt with just seven seconds remaining in the contest and nailed it.
Isaiah Pacheco’s Shifty 15 yard Run
Rutgers running back Isaiah Pacheco put on the moves on this incredible run, as he was patient to read the whole before breaking three tackles with a stiff arm and a juke move.