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Big Ten Breakdown: A Complete Recap of Week 4 Across the Big Ten

A brief look at all of the action across the Big Ten in week four.

Saturday September 25th

Villanova 17 at Penn State 38

Penn State used their final non-conference game as a tuneup against a clearly outmatched Villanova. The sixth ranked Nittany Lions flexed their muscles on Villanova, putting up over 500 yards of total offense. They did so by launching an all out aerial attack, as quarterback Sean Clifford threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns, leading Penn State to an easy blowout victory to move to 4-0 on the season. 

Bowling Green 14 at Minnesota 10

The Golden Gophers came into this game as a staggering 30-point favorite over the Falcons, yet the Falcones rowed the boat in a stunning upset. On paper this should have been a blowout win for the Gophers as they got ready for conference play. Perhaps the worst thing about this loss for Minnesota is they put up more yards, won the time of possession, and converted more third downs yet somehow still managed to lose. They fall to 2-2 on the season as they move on to conference play.

Ohio 6 at Northwestern 35

What a difference a week made for Northwestern as they bounced back from a loss to Duke with a blowout win over Ohio. The defense put together a lights out performance, nearly managing a shutout, only allowing a last second touchdown as time expired. Offensively, they relied heavily on the run game, led by running back Evan Hull, who ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns. This game could be a huge momentum builder for the Wildcats, as they improve to 2-2 on the season. 

Notre Dame 41 vs. Wisconsin 13

Going into the fourth quarter, this game was tied 10-10 and looked set to be a low-scoring, defensive battle where the last team to have the ball would win. Instead, this game would become an absolute blowout at Soldier Field, as after Wisconsin took a 13-10 lead early in the fourth, the Fighting Irish put up 31 unanswered points. This was a disappointing loss for Wisconsin, as they drop their second game on the season against another quality opponent to fall to 1-2.

Kent State 16 at Maryland 37

Another week, another solid win for Maryland. The Terrapin offense continued to fire on all cylinders, led yet again by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns. Tagovailoa is playing like an early season Heisman candidate, throwing for 956 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions through the first four games as Maryland is 4-0 to start the season. 

Colorado State 14 at Iowa 24

This game was not a pretty one for Iowa, but at the end of the day a win is a win, no matter how ugly it was. Going into halftime the fifth ranked Hawkeyes actually trailed 14-7 and it appeared the college football world was going to get yet another top ten upset this weekend. That would not be the case, however, as Iowa rattled off 17 unanswered points to beat Colorado State, in a game that was a little too close for comfort.

Illinois 9 at Purdue 13

This game was not a pretty one either as offense was not on the menu. Things just keep getting worse for the Fighting Illini as they lost yet another game, this time falling to Purdue. The Illini offense did not look good, only managing 275 yards and three field goals throughout the game. On the other side of the ball, the Boilermaker offense played slightly better, totaling 315 total yards of offense. Purdue won't complain though as this win improves them to 3-1 to start the season. 

Rutgers 13 at Michigan 20

Another week, another solid win for the Wolverines. However, for the first time this season an opponent gave Michigan a scare as the Scarlet Knights were driving with a little over a minute left in the game before the Wolverine defense forced a game sealing turnover. The Wolverines followed the theme of the day for the Big Ten in ugly wins but, as always, a win is a win and Michigan is now 4-0 to open the season. 

Nebraska 20 at Michigan State 23

Just when you think things can't possibly get worse for Nebraska, a game like this happens. They had the upset in the palm of their hands but poor clock management led to playing for overtime instead of the win, which would ultimately see quarterback Adrian Martinez throw a costly interception that led to the game winning Michigan State field goal. The Spartans will be happy to escape with a win and get to 4-0 as the Huskers drop yet another, setting head coach Scott Frost's seat on absolute fire.

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Akron 7 at Ohio State 59

This game was overall fairly boring, as the Buckeyes did what they needed to do against an opponent they should blowout. The offense was firing on all cylinders, racking up a staggering 622 yards of total offense, including 319 yards passing for backup quarterback Kyle McCord. Defensively, they only allowed a single touchdown and a mere 229 total yards of offense. Ohio State moves to 3-1 on the season and continues their march to claim another Big Ten title. 

Indiana 33 at Western Kentucky 31

It seems that aside from a few games that the Big Ten decided to win all their games this weekend in an ugly fashion. The Indiana offense was impressive in this one, gaining over 500 yards of total offense, led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who threw for 373 yards. Defensively though, the Hoosiers did not look that great, as they gave up 458 yards of offense and 31 points. However, for the Hoosiers, a win is a win and they will take it as they get to 2-2 on the season before the start of conference play. 

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