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Big Ten Breakdown: A Complete Recap of Each Big Ten Game in Week 9

Michigan State earns huge win over Michigan, Ohio State remains undefeated in conference play, and Wisconsin plants themselves back in the Big Ten west race.

Big Ten Scores: Week 9

Indiana 35 at Maryland 38

The Maryland offense that showed up in this game was the one that everyone saw during the first four weeks of the season. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa once again looked like the Heisman candidate version of himself we all saw through those first four weeks, throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns on the day. His favorite target was easily Carlos Carriere, who led the team with a whopping 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns. With this win, the Terps move to 5-2 on the season and only need one more win for bowl eligibility. As for Indiana, it was another game this season in which they came close to a really solid victory but just could not quite get it done. They fall to 2-6 on the season and are seeing their bowl hopes continue to diminish by the week. 

Rutgers 20 at Illinois 14

Coming off a bye week after a blowout loss to Northwestern, this was a game that Rutgers needed to have if they wanted to keep any hopes of a bowl game alive. They did just that as they traveled to Illinois and pulled out a win to keep their season alive. Things were not pretty at the half, though, as the Scarlet Knights went into the locker  room trailing 14-10 and looked well on their way to their fourth disappointing loss in a row. However, they shut out the Illinois offense in the second half en route to ten unanswered points and the win, snapping their three game losing streak and improving to 4-4 on the season. As for Illinois, their second half collapse marked their fourth straight loss in what has been a rather disappointing season. They are now 3-6 on the season and appear very unlikely to make a bowl game. 

No. 9 Iowa 7 at Wisconsin 27

After starting their season 1-3 with losses to Penn State, Notre Dame and Michigan, the Wisconsin season appeared to be dead in the water. Since then, however, they have reeled off four straight wins, including upsets of a then ranked Purdue and a top ten Iowa. Not only did the Badgers upset the Hawkeyes but it was an absolute blowout. They didn't do a lot offensively, only tallying 270 total yards of offense, but they were led by running back Braelon Allen. Allen rushed for 104 yards on the day, leading the Badger offense through a defensive slugfest. While it was no offensive explosion for the Badgers, it was even worse for the Hawkeyes, as they were held to a mere 156 yards of total offense. The Badgers, who started 1-3, are squarely back in the Big Ten west race now, which is bad news for the rest of the division. 

No. 6 Michigan 33 at No. 8 Michigan State 37

This was billed to be the best Big Ten game this weekend and it certainly delivered. Both teams entered this game ranked in the top ten and with a 7-0 record but only one team could leave with both. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the struggles of head coach Jim Harbaugh against his rivals continued, as with this loss he now moves to 3-9 overall against both Michigan State and Ohio State in his career at Michigan. For the Spartans, they were led by running back Kenneth Walker III once again on offense. Walker had his Heisman moment on the national stage, rushing for 197 yards and five touchdowns, making sure the rest of the country takes the Spartans seriously. Michigan State is now 8-0 on the season and looks primed to give Ohio State a run for their money to represent the Big Ten east in the Big Ten title game. 

Purdue 28 at Nebraska 23

It was certainly not pretty for the Boilermakers but they left Lincoln this weekend with another win on what has been an impressive season so far. This game was far from an offensive duel but the Purdue offense, led by quarterback Aidan O'Connell, got the job done when they needed to. O'Connell was not a world beater but he did throw for 233 yards and two touchdowns while playing mistake free football for the Purdue win. For Nebraska, this is their season in, and time under head coach Scott Frost, in a nutshell. A close game that they almost pull off a win in only for it to just be yet another one score loss. Frost was already on the hot season entering this season and he has done little to save his job in the process. With the win, Purdue is now 5-3 on the season and one game closer to bowl eligibility, while the Huskers fall to 3-6 on the season and will need a miracle to reach a bowl game this year. 

Minnesota 41 at Northwestern 14

This game was perhaps the perfect illustration of Northwestern football this season. A defense allowing the opposing offense to move the ball at will paired with an anemic offense that could barely move the ball at all. Coming into the game, the Northwestern defense had been the worst against the run in the conference and it showed in a bad way, as they allowed a whopping 308 yards on the ground. The Golden Gophers rushing attack was led by a two-headed monster in running backs Mar'Keise Irving and Ky Thomas, who rushed for a combined 226 of the 308 yards and two touchdowns on the day. With this win, the Golden Gophers move to 6-2 on the season to gain bowl eligibility while the Wildcats continue to struggle, falling to 3-5 on the season. 

No. 20 Penn State 24 at No. 5 Ohio State 33

The only other Big Ten game this weekend to feature two ranked teams did not disappoint either as the Buckeyes outlasted Penn State in a thriller. The Buckeyes were led on offense by quarterback CJ Stroud, who had his own Heisman moment, and running back TreVeyon Henderson. Stroud threw for 305 yards and one touchdown while Henderson rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown of his own. The win keeps the Buckeyes undefeated in Big Ten play, as they again look like the best team in the conference. Their offense, led by Stroud, has been absolutely unstoppable since the Oregon game and appears to be leading the Buckeyes to yet another Big Ten title and College Football Playoff appearance. 

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