Big Ten Football Schedule and Game Previews: Week 11
Rutgers at Indiana
For Indiana, their bowl hopes are officially dead following their loss last week to Michigan, which dropped their record to 2-7. Rutgers, however, still has a slight chance at a bowl game with a 4-5 record and two games left to play. Both teams are coming off blowout losses and will be looking to end their season getting back on the right track. There is not a lot of positives to say for either team as both rank near the bottom in points per game, points allowed per game, and a host of other statistics. Simply put, this game could either be an ugly, low-scoring Big Ten game or completely defy expectations and be a shootout. Our money is on the latter, with a slight edge to Rutgers in this one.
Watch: Saturday at 11 a.m. CT on Big Ten Network
No. 9 Michigan at No. 23 Penn State
This has the potential to be the best game across the Big Ten this weekend as Michigan looks to maintain control of its own postseason destiny. The Wolverines will look to get their second win in a row behind running back Hassan Haskins, who rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown last week against Indiana, as well as hoping that quarterback Cade McNamara continues to do what he is asked to do, whether that be airing it out or playing efficient while the run game cooks. For Penn State, who is coming off a blowout win over Maryland, they are led offensively by quarterback Sean Clifford, who can air it out with the best of them, as he threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns last week. Michigan needs to win out if they want a shot at the Big Ten title game as well as the College Football Playoffs, which should make this one a game to watch this weekend.
Watch: Saturday at 11 a.m. CT on ABC
Northwestern at No. 20 Wisconsin
This one could get ugly fairly quickly as there may not be a more unfavorable matchup for Northwestern to draw this weekend. The Badgers are the second best rushing team in the Big Ten, averaging 222.6 rushing yards per game, while the Northwestern defense is far and away the worst defense at stopping the run, allowing a staggering 224.6 yards per game on the ground. Wisconsin running backs Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi should have little to no issue running all over this Northwestern defense, with a real possibility of both running for well over 100 yards each. Offensively for Northwestern, the running game will have a tough time getting anything going as the Wisconsin run defense allows a mere 54.7 yards per game. Don't be surprised if this one is over by halftime as the Badgers should roll.
Watch: Saturday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN2
Purdue at No. 6 Ohio State
While the Boilermakers are ranked in the CFP rankings, they remain unranked in the AP Poll which could spell trouble for Ohio State. In both their upset wins over Iowa and Michigan State, an unranked Purdue went on the road to pull off the huge upsets. This one features the two top passing offenses in the Big Ten in what could become a shootout. Purdue, led by quarterback Aidan O'Connell who threw for 536 yards and three touchdowns last week, averages 332.6 passing yards per game. Not to be outdone though, Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud, who threw for 405 yards and two touchdowns in their win last week, has led the Buckeye offense to average an impressive 352.8 passing yards per game. The real battle, however, will be the Purdue secondary against Stroud, as the Boilermaker defense ranks third in the Big Ten against the pass, only allowing 185.3 passing yards per game. Whether Purdue can pull of a third huge upset is yet to be seen but this should be one of the best games this weekend across college football.
Watch: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC
Minnesota at No. 19 Iowa
The Golden Gophers will enter this one wanting to get back on track following a stunning upset loss at the hands of Illinois. Their usually potent rushing attack was held in check by the Fighting Illini as they only managed a meager 89 yards on the ground in the loss. For the Hawkeyes, they are coming off a win over Northwestern that was not as close as the 17-12 final score indicates as they were in control for a good portion of the game. If the Minnesota rushing attack, which is averaging 207.4 yards per game on the season so far, cannot get going against a stout Iowa defense, this won't be that close. The Hawkeyes should control this one on the ground behind running back Tyler Goodson, en route to their eighth win on the season.
Watch: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network
Northwestern Avoids Collapse and Defeats Rutgers in Big Ten Matchup
A double-digit lead evaporates in the fourth quarter, but a Veronica Burton-led Wildcats find a way to win at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Maryland at No. 8 Michigan State
Two weeks ago the Spartans were feeling like the kings of the world, fresh off a win over rivals Michigan with an outside shot at the CFP. However, following an upset loss at the hands of Purdue last week, Michigan State's CFP hopes are on life support. Now they are taking on a Maryland offense, led by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, that can sling the ball with ease as they are averaging 316.1 yards per game through the air. This could be a real issue for the Spartans as they boast the worst pass defense in the Big Ten, allowing 326.7 yards per game, nearly 100 yards worse than the next team. While the Terps prefer to attack through the air, the Spartans are more than happy grinding games out on the ground behind Heisman candidate running back Kenneth Walker III. Despite the loss against Purdue Walker III still had a solid outing, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown. If the Spartans can limit the Maryland aerial attack, they should handle this one with ease, but if they can't do that then look for this one to be a shootout.
Watch: Saturday at 3 p.m. CT on FOX
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