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Big Ten Breakdown: Your Complete Guide to Every Big Ten Game in Week 8

Here's what you need to know about every Big Ten game happening this week.

Saturday October 23

Illinois at Penn State

Both Illinois and Penn State had their bye week last week, which came after a loss for both teams. For Illinois, they were played off the field in every aspect to the tune of a 24-0 shutout to Wisconsin. Penn State, though, suffered their first loss of the season in what was a nail biter of a game, losing to Iowa by three. These are two programs on complete opposite ends of the Big Ten spectrum this season, with Penn State looking at possible New Year Six bowl games while Illinois is very much in danger of not going bowling at all. The health of Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford is still in the air for this game but the Nittany Lions should have no trouble in this one should he not be able to go. 

Watch: Saturday at 11:00 AM CT on ABC

Northwestern at Michigan

Northwestern comes into this one fresh off a much needed win over Rutgers to keep their season afloat as well as their bowl hopes, moving to 3-3 on the season. The Northwestern defense everyone was expecting to see showed up as the Wildcats limited Rutgers to only 222 yards of total offense. Michigan, fresh off their bye week, enters this one 6-0 with the hope of getting to 7-0 and one step closer to the Big Ten championship game. The Wolverine offense, led by quarterback Cade McNamara, must be wondering which version of the Northwestern defense will show up. If it is any version other than who showed up against Rutgers, this one could get ugly fast as the Wolverines would roll. That being said, this game has the potential to be a trap game for Michigan who might be looking ahead to Michigan State, potentially opening the door for Northwestern to keep this one close. 

Watch: Saturday at 11:00 AM CT on Fox

Wisconsin at Purdue

The Badgers have looked inconsistent all season long, struggling against the quality opponents they have faced but having no issue beating the teams they're supposed to. As for Purdue, they are fresh off an upset of then number two Iowa, with a 4-2 record on the season. Their two losses, coming to Notre Dame and Minnesota, are not bad losses by any means and aside from those, the Boilermakers have looked very solid this season. If the Badgers that have struggled against quality teams show up for this one, it could be another game to forget as Purdue is a good team that should have no trouble putting Wisconsin away. This game probably won't be a blowout but Purdue should come out of this one with a win, moving to 5-2 on the season, while Wisconsin falls to 3-4. 

Watch: Saturday at 2:00 PM CT on Big Ten Network

Maryland at Minnesota

Last week Minnesota improved their record to 4-2 with an impressive win over Nebraska, a team that is not as bad as their record indicates. Maryland, who also comes into this game with a 4-2 record, had their bye week last week but are in the midst of a two game losing streak, both of which were in blowout fashion. Things do not get any easier for the Terps this week as they take on a good Minnesota team led by quarterback Tanner Morgan. Morgan threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the Golden Gophers win over Nebraska last weekend. Maryland may make this an interesting game but Minnesota should come out of this one at 5-2 and one step closer to bowl eligibility for the season. 

Watch: Saturday at 2:30 PM CT on ESPN2

Ohio State at Indiana 

Following a week two loss to Oregon, the chances for the Buckeyes to reach the College Football Playoff took a hit. Since then, however, the Buckeyes have racked up four straight blowout wins, with an average margin of victory of 40.25 points. Simply put, Ohio State appears to be the best team in the Big Ten, poised for another Big Ten championship and CFP appearance while their early season loss to Oregon just looks like a slight hiccup. The Hoosiers, though, come into this game looking to play spoiler. They nearly pulled off the upset of Michigan State last week as their defense held the Spartan offense to 241 yards of total offense. That being said, this is a potent Buckeye offense that will be difficult for the Hoosiers to slow down. Indiana may keep it close to start but the Ohio State offense will just be too much to handle as the Buckeyes should move to 6-1 on the season after this one. 

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