On Oct. 25, the Big Ten Conference sent out the ninth press release of the 2021 NCAA College Football Season. Here are the top storylines from the release.
AP Poll Representation
Five Big Ten programs were named to this weeks Top 25 rankings, with four finding a spot within the Top 10. Ohio State University leads the pack at No. 5, followed by No. 6 University of Michigan, No. 8 Michigan State University, No. 9 University of Iowa and rounded out by No. 20 Michigan State.
Two of the nine remaining undefeated FBS teams hail from the Big Ten. Michigan and Michigan State are the last remaining teams without a loss, and the two play each other this upcoming weekend. Big Noon Kickoff and College Gameday will be at Spartan Stadium for the game that begins at 11 a.m. C.T.
Buckeyes Roll Over Hoosiers
Ohio State continued its winning ways with a commanding 54–7 victory over the University of Indiana. This was the fourth consecutive 50-point game for the Buckeyes, catapulting the team towards the No. 1 ranking in total offense and the No. 2 ranking in scoring offense. The team has averaged 45 points per game this season and has averaged 57.8 across the last four games.
Defensively, the Ohio State has been elite as well, only allowing six touchdowns in the last four games and not allowing a rushing touchdown since week two. The Buckeyes are only allowing 72.8 rushing yards per game thus far in the season.
Wolverines Power Through Wildcats
Michigan proved to be too much for Northwestern University as the Wolverines prevailed 33–7 at Michigan Stadium. The team is now 7–0 for the first time since 2016 and is ranked No. 2 in the country in scoring defense at just 14.3 points per game. The Wolverines have also only let up more then 17 points once this season and have also only trailed once thus far.
Michigan is no slouch offensively as well. The Wolverines rank 15th in scoring offense and fifth in rushing offense largely off of the feet of senior running back Hasaan Haskins and sophomore running back Blake Corum.
Illini Earn Upset
The University of Illinois earned a signature win for the season after defeating then No. 7 Penn State 20–18 in nine overtimes. This ended up being the longest game in college football history. Sophomore running back Chase Brown earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in which he ran for 223 yards a touchdown off of 33 carries. With a 257-yard performance earlier in the season, Brown became the third player in Illini history to record multiple 200-yard rushing performances. Freshman running back Josh McCray added 142 yards of his own, hoisting Illinois to 357 on the day. The win was the 100th career victory for head coach Bret Bielema.
Spartans Poised for Greatness
Michigan State is 7–0 for the first time since 2015 and are 4–0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2017. The team ranks 16th in passing efficiency, tied for 19th in scoring defense and has a Heisman Trophy candidate in Junior running back Kenneth Walker III.
Golden Gophers Heating Up
The University of Minnesota won its third consecutive game last week with a 34–16 victory over the University of Maryland. Rushing has been a double positive for the team, as the Golden Gophers currently rank 5th in rushing defense and 24th in rushing offense. The team has had five running backs rush for over 100 yards in a game and five who have scored at least one rushing touchdown thus far. This is the first time five Gopher backs have scored in a season since 1985. This can also be attributed to an experience offensive line that leads the FBS in combined starts.
Badgers Reach Winning Record
The University of Wisconsin earned a 30–13 win over Purdue University and improved to 4–3 on the season. Head Coach Paul Chryst became the fourth coach in program history to win 60 games. Junior running back Chez Mellusi and freshman running back Braelon Allen contributed 149 and 140 rushing yards respectively, helping guide the Badgers to 290 rushing yards on the day. This was a huge advantage over the Boilermakers, who had -13 rushing yards in the contest.
Junior linebacker Leo Chenal earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after a perfomance in which he had nine tackles, 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. The latter two totals were the highest in the respective categories within the conference this season. The -13 rushing yards the Boilermakers had in the game was the second lowest ever allowed by Wisconsin, with the number one being -18 to Iowa in 1951.
Iowa has three wins over ranked opponents this season and has won six straight against ranked opponents dating back to 2020. The team is third in scoring defense and lead the nation in interceptions with 16. The Hawkeyes have 20 total turnovers and has turned that total into 78 points.
Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State have already earned bowl eligibility for the season while Penn State and Minnesota are just one win away. This will lead to the largest bowl lineup in conference history.
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All of the information below has appeared in past press releases. It will be summarized, but for more on this visit the older stories.
Three Big Ten running backs have had top-five FBS rushing performances this season, Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson, Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III and Illinois running back Chase Brown.
Four Big Ten teams, Michigan, Iowa, Penn State and Purdue. are within the Top 10 scoring defense's in the country.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has had two Top 5 performances in passing efficiency and passing yards, David Bell from Purdue has one in receiving yards, Brandon Joseph from Northwestern has one in punt return yards and Jayden Reed from Michigan rounds it out with one in all-purpose yards and another in punt return yards.
Eight Big Ten players were named as candidates for the 2021-22 Senior CLASS Award
The 2021 conference championship game will be played Dec. 4th at 8 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
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