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Big News From the Big Ten: Week 4 of College Football

Here's everything you need to know across the Big Ten this week.

On September 20th, the Big Ten Conference sent out the fifth press release of the 2021 NCAA College Football Season. Here are the top storylines from the release.

What Lies Ahead

There are 11 games on the slate for the upcoming weekend, including three conference contests. The University of Michigan hosts Rutgers University, Illinois travels to Purdue University and Michigan State University hosts the University of Nebraska in those three games. Northwestern University hosts Ohio University in its last out of conference game for the season. 

Undefeated Teams

There are currently six Big Ten programs that are still undefeated at this point of the season. These teams are the University of Maryland, Michigan, the University of Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State University and Rutgers. 

Top 25 Polls

The number of teams in the Top 25 has increased to six teams for the upcoming week. Iowa still leads the pack at No. 5 while Penn State is right behind at No. 6. Ohio State University is No. 10, the University of Wisconsin is No. 18, Michigan in No. 19 while Michigan State rounds it out at No. 20. Maryland also received votes.

High Octane Rushing

Five Big Ten teams are within the nations top 25 in rushing offense. These programs are Michigan, who lead the FBS, Wisconsin who are No. 10, Michigan State at No. 11, the University of Minnesota is No. 24 and Ohio State rounds it out at No. 25.

Wolverine Domination

Michigan is top 10 in the country in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Wolverines boast the No. 3 scoring offense at 47.0 per game, and No. 8 scoring defense with just 11.3 points allowed per game.

Spartans Make History

For the first time in the five-game series between the two teams, Michigan State defeated the University of Miami on Saturday by a score of 38–17. Sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne was 18–31 for 261 yards and four touchdowns for the Spartans, and joins former quarterback Connor Cook as the only Michigan State quarterbacks to toss four touchdowns in consecutive games. Also, head coach Mel Tucker won his fifth game against a ranked opponent in his three years as a head coach.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Penn State did the Big Ten proud in its victory over Auburn University on Saturday, marking the Nittany Lions first win over an SEC team since 1990. This is also the first time in program history that Penn State is 3–0 with three victories over ranked opponents. Junior linebacker Brendan Smith led the Nittany Lions with 10 tackles, a career high for him. He contributed to the defense's overall spectacular effort that limited the Tigers offense to under 200 passing yards and the teams lowest offensive output of the season.

Buckeyes Roll

After a tough loss to the University of Oregon in the previous week, Ohio State unleashed on Tulsa University, defeating the Golden Hurricanes 41–20. Freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson broke out for 277 yards on the ground with three touchdowns on 24 carries. This broke the record for freshman rushing yards in a game for the Buckeyes, as the previous record was 239 yards from Archie Griffin in 1972. Henderson's effort is the most yards on the season so far in 2021 and ranks third all-time in Ohio State history.

Iowa Continues Hot Streak

Iowa defeated Kent State University 30–7 on Saturday, extending the Hawkeyes win streak to nine. Iowa has outscored opponents 305–113 in its last eight games, and have played 25 consecutive games without surrendering more than 25 points. Additionally, this was the Hawkeyes 300th win at Kinnick Stadium, which opened in 1929.

Golden Gophers Dominate Out of Conference

Minnesota won its 21st consecutive out of conference game on Saturday with a 30–0 victory over the University of Colorado. This is the longest active streak and the Spartans are inching closer to Purdue's record of 24 straight from 1926–1933. The Golden Gophers have not lost an out of conference game since 2015 and have one more out of conference game remaining this season.

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Shorthanded Wildcats Shock No. 10 Michigan State

The Wildcats put up an incredible effort, without Pete Nance, to escape East Lansing with a win.

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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 Outlast Northwestern in Big Ten Matchup

Pete Nance records double-double but Eric Ayala and the Terrapins find a way to hand the Wildcats a fourth straight loss.

Near Upset

Nebraska almost knocked off No. 3 University of Oklahoma this past weekend, but eventually fell 23–16. The Cornhuskers held the Sooners to just seven points in the first half.

Repeat Information

All of the information below has appeared in past press releases. It will be summarized, but for more on this visit the older stories.

The Cotton and Orange Bowls will serve as the semi-final games in the CFP. 120 players in the Big Ten this season were All-Big Ten honorees in 2020.


Big News From the Big Ten: Week 3 of College Football

Big Ten Breakdown: A Complete Recap of Week 3 Across the Big Ten

Top 5 Takeaways From Northwestern's Week 3 Loss to Duke

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