On Oct. 18, the Big Ten Conference sent out the eighth press release of the 2021 NCAA College Football Season. Here are the top storylines from the release.
Top 25 Representation
Six Big Ten programs were ranked within this weeks Top 25 polls, with four teams being voted into the Top 10. Ohio State University leads the pack at No. 5, followed by No. 6 University of Michigan, No. 5 Penn State University, No. 9 Michigan State University, No. 11 University of Iowa and No. 25 Purdue University rounds it out.
Two programs remain undefeated within the Big Ten, Michigan and Michigan State. Ohio State is undefeated within the conference as well.
Spartans Emerge Victorious
Michigan State defeated Indiana University 20–15 on Saturday, catapulting the teams record to 7–0. This is the first time the Spartans have started the season with seven consecutive wins since 2015 and is only the eighth time in school history that this feat has been achieved. This is also the first time the Spartans have been undefeated in conference play through four games since 2017.
Iowa lost its chance at an undefeated season when the Hawkeyes fell to Purdue University 24–7 on Saturday. This was the second time in four seasons that the Boilermakers have defeated a team ranked No. 2 in the country, with the last time occurring when the team beat Ohio State 49–20 in 2018. Senior quarterback Aiden O'Connell was excellent, going 30–40 for 375 yards and two touchdowns, but junior wide receiver David Bell stole the show. The wideout had 11 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown, an effort that led to him being named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. Junior safety Cam Allen took home the Defensive Player of the Week after a two interception performance.
Purdue ranks fifth in the nation in scoring defense, third in red zone defense, fifth in defensive pass efficiency and sixth in first downs allowed. Offensively, the Boilermakers rank 10th in passing.
Golden Gophers Keep Rolling
The University of Minnesota defeated the University of Nebraska 30–23 on Saturday, improving to 4–2 on the season. Senior quarterback Tanner Morgan had an extremely efficient day, completing 20 of 24 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. It's also notable that the field general tossed two interceptions, which means that only two of his passes hit the ground on the day. Redshirt senior wide receiver Chris Autman Bell and redshirt junior running back Bryce Williams had over 100 yards receiving a rushing respectively.
Badgers Emerge Victorious at Home
In the final non-conference game of the season, the University of Wisconsin defeated Army by a narrow 20–14 margin. Three Badgers registered double digit tackle totals, seniors Jack Sanborn (17) and Scott Nelson (12) and junior Leo Chanel (11).
Wildcats Earn Crucial Win
Northwestern University defeated Rutgers University 21–7 in the schools homecoming matchup. Junior defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore had himself a day, registering seven tackles, four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, a sack and a forced fumble. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Hilinski was 18–33 for 267 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Four Big Ten teams are within the Top 10 scoring defense's in the country. Penn State leads the pack at No. 4, with No. 5 Purdue, No. 7 Iowa and No. 9 Michigan following. Three programs, Iowa, Penn State and Purdue, are within the Top 5 for defensive passing efficiency, and Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa possess Top 10 run defense's/
Buckeyes Offense Leads Nation
Ohio State has put exceeded 50 points in its last three games and this has contributed to the current No. 1 total offense ranking the team possesses. The team is also second in scoring offense, team passing efficiency and third-down conversion percentage.
Big Ten Breakdown: A Complete Recap of Each Big Ten Game in Week 13
Michigan secures Big Ten East with upset of Ohio State, Iowa clinches Big Ten West with Wisconsin loss to Minnesota.
Iowa and Michigan to Compete in Big Ten Football Championship Game
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines will compete for the conference title Dec. 4 in Indianapolis.
Game Recap and Highlights: Northwestern Falls to Illinois 42-14 in Land of Lincoln Rivalry Game
The Fighting Illini are taking the Land of Lincoln Trophy to Champaign.
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. Walker III had an additional 200+ yard game, and Northwestern running back Evan Hull contributed a 200+ game as well.
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.
CLASS Award Nominees
Eight Big Ten players were named as candidates for the 2021-22 Senior CLASS Award, Blake Hayes of Illinois, Ty Fryfogle of Indiana, Aidan Hutchinson and Andrew Vastardis of Michigan, Conner Olson of Minnesota, Ben Stille of Nebraska, Chris Olave of Ohio State and finally Sean Clifford from Penn State. The award is based on a student-athletes performance within their community, their classroom, their competition and also their character.
Big Ten Championship Game
The 2021 conference championship game will be played Dec. 4th at 8 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The winner will receive the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and will be in consideration for placement within the four-team College Football Playoff.
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