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Big Ten Week 2: Summaries and Highlights Across the League

Massive underdogs winning outright, multiple one-possession battles and another game canceled. Here is your quick review!

A wild set of games was on the menu for the Big Ten Conference in week two, along with one that was unfortunately canceled due to CoVID-19 testing. See below for a quick recap of each game beyond Ohio State/Penn State this weekend:

Wisconsin at Nebraska – Canceled

The No. 9-ranked Badgers were supposed to visit Lincoln on Saturday, but a CoVID-19 breakout at Wisconsin ended up preventing the contest. It reportedly started with emerging QB Graham Mertz, then trickled to head coach Paul Chryst and other members of the program. Hold your breath moving forward on this.

Nobody got to see the Badgers run out of a tunnel this weekend.

Nobody got to see the Badgers run out of a tunnel this weekend.

Maryland: 45, Minnesota: 44 (OT)

The Terrapins lost 52-3 last week at Northwestern, but took a 21-7 lead over the Golden Gophers in their second-straight road game. P.J. Fleck’s group rowed the boat with 31 unanswered points to seize a 38-21 advantage. Maryland admirably battled back, posting a 17-0 edge in the fourth quarter and then opening overtime with a TD. Minnesota quickly scored as well, but shanked the extra point to culminate a wacky Friday affair. Taulia Tagovailoa bounced back from a rough opener by throwing for 394 yards and 3 TD’s.

Taulia Tagovailoa had a huge bounce-back effort.

Taulia Tagovailoa had a huge bounce-back effort.

Purdue: 31, Illinois: 24

Another matchup affected by the virus, as 12 Illinois players were forced to miss the game. Quarterback Brandon Peters and tight end Griffin Moore both tested positive and another 10 Fighting Illini’ were held out due to contact tracing. The Boilermakers, playing again without star Rondale Moore, took advantage and held a 31-10 lead after three quarters. Illinois didn’t go quietly, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the final period (with plenty of time left) before eventually coming up just short. Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell threw for 371 while David Bell, the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, was impressive again with nine grabs for 122 yards and a score.


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Michigan State: 27, Michigan: 24

Your result can be much different when you don’t turn the ball over. The Spartans (24-point underdogs) enjoyed that first-hand in Ann Arbor, with no giveaways after committing a reckless seven turnovers last week in a loss to Rutgers. This time around, in a complete stunner, Michigan State embarrassed the Wolverine secondary to post a wild upset. Ricky White had eight catches for 196 yards and a TD, while QB Rocky Lombardi finished with 323 yards and three scores. Michigan held 33:47 time of possession, but nothing came easy for Jim Harbaugh’s group offensively. Meanwhile, Mel Tucker’s squad delivered a huge TD with 5:11 remaining en route to his first win as head coach.

Jalen Nailor

Jalen Nailor

Northwestern: 21, Iowa: 20

The Hawkeyes held a 17-0 lead after one quarter, but NW stayed the course and began chipping away. Iowa only led 17-14 by intermission and, in a classic Big Ten battle, the Wildcats scored the lone touchdown of a second-half slugfest with 6:05 remaining in the third frame. Neither team was able to hit the scoreboard from that point on or eclipse 300 yards of total offense. A primary difference maker was third-down success, where Iowa finished just 6 of 17 while Northwestern went 10 of 19.


Indiana: 37, Rutgers: 21

The Scarlet Knights held a 7-3 lead after the first period, but upstart Indiana posted a 27-8 scoring advantage in the middle-two quarters and never trailed again. Rutgers kept it interesting late, initially completing one of the most ridiculous scoring plays (multiple laterals) you will ever see before it was called back due to an ever-so-slightly illegal forward pass. Nevertheless, Indiana's Michael Penix Jr. finished with three TD’s and 238 yards through the air, while top target Whop Philyor had 5 catches for 137 and a score. Hoosiers are 2-0.


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