Most of the Big Ten teams were in conference play this week and those that were not went undefeated. We have your Week 5 Big Ten football recap right here.
#19 Wisconsin (3-1) 27, South Florida (2-3, 1-0) 10
Once again it was the Badgers’ running back Melvin Gordon leading his team to victory. Tied at three at the half, Gordon got on his team and inspired them in the locker room to play better. It worked. He had 131 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. It looked like a totally different offensive line. South Florida started the final quarter with a fumble, then the Badgers went on an 18-play, 90-yard drive that ate up 9:33 on the clock. Wisconsin dominated the stat line and nearly doubled its opponent in total yards and time of possession.
Rutgers (4-1,0-1) 31, Tulane (1-4, 0-1) 6
Rutgers senior quarterback Gary Nova became the school’s all-time career leader in touchdown passes (61) with the four he threw on Saturday. He went 14 of 21 for 291 yards and threw three of his touchdowns to former high school teammate Leonte Carroo. Carroo caught seven balls for 140 yards. In its first season in the Big Ten, Rutgers is only two games away from being bowl eligible but has to play some of the conference’s top teams over the next month.
#9 Michigan State (3-1) 56, Wyoming (3-2, 1-0) 14
The high-powered Spartans offense was at it again, putting up 56 this week. After four games they are averaging a school-record 50.3 points per game. Running back Jeremy Langford piled up 137 yards and a touchdown. The Spartans ran the ball in the end zone five times with five different players. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook threw two touchdowns in another lopsided victory.
#22 Ohio State (3-1) 50, Cincinnati (2-1) 28
It was a good thing the Buckeyes offense was playing well because the pass defense was getting abused by Bearcats quarterback Gunner Kiel. Kiel was 21 of 32 for 352 yards and four touchdowns. It was Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett and running back Ezekiel Elliott who would lead their team to victory by racking up over 700 yards of offense. Elliott rushed for 182 yards and a score, while Barrett threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
Iowa (4-1, 1-0) 24, Purdue (2-3, 0-1) 10
Purdue jumped out to a 10-0 lead but over the next 49 minutes it was all Iowa. The Hawkeyes defense held Purdue on the next nine drives to seven punts, two interceptions and less than 100 total yards. It was not anything spectacular for the Hawkeyes, just a well executed final three quarters to get the win.
Maryland (4-1, 1-0) 37, Indiana (2-2, 0-1) 15
I have been impressed this season with the Maryland offense in its first season in the Big Ten Conference. The Terrapins’ quarterback, C. J. Brown, threw for 163 yards and a touchdown in the first half before going down with a left wrist injury. Coming into this game Hoosiers’ running back Tevin Coleman was the nation’s leading rusher, averaging about 200 yards per game. The Terrapins’ defense held him to 122 yards on the ground. This was a disappointing day for the Hoosiers after beating #18 Missouri last week. Maryland backup quarterback Caleb Rowe went 12 of 18 for 198 yards and two touchdowns to seal the win.
#21 Nebraska (5-0, 1-0) 45, Illinois (3-2, 0-1) 14
Cornhuskers running back Ameer Abdullah continues on for his Heisman campaign with his third 200-yard rushing game of the season. He is one of the most impressive backs in the nation. This week he had 208 yards and three touchdowns, with most of that coming in the first half. Nebraska out-gained its opponent in total yards, 624 to 339. It will be hard to stop this great rushing attack.
Northwestern (2-2, 1-0) 29, Penn State (4-1, 1-1) 6
This was my shocker for the week. An undefeated Penn State team getting beat by 23 at home was shocking. It was the Wildcats’ quarterback, Trevor Siemian, who led the way with 258 yards passing and three touchdowns. He completed passes to 10 different receivers. The Wildcats scored twice in the first quarter, which was the first time this year Penn State had given up points in the opening quarter. The Northwestern defense played big in the fourth quarter, getting two turnovers, including a pick-six by linebacker Anthony Walker.
Minnesota(4-1, 1-0) 30, Michigan(2-3, 0-1) 14
I do not even have the words nor the strength to describe what happened here. Minnesota takes home The Little Brown Jug for the first time since 2005.
Chad Finley is a weekly contributor for The Big House Report. Follow him on Twitter @finfive1.