Rapid recap of the Big Ten week that was: Illinois hung in there with Purdue for the first three quarters before squandering the Purdue Cannon to the Boilermakers 29-10. Michigan State beat Penn State as time expired in a four-hour, weather delayed game. Wisconsin blew out Indiana after starting the game down 10-0 to the Hoosiers. Rutgers won their fourth game of the season in their takedown of Maryland. Iowa crushed Ohio State, all but eliminating the Buckeyes’ chances of a College Football Playoff bid. Northwestern defeated lowly Nebraska in overtime in Lincoln. Michigan closed out Week 10 with a home win against Minnesota to retain The Little Brown Jug.
Big Ten Top Performers
Michigan State wide receiver Felton Davis III
Before and after a several-hours long rain delay in East Lansing pushed this game far into the afternoon slate, Michigan State’s Felton Davis put on a show in The Land Grant Trophy game. Davis was the best Big Ten wide receiver on the day, catching 12 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.
He’s a good blocker downfield and can also make some acrobatic catches in some pretty awful weather:
It's Saturday, so you know what that means. Another wild TD catch by Felton Davis pic.twitter.com/SEVnq2fxXS— Zach Berridge (@ZachBerridge) November 4, 2017
The Spartans are strong in a variety of different phases (rush defense, rush offense, quarterback play) as they prepare for a road showdown against Ohio State next week.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor
The Wisconsin Badgers played it safe last week by sitting a banged up Jonathan Taylor in the second half against the Illini. This week Wisconsin erased a 10-point deficit to beat the Indiana Hoosiers, Taylor starring yet again on national TV.
True FR Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor scores off a reverse. Follows his blocks, runs through contact, and gives a nice stiff arm pic.twitter.com/abCQROllfM— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) November 4, 2017
Taylor was back to his old self, recording first down after first down and keeping Wisconsin undefeated through first nine games of the season. He finished the game with 183 rushing yards on 29 carries and a touchdown.
Wisconsin likes to use their fullbacks in short-yardage situations on the goal-line, limiting Taylor’s ability to pad his touchdown stats. The true freshman will have plenty more opportunities in his career to pour it on Big Ten opponents.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley
Nathan Stanley has to be one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country.
#Iowa's young strong-armed QB Nate Stanley has played four ranked opponents this season. In those games he's thrown 12 TDs & 0 INTs.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 5, 2017
Stanley had four touchdown passes in the first three quarters against the No. 6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Iowa shredded Ohio State’s defense for 487 yards of total offense. The quarterback’s throw in the third quarter with an Ohio State defensive lineman holding onto his leg was pure magic:
Nate Stanley doesn't need two legs for a TD— On Iowa (@GazetteOnIowa) November 4, 2017
38-17 Iowa https://t.co/U3J4M6cgCG pic.twitter.com/UIiQk89Ns4
Reminder: Iowa’s had to play three of the top teams in the Big Ten East in Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State, a product of rough/unlucky scheduling even though two of those three games were at home. The Penn State game a month ago was a close, emotional letdown. That painful loss made this win against Ohio State that much sweeter at Kinnick Stadium.
Northwestern safety Kyle Queiro
The Northwestern Wildcats are overtime pros, and what they’ve done this past month is unprecedented. Three overtime games in three weeks against Iowa, Michigan State and now Nebraska resulted in NU wins.
This is Northwestern's 3rd straight overtime game, an FBS record.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 4, 2017
Senior safety Kyle Quiero had two interceptions in what was a tight game throughout.
Nebraska is clearly having a down year, we all know that. The Wildcats are now 2-0 in their last two trips to Lincoln. This team has a resiliency to them and they proved they can take that toughness on the road. Northwestern is now bowl eligible for the third straight season.
Rutgers safety Kiy Hester
A solid ground game and a pick-6 by Rutgers safety Kiy Hester led the way in the battle of Big Ten expansion teams.
With just over five minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Hester did this against Maryland:
Can't make a throw like this in @Hester_2k's vicinity.— Rutgers On BTN (@RutgersOnBTN) November 4, 2017
TOUCHDOWN, @RFootball! pic.twitter.com/hI5NQkFnXo
The Scarlet Knights still have a couple of tough games left on the schedule (at Penn State, vs Michigan State), so winning a home game against injury-laden Maryland was huge for Chris Ash’s football team.
Michigan’s big play running backs Karan Higdon and Chris Evans
Michigan Wolverines tailbacks Karan Higdon and Chris Evans have big play written all over them. The Little Brown Jug stays in Ann Arbor in 2017 after a hiatus from this rivalry series last season.
First it was Higdon for 77 yards late in the first quarter.
Karan Higdon takes the carry 77 yards for the score! #GoBlue #MINNvsMICH pic.twitter.com/yFa7ylRcv7— Chat Wolverines (@ChatWolverines) November 5, 2017
Then it was Chris Evans late in the second quarter for 60 yards and again late in the third quarter for 67 yards:
Chris Evans 67 yards for the score! This is just getting silly. Michigan now has 366 rushing yards. pic.twitter.com/unc7j9vU6x— MSZ Wolverines (@MSZ_Wolverines) November 5, 2017
Those three plays were Michigan’s three longest plays from scrimmage this season.
All eyes were on redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters. Things went smoothly for him (minus a big hit) primarily because Michigan was able to run the ball so well on Minnesota’s defense. A quarterback’s best friend is a strong running game; Jim Harbaugh does a great job of using multiple tight end and fullback heavy formations to give his quarterbacks extra beef upfront.