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COLUMBUS, Ohio- Coming out of Week 6, the state of the Big Ten looks a little bit different. The conference still has three teams in the Top 10 of the latest AP Poll. However, there were some shakeups in conference games last week. Here is a look back at a wild week of Big Ten football and a look into Week 7 for another week of conference games.
B1Ggest Game of the Week: Michigan State 14, Michigan 10
With a backup quarterback and a Top 10 ranking, this game proved to be difficult for Michigan. Michigan State beat Michigan for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons.
The Wolverines, facing a second-ranked Spartans defense, scored their first and only touchdown with 8:09 left in the game, a one-yard rush by Khalid Hill. Despite giving up only 252 yards of offense, the Michigan offense, specifically quarterback John O’Korn, struggled, averaging only 5.7 yards per pass and throwing three interceptions.
Michigan also lost two fumbles in the four-point loss, with running back Ty Issac losing one in the Wolverines’ second drive of the game and Sean McKeon losing one near the end of the first half.
This upset had major implications for both Michigan and Michigan State. The Spartans made the AP poll for the first time in the 2017 season, entering at No. 21 before Week 7. Michigan, with the loss to an unranked team, fell 10 spots to No. 17.
Worst Game of the Week: Indiana 27, Charleston Southern 0
Indiana earned its third win of the season against Charleston Southern. Replacing Florida International as the Hoosiers’ third non-conference game, the Buccaneers did not put up much of a fight.
Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey threw all over the Charleston Southern defense, throwing for 321 yards with two touchdowns while adding 54 yards and a score on the ground.
The Hoosiers really did have trouble running the ball. Averaging 3.5 yards per rush, Indiana had 157 yards on 45 carries, scoring only once.
However, facing a run-only Buccaneers offense, the Hoosier defense did its job, limiting rushers to only three yards per rush. Adding to that, Charleston Southern did not complete a pass in 10 attempts.
Ramsey may have put up solid numbers, but there is not much that Indiana fans should take out of this game. The Hoosiers will come back to reality next week against an angry Michigan team.
Stat of the Week: 249 rushing yards
It may be easy for Ohio State fans to forget, but J.K. Dobbins is not the only freshman back making noise in the Big Ten in 2017.
Coming into the Nebraska game as the conference’s leading rusher, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor continued to run all over opponents on Saturday. He had a career-high 249 rushers, averaging 10 yards per rush and scoring two touchdowns.
In his short college career, Taylor has rushed for over 200 yards in two of his five career games. Also, scoring a conference leading nine touchdowns, he has scored at least once in each of his first five games.
Taylor and the Badger offense will look to continue that success next weekend against Purdue.
One to Look Forward To: Purdue at No. 7 Wisconsin
This will be a game of offensive strengths on both sides of the ball.
For Wisconsin, it is the running game. With Lewis as the No. 1 rusher in the Big Ten, the Badgers facing a Boilermaker run defense that has struggled as of late. Purdue is 11th in the conference in run defense, allowing 151 yards per game. Despite opposing backs averaging 4.1 yards per rush, the Boilermakers have only allowed six touchdowns on the ground this year.
Purdue’s offense, on the other hand, specializes in the passing game. The Boilermakers, led by quarterbacks David Blough and Elijah Sindelar, are No. 3 in the conference in passing, averaging 265.2 passing yards per game. They are also fourth in the conference with 13 passing touchdowns this season.
The Badgers’ pass defense is nothing compared to their rush defense, but it has not been horrible. Wisconsin has given up 192.4 passing yards per game while giving up six-touchdown passes this season.
Purdue has a chance to perform well offensively against a Badger defense that specializes in rush defenses. However, it will be interesting to see if the Boilermakers can stop the Wisconsin running game.
Big Ten Schedule- Week 7
Saturday, October 14th
Rutgers at Illinois- 12 pm ET on BTN
No. 17 Michigan at Indiana- 12 pm ET on ABC
Northwestern at Maryland- 3:30 pm ET on ESPN2
Purdue at No. 7 Wisconsin- 3:30 pm ET on BTN
No. 9 Ohio State at Nebraska- 7:30 pm ET on FS1
No. 21 Michigan State at Minnesota- 8 pm ET on BTN