Big Ten Roundup: No. 15 Michigan State stuns No. 4 Wisconsin, Penn State expands first-place lead

Rebecca Friedman

Purdue 21, No. 23 Illinois 14

Quarterback Caleb TerBush led a previously unheralded Purdue squad to an impressive upset over No. 23 Illinois. TerBush finished with 178 yards passing and two touchdowns. The Boilermakers (4-3, 2-1 Big Ten) sped out of the gate early, scoring all three of their touchdowns in the first half while shutting out the Fighting Illini (6-2, 2-2). Illinois, led by quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, rallied in the second half, but finished one touchdown short. The loss will likely strip Illinois of its Top 25 ranking and downgrades the Fighting Illini to fourth place in the Leaders Division.

Iowa 45, Indiana 24

Led by quarterback James Vandenberg, a high-powered offense led Iowa to a triumph over Indiana. Vandenberg threw a career-high four touchdown passes, three of which were caught by wide receiver Marvin McNutt, who became Iowa’s career touchdown receptions leader with his first score. Running back Marcus Coker added to Iowa’s impressive offensive outing with two touchdowns. The Hawkeyes (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) scored five touchdowns in the first half, giving them a solid 35-14 lead heading into the locker room. Quarterback Tre Roberson led the Hoosiers (1-7, 0-4) with 197 yards and a touchdown through the air along with 84 yards on the ground.

No. 13 Nebraska 41, Minnesota 14

Minnesota’s woes continued through Week 8 as the Golden Gophers’ defense had no answers for the Cornhuskers’ aggressive offense. Up 34-0 at halftime, Nebraska (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) cruised to an easy victory. The Cornhuskers piled up 515 yards of total offense, 346 of which came on the ground. Running back Rex Burkhead led the rushing attack with 117 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Minnesota quarterback Marqueis Gray completed only 50 percent of his passes, although he did run into the end zone for one of only two Minnesota scores on the day. The Golden Gophers (1-6, 0-3) have been outscored 144-31 in their three Big Ten contests this season.

No. 15 Michigan State 37, No. 4 Wisconsin 31

The Spartans handed the Badgers their first loss of the season in what will certainly become a Big Ten classic. Following back and forth play through the opening three quarters, Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) found itself behind 31-17 early in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Russell Wilson led the Badgers on a fourth-quarter comeback, and Wisconsin seemed to have forced overtime with two touchdowns in the final nine minutes of regulation. However, Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins had other plans. With four seconds left on the clock, Cousins sent a Hail Mary pass 44 yards into the end zone. The Wisconsin secondary got to the ball first, tipping it into the hands of wide receiver Keith Nichol, who barely managed to push the ball across the goal line. Originally, the quarterback-turned-wide receiver was ruled down at the Badgers’ one, but after a lengthy video review, the referee ruled otherwise. The last-second victory places Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) atop the Legends Division and demotes Wisconsin to second place in the Leaders Division.

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