Nov 05, 2013

Big Ten Week Eleven Preview

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Nebraska (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) travels to Michigan (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) for a pivotal Legends division matchup. The Cornhuskers survived a thriller against Northwestern, winning 27-24 on a last-second hail mary pass, while Michigan suffered a 29-6 setback at Michigan State. The teams have split their two meetings since 2011 with the home team holding serve in both games. Nebraska’s offense ranks 22nd nationally in scoring offense (38.3 ppg), while Michigan’s ranks 24th (37.9 ppg).

Minnesota (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) seeks its fourth-straight Big Ten conference victory, hosting Penn State (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten). The Golden Gophers survived a road test at Indiana, winning a high-scoring back-and-forth affair, 42-39. Junior running back David Cobb has carried Minnesota, rushing for an average of 143 yards per game during the three-game winning streak. The series between Penn State and Minnesota has been a series of streaks, as the Nittany Lions claimed the first four meetings, lost the next four matchups and have won the most recent four games. 

Purdue (1-7, 0-4 Big Ten) welcomes Iowa (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) to West Lafayette for its fourth home game in its last five games . The Boilermakers were shutout for the second-straight game, falling 56-0 against Ohio State. Purdue beat Iowa last season on the road, 27-24, but have not defeated Iowa in back-to-back seasons since 1979-80. Iowa can even up its Big Ten record at 3-3 and become bowl eligible with its sixth overall win this weekend. The Hawkeyes have been led on the ground by RB Mark Weisman who has rushed for 747 yards and three touchdowns. 

Illinois (3-5, 0-4 Big Ten) travels to Indiana (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) for a Leaders division matchup. Both teams are coming off losses in week 10 as Illinois fell in overtime at Penn State, while Indiana dropped a shootout at home against Minnesota. At 3-5, the game is a must-win for both Illinois and Illinois as each need to win three of four games to reach bowl eligibility, and both still have to face undefeated Ohio State. Indiana ranks 10th nationally in scoring offense, tallying 42 points-per-game.

No. 24 Wisconsin (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten) steps out of conference play for its final non-conference game, hosting BYU (6-2). The rushing game will play a large factor in the game as each team features a potent ground game. The Badgers average 287 rushing yards per contest, led by running backs Melvin Gordon (1,074 yards) and James White (804 yards). Brigham Young is led by dual-threat QB Tayson Hill who has passed for 2,019 yards, rushed for 841 yards, and tallied 20 total touchdowns. The teams met once previously, a 28-3 BYU win in 1980.

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