Big Ten Week Six Preview
Two ranked teams clash in Columbus when No. 21 Nebraska (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) meets No. 12 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten). The Buckeyes’ defense played a big factor in OSU’s 17-16 win against then-No.20 Michigan State last week, holding Big Ten leading rusher Le’Veon Bell to just 45 yards. Rex Burkhead and company will challenge the Buckeyes’ rushing D yet again. The Cornhuskers rank fifth in the nation in rushing, averaging 305 yards per game.
No. 24 Northwestern (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) looks for its first 6-0 start in 50 years when the Wildcats head to Happy Valley to take on Penn State (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten). Triple-threat QB/WR Kain Colter was stellar in his team’s conference opener against Indiana last week. The rising junior rushed for 161 yards and also added 131 yards receiving in the 44-29 win. The Nittany Lions were also impressive in their Big Ten opener, blasting Illinois 35-7.
Michigan State (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) and Indiana (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) will battle once again for the Old Brass Spittoon at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. The Spartans ninth-ranked defense looks to slow down a Hoosiers’ offense that averages 510 yards a game. On the other side of the ball, keep an eye on RB Bell, who struggled last week against Ohio State. Sparty is 15-1 when the star junior scores at least one touchdown.
Michigan (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten) travels to Purdue (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) in the Big Ten opener for each school. Boilermakers’ QB Caleb TerBush is coming off a career passing day against Marshall, throwing for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Purdue is averaging more than 42 points a game this season. The Wolverines, however, have won eight of their last nine games coming off a bye week.
Illinois (2-3, 0-1 Big Ten) heads to Madison seeking its first win at Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) in a decade. The Illini boast the best third down defense in the Big Ten and hope to stifle Badgers’ freshman QB Joel Stave, who threw for 214 yards and a touchdown with no picks in a three-point loss to Nebraska last week.