This past weekend was pretty crazy around college football but it didn’t seem to affect the Big Ten pecking order too much.
There were a few close calls with Michigan and their big brother Michigan State, but that is about it.
Really, outside of Rutgers getting a win there wasn’t too much shock value in the Midwest.
With everyone at or around the halfway points in their schedules, let’s take a look at some of the B1G offensive league leaders.
|Jonathan Taylor (Fr)||127||986||7.76||10||164.33|
|J.K. Dobbins (Fr.)||100||775||7.75||5||110.71|
|Saquon Barkley (Jr.)||102||649||6.36||6||108.17|
|Justin Jackson (Sr.)||108||510||4.72||6||85.00|
|LJ Scott (Jr.)||83||408||4.92||3||81.60|
|J.T. Barrett (Sr.)||207||138||1838||21||1||262.6|
|Tanner Lee (Jr.)||240||132||1709||13||10||244.1|
|Trace McSorley (Jr.)||194||130||1597||13||4||266.2|
|Clayton Thorson (Jr.)||227||137||1496||8||9||249.3|
|Nate Stanley (So.)||168||97||1290||15||2||215.0|
|DJ Moore (Jr.)||44||624||14.18||7||104.0|
|Stanley Morgan (Jr.)||33||540||16.36||6||90.0|
|Tyler Johnson (So.)||25||472||18.88||6||78.7|
|Simmie Cobbs (Jr.)||37||409||11.05||3||68.2|
|JD Spielman (Fr.)||31||475||15.32||2||67.9|
* First Buckeye – Parris Campbell (9th)
|Saquon Barkley (Jr.)||649||395||0||258||1302||217.0|
|Jonathan Taylor (Fr.)||986||17||0||0||1003||167.2|
|Ty Johnson (Jr.)||488||18||0||494||1000||166.7|
|Akrum Wadley (Sr.)||483||258||0||100||841||140.2|
|J.K. Dobbins (Fr)||775||65||0||0||840||120.0|
Let’s go ahead and check out the Big Ten and how everyone is looking heading into week 8.
Illinois (2-4 overall, 0-3 conference)
Last Week: Loss vs Rutgers, 35-24. I think the all-time low for Illinois had to occur on Saturday when they lost to Rutgers. Sophomore QB Jeff George Jr. had a decent day throwing the ball (308 yards, 2 TDs) but he did throw two more interceptions. In three games this season, George has already thrown 7 interceptions.
Freshman WR Ricky Smalling was his top target, catching 5 passes for 111 yards and 1 touchdown. In Smalling’s three games with George as QB, he has 254 receiving yards on 11 catches. In his three games without George this season, he had 3 catches for 18 yards.
This Week: at Minnesota
This Week in Recruiting: Illinois did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 14 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 83.59.
Indiana (3-3 overall, 0-3 conference)
Last Week: Loss vs Michigan, 27-20. Nobody really thought Indiana had a chance but they almost pulled off an upset that would have totally made my weekend. Freshman RB Morgan Ellison had a respectable day against a very stout Michigan front seven finishing with 68 yards on 14 carries.
Sophomore QB Peyton Ramsey struggled to get anything going on the day as he threw for 178 yards and had only 14 yards rushing. In overtime, Indiana had a chance to tie it up but ran four of the worst play calls in the history of Indiana football and lost. Thanks Hoosier Football.
This Week: at Michigan State
This Week in Recruiting: Indiana received a commitment from 2-Star defensive tackle Shamar Jones out of Pennsylvania. They sit at 17 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 84.84.
Iowa (4-2 overall, 1-2 conference)
Last Week: Bye Week. The Hawkeyes have a pretty brutal second half of the season as they travel to Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska while hosting Minnesota, Ohio State, and Purdue. Already sitting at 4-2 on the season, the Hawkeyes would have to consider getting to 7 wins as major victory if they are able to win half of their remaining games. With sophomore QB Nate Stanley (15TDs/2INTs) and senior RB Akrum Wadley (841 APY) they’ve got the talent to make some waves over the next six weeks.
This Week: at Northwestern
This Week in Recruiting: Iowa did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 13 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 85.30.
Maryland (3-3 overall, 1-2 conference)
Last Week: Loss vs Northwestern, 37-21. I was really curious to see how the Terrapins would respond to being absolutely embarrassed by the Buckeyes. While they lost to a very average Northwestern team, they showed a lot more fight than I thought they would.
Sophomore QB Max Bortenschlager had a great bounce back game as he threw for 255 yards and 3 TDs. He also led the team in rushing with a whopping 34 yards. Junior WR D.J. Moore had a great day with 12 catches for 210 yards and 2 TDs.
This Week: at Wisconsin
This Week in Recruiting: Maryland received a commitment from 3-Star defensive tackle Jalen Alexander out of Virginia. They sit at 21 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 86.37.
(19) Michigan (5-1 overall, 2-1 conference)
Last Week: Win at Indiana, 27-20. Look, I joke all the time about how average Michigan really is but even I didn’t expect this game going to overtime. At this point, the Wolverine coaching staff has to be a little worried about the quarterback play moving forward. Senior John O’Korn had another miserable day only throwing for 58 yards. Luckily, junior RB Karan Higdon had a career day running for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. His game-winning overtime TD was the definition of turning nothing into something.
This Week: at Penn State
This Week in Recruiting: Michigan did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 14 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 89.77.
(18) Michigan State (5-1 overall, 3-0 conference)
Last Week: Win at Minnesota, 30-27. I think we have all been patiently waiting for junior RB LJ Scott to have his breakout game. Against Minnesota, he finally was able to get going as he rushed for 194 yards and 2 TDs. Junior RB Madre London was able to pitch in 74 rushing yards as senior Gerald Holmes sat out. Sophomore QB Brian Lewerke had one of his worst days as starting QB as he only had 120 passing yards and 1 interception.
This Week: vs Indiana
This Week in Recruiting: The Spartans did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 18 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 85.75.
Minnesota (3-3 overall, 0-3 conference)
Last Week: Loss at Michigan State, 30-27. The score may make it look close but this game was never in any serious doubt. Losing by 17 points late in the fourth, the Golden Gophers were able to put up two touchdowns over the final five minutes.
Minnesota finally made the move to bench senior QB Conor Rhoda in favor of sophomore Demry Croft. It’s a move I called for last week as Rhoda has been one of the worst starting QBs in all of college football. Croft answered the call and was able to connect with sophomore Tyler Johnson on 3 TDs in the fourth quarter. Those 3 TDs by Croft were only two less than Rhoda had through 6 games.
This Week: vs Illinois
This Week in Recruiting: The Golden Gophers received a commitment from 3-Star defensive end Alex Reigelsperger out of Ohio. Additionally, the Gophers received a decommitment from 3-Star cornerback Shamaur McDowell. They sit at 23 boat rowers in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 84.53.
Nebraska (3-4 overall, 2-2 conference)
Last Week: Loss vs Ohio State, 56-14. We all saw the game so I won’t go too much into this game. There is a confession I have to make, I will take fault for senior QB Tanner Lee having the best day of his life. I said it last week, I have been going hard at how bad Lee was for 6 weeks now and that he was probably going to throw for 400 yards on the Buckeyes just to spite me. Well folks, he only threw for 303 yards, 2 TDs, and ZERO picks but I’m still spited. I’m sorry I did this to the Buckeyes pass secondary. Freshman WR JD Spielman killed the Buckeyes all game with 200 yards receiving on 11 catches.
This Week: Bye Week
This Week in Recruiting: The Cornhuskers did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 11 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 89.14.
Northwestern (3-3 overall, 1-2 conference)
Last Week: Win at Maryland, 37-21. I’ve been patiently waiting all season for the Wildcat offense to show any signs of life and they finally did. Outside of Ohio State and Penn State, you’d be hard pressed to find a better QB/RB combination than what the Wildcats put out there every week.
On Saturday, junior QB Clayton Thorson and senior RB Justin Jackson both had their best games of the season. Jackson ran for 171 yards and 2 TDs while Thorson threw for 293 yards and 1 TD. Those two will have to continue this hot streak as they host a very talented Hawkeyes team this weekend.
This Week: vs Iowa
This Week in Recruiting: The Wildcats did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 15 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 85.57.
(2) Penn State (6-0 overall, 3-0 conference)
Last Week: Bye Week. The Nittany Lions had a perfectly placed bye week as they now turn to the only difficult games on their schedule. Over the next three weeks, Penn State faces Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State.
There are two things I know about the Nittany Lions. First, Penn State is not getting through these next three weeks unscathed. Secondly, they will beat Michigan and Michigan State by two scores. Do the math folks.
This Week: vs Michigan
This Week in Recruiting: The Nittany Lions received a decommitment from 4-Star defensive end Dorian Hardy. They sit at 22 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 90.56.
Purdue (3-3 overall, 1-2 conference)
Last Week: Loss at Wisconsin, 17-9. I have to give Purdue a lot of credit for their game on Saturday. The Badgers jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and the Boilermakers were on the edge of getting run out of the stadium. Instead lying down, Purdue fought hard over the final 51 minutes and actually outscored the Badgers 9-3 over that span. Although they were gashed for about 500 yards by the Wisconsin ground game, the Boilermaker defense was able to get 8 tackles-for-loss and 2 interceptions on the day.
This Week: at Rutgers
This Week in Recruiting: The Boilermakers did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 22 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 82.57.
Rutgers (2-4 overall, 1-2 conference)
Last Week: Win at Illinois, 35-24. You read that right folks, Rutgers got a win! Somewhere there is a borough in New York celebrating like its 1869. The Scarlet Knights relied heavily on their running game as senior Gus Edwards and freshman Raheem Blackshear combined for 178 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns.
As good as the running game was, the story of the game was sophomore WR Jawuan Harris who was Rutgers’ leading receiver last season. After being moved from WR to safety earlier in the week, Harris had an amazing game starting at safety as he had 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception.
This Week: vs Purdue
This Week in Recruiting: Rutgers did not receive a commitment last week. They sit at 19 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 83.21.
(5) Wisconsin (6-0 overall, 3-0 conference)
Last Week: Win vs Purdue, 17-9. At this point, you have to wonder how Wisconsin would do if they ever faced a team that can stop the run. I’m as big of a fan as there is with freshman RB Jonathan Taylor but the Badgers are relying too heavily on him.
Since earning the starting job, Taylor is averaging almost 25 carries per game. Over the last two games, he has carried the ball 55 times! At some point, he is going to wear down and sophomore QB Alex Hornibrook will be forced to win a game. Will he?
On Saturday, Taylor rushed for 219 yards on 30 carries. Sophomore WR Quintez Cephus continues to get better and better as he had 100 yards receiving and 1 TD.
This Week: vs Maryland
This Week in Recruiting: The Badgers received a commitment from 3-star DB Donte Burton out of Georgia. They sit at 19 members in the 2018 class with a 247Sports Composite average of 85.38.
|EAST||OVERALL||CONF. RECORD||WEST||OVERALL||CONF. RECORD|