Week 12 of the Big Ten football season is here. Can you believe it? Here is a rundown of the upcoming games on Saturday and a recap of this week’s news leading up to the big weekend ahead.
Two Big Ten men’s soccer teams advanced to Sunday’s championship match with semifinal wins at host site Ohio State on Friday. In the first semifinal, Indiana beat Penn State 1-0 in an overtime shootout. The Hoosiers shot a perfect 5-of-5 in the shootout. In the second semifinal, Michigan State junior Fatai Alashe scored the game’s lone goal as the Spartans defeated Northwestern, 1-0.
It’s time to take my weekly Big Ten football quiz in preparation for another big Saturday football. It’s an intriguing slate of five games, with the Big Ten Nation fixated on the Michigan State at Nebraska game. Don’t worry – this isn’t graded on a curve. And? I provide the questions and the answers. So just have fun.
Saturday is almost here. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? Every team gets four downs to make something happen. So, why not me? That’s the idea here. Here’s what’s running through my mind with Week 12 of the Big Ten season on the horizon.
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The Big Ten suffered its first losses over the past couple nights, and we learned just a little bit more about the shape of this conference. Let’s dive in. In a formula that might become common this season, Illinois struggled to score over Valparaiso’s length but did enough on defense to secure the victory. After facing two decidedly smaller teams to open the season, Illinois had trouble converting over Valpo’s big and experienced frontline. In fact, the Illini’s 35.6 effective field goal percentage is the lowest mark of the John Groce era, and last season’s team wasn’t exactly a collection of sharpshooters.
An interesting Saturday of action is headlined by what could be the Big Ten Game of the Year: Michigan State at Nebraska. Ohio State will look to remain unbeaten when it plays at Illinois. The Buckeyes have owned Illinois, winning the last five meetings and eight of the last nine. The lone Fighting Illini victory in that stretch was when they stunned No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus in 2007 on the way to the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes haven’t lost in Champaign since 1991.
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Both Illinois and Purdue notched impressive early season wins Wednesday night. Purdue blew out Central Connecticut 109-73, while Illinois edged out Valparaiso, 64-52. In the third Big Ten game of the evening, Penn State fell to Bucknell, 80-90. Get game recaps, stats and video highlights from all three games in this post.