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It’s a B1G Weekend

The Big Ten is far from a power conference this season, with a less than impressive beginning to the season but this weekend features three key matchups that will play a major role in who gets the trip to Indianapolis in December, and maybe even the opportunity at the first NCAA college football playoffs.


Ohio State (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at Maryland (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

The decision of Maryland joining the Big Ten has faced its share of criticism but so far, the Terps have been impressing more than expected with a solid win against Indiana last week. This weekend vs. Ohio State, the Terps are going to have an opportunity to really make a statement against a traditional Big Ten powerhouse. This is Maryland’s first Big Ten conference game. The atmosphere in Byrd Stadium will undoubtedly be nothing like Maryland is used to.

To be successful, the Terps They will need to capitalize on the fact that redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett fell apart earlier this season against Virginia Tech. With Maryland’s defense allowing only 332 yards against Indiana’s offense, the pressure will be on Barrett to make quick plays. Ohio State is going to need to watch out for wide receiver Stephon Diggs, who despite being out half of last season, still earned All-ACC honorable mention honors.


Nebraska (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at Michigan State (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

This is the matchup of the season so far in the Big Ten. Nebraska is undefeated and Michigan State is the defending Big Ten Champions. Michigan State played a tough game against Oregon earlier this season but beating Nebraska could put them back in the race for the playoffs. Nebraska is the only team in the Big Ten that is undefeated. Last year, Michigan State beat Nebraska 41-28 to help seal their path to the Big Ten Championship. With that taste still in their mouth, the Cornhuskers are looking to beat their first top ten opponent on the road since 1997 against Washington.

This is going to be an awesome match up of a great defense vs. a solid offense and will probably come down to last man standing – this is a crucial match up for the Big Ten in proving that they can be a conference that deserves a spot in the playoff discussions. This is a game about much more than the Huskers and the Spartans.


Rutgers (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten) at Michigan (2-3, 0-1 Big Ten)

Michigan is seriously going through a rough time. Gardner is going through a rough time. He is a long way away from his outstanding performance the lead the Wolverines to beat Notre Dame. With Rutgers co-leading the country with 21 sacks, Hoke and the offensive line need to be able to protect Gardner to even give him a chance to return to his better days. Ten players on Rutgers roster have registered a sack in the past five games.

Some of the bigger questions in this game:

Can Michigan leave the off the field drama behind them and focus? Will Rutgers be able to capitalize on the opportunity that Michigan might be playing distracted?

In Rutgers first Big Ten match up against Penn State, the Nittany Lions were able to win on the road but not until the final two minutes of the game – a heartbreaker for Rutgers. Earlier this season, anyone would’ve predicted that this game would be an easy Michigan win but Rutgers has so far proved that they won’t be rolled over that easily in the Big Ten.

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