look at what to watch for in the Big Ten this weekend:
OF THE WEEK: Seventh-ranked Ohio State strives to keep
alive its bid to reach the College Football Playoff in a
matchup against Michigan.
Buckeyes (10-1, 7-0, No. 6 CFP) are heavy favorites over
the Wolverines (5-6, 3-4), who couldn't come up with a
better way to become bowl eligible than by defeating their
State's offense relies heavily upon freshman quarterback
J.T. Barrett, whose 42 touchdowns (33 passing, nine
rushing) match the Big Ten record set by Drew Brees with
Purdue in 1998.
pretty powerful stuff," Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer
the Wolverines to pull off a huge upset, they must hold
onto the football. Michigan ranks last in the Big Ten with
a minus-14 turnover differential.
you boil it down to one thing, there's no question we
haven't done as good a job as we like taking care of the
football," embattled coach Brady Hoke said.
MATCHUP: Wisconsin hosts Minnesota in a game that will
determine Ohio State's opponent in the Big Ten title game.
(9-2, 6-1) has already clinched at least a tie atop the
West Division. But Minnesota (8-3, 5-2) will win the
tiebreaker with a victory.
a lot to play for, without question, and you put the
rivalry game on top of it," Badgers coach Gary
Andersen said. "Fun spot to be in for both
200 yards rushing against Iowa last week, Wisconsin
running back Melvin Gordon matched the Big Ten and school
records for most in a season (2,109 by Ron Dayne in 1996).
probably doesn't stand a chance if it can't collar Gordon.
THE NUMBERS: Nine conference teams are already bowl
eligible. Michigan, Northwestern and Illinois will attempt
to join the list with wins on Saturday. ... Ohio State
seeks to extend its Big Ten-record conference winning
streak to 24. ... Maryland's Brad Craddock has made 23
straight field goals, one short of the Big Ten record set
by Mike Nugent of Ohio State from 2001-02. ... Rutgers QB
Gary Nova is second nationally in passing yards per
SHOT: Penn State hopes home-field advantage and a stout
run defense will add up to an upset of Michigan State.
State (6-5, 2-5) leads the nation and the Big Ten in
rushing defense (81.7 yards per game) and ranks second in
the conference in total defense (267.2).
Michigan State (9-2, 6-1) leads the conference in total
offense, and senior Jeremy Langford has rushed for 1,242
yards and 17 touchdowns.
Nittany Lions have won two of the last three in the
for Penn State, the Spartans did not experience a letdown
after losing to Ohio State on Nov. 8. Since then, they've
defeated Maryland and Rutgers by a combined 82-18 score.
TO WATCH: Maryland QB C.J. Brown, a sixth-year senior,
plays his final home game against Rutgers. Brown has
already been part of a school-record 54 touchdowns and is
516 yards shy of the total offense mark. He faces a
Scarlet Knights team that allowed 45 points at Michigan
State last weekend.