Big Ten Conference Weekly Football Release for Week 11

11/8/2021

BIG TEN FOOTBALL RELEASE – WEEK 11 | STANDINGS | MEDIA GUIDE | SCHEDULE

• The College Football Playoff will release their top 25 rankings on Tuesday, Nov. 9. The Big Ten had six teams included in the CFP’s first rankings of the season which were released on Nov. 2. 

• Six Big Ten teams appear in the Associated Press Poll this week, highlighted by three of the top 10 teams in the country. Ohio State leads the conference at No. 6, followed by No. 8 Michigan State, No. 9 Michigan, No. 19 Iowa, No. 20 Wisconsin, and No. 23 Penn State. 

• The Big Ten (three teams) is the only conference with more than two teams in the top-10 of the AP Poll. 

• The Big Ten boasts four teams among the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense: Wisconsin (4th, 15.4 ppg), Iowa (5th, 15.7), Michigan (t-6th, 16.0), and Penn State (t-10th, 16.7). In terms of total defense, Wisconsin ranks first in the nation (213.8 ypg), Michigan is sixth (298.1), Minnesota is eighth (298.9) and Iowa is 10th (304.4).

• Additionally, the Big Ten has two teams in the top 10 in terms of rushing defense (No. 1 Wisconsin at 54.7 ypg, and No. 8 Iowa at 98.6 ypg) and four teams in the top 10 in terms of defensive passing efficiency: Iowa (4th, 101.98), Wisconsin (6th, 104.96), Penn State (8th, 107.58) and Michigan (10th, 111.47).

• Illinois defeated Minnesota on the road, 14-6, to earn the program’s first ever win over a team ranked in the College Football Playoff top 25. The Fighting Illini defense held the Golden Gophers to a season-low six points and has now held its last six opponents under 24 points, marking the longest such streak since 2002 (eight games). Offensively, Illinois was led by sophomore RB Chase Brown’s 150 yards.

• Iowa improved to 4-2 in conference play with a 17-12 win over Northwestern. The Hawkeyes were led on offense by sophomore QB Alex Padilla and junior RB Tyler Goodson. Padilla, who entered the game having attempted just 16 passes in his career, finished 18-for-28 for 172 yards. Goodson racked up 141 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries (6.7 avg.) and added three catches for 25 yards (8.3 avg.). Defensively, Iowa intercepted three passes — two by junior DB Dane Belton —  and limited the Wildcats to just 93 yards rushing on 31 attempts (3.0 ypc). The Hawkeyes defense leads the country this season in interceptions (19) and has registered 83 interceptions since 2017, more than any team in the nation. 

• Michigan earned a 29-7 win over Indiana to improve to 8-1 on the season and 5-1 in the Big Ten. Senior RB Hassan Haskins set a new career high with 168 yards on the ground, senior TE Luke Schoonmaker caught two touchdown passes, and junior WR Cornelius Johnson caught five passes for 108 yards. Schoonmaker’s two touchdowns marked the first multi-touchdown performance by a Wolverine tight end since Jake Butt’s two against UCF on Sept. 10, 2016. Junior LB David Ojabo registered a sack and a forced fumble, and now leads all Big Ten players in both categories (8.0 sacks and four forced fumbles). 

• Ohio State improved to 8-1 on the season and 6-0 in the Big Ten with a 26-17 win over Nebraska. The Buckeyes have now won 24 consecutive conference games and are the only team in the Big Ten with an undefeated record in conference play in 2021. Now in his fourth season has head coach of the Buckeyes, Ryan Day is 31-3 overall and 21-0 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes rank second in the nation in scoring offense (44.9 ppg), second in total offense (542.2) and fifth in team passing efficiency (175.02). The Buckeyes are one of just three teams in the nation to average more than 44 points per game this season. Additionally, Ohio State ranks fourth in the country in red zone offense (.947 pct.).

• Penn State picked up its third Big Ten win of the season with a 31-14 win at Maryland. Senior WR Jahan Dotson was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week after setting career highs in receptions (11) and receiving yards (242), while catching three touchdown passes. Dotson set a new Penn State record for receiving yards in a single game and became just the second FBS player this season to record 240-plus receiving yards and at least three touchdowns in a game. On the defensive side of the ball, the Nittany Lions limited Maryland to 48 rushing yards and held the Terrapins to 2-for-5 in the red zone. Senior S Ji’Ayir Brown earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording two takeaways, including a pick-six, and a team-high nine tackles (eight solo).

• Purdue defeated Michigan State, 40-29, to earn its second victory over an AP top-5-ranked team this season. Prior to Saturday’s win over then-No. 5 Michigan State, the Boilermakers defeated then-No. 2 Iowa on Oct. 16. The last time that Purdue beat two AP top-5 teams in the same season was 1960 when they defeated No. 3 Ohio State and No. 1 Minnesota. Dating back to 2018 when they knocked off No. 2 Ohio State, Purdue has won its last three games against top-5 opponents. Head coach Jeff Brohm is now 3-0 against top-five teams and 5-7 against teams ranked in the top 25.

• The Purdue offense was led by senior QB Aidan O’Connell who threw for a career-high 536 yards and three touchdown passes in the win. O’Connell was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week after registering the second-most completions in a game in Purdue history (40) and recording the highest single-game completion percentage (.741) by a Big Ten quarterback with at least 50 attempts since 2000 (according to College Football Reference). Junior WR David Bell led the team with 11 receptions for 217 yards, marking the fifth-highest single-game receiving yardage total in program history. 

• Wisconsin defeated Rutgers, 52-3, earning its sixth victory and becoming bowl-eligible for a 20th consecutive season. The Badgers boast the second-longest winning streak in the Big Ten (five games) and have earned four consecutive victories in conference play. The Badgers’ five-straight wins mark the program’s longest winning streak since starting the 2019 season 6-0. The last time Wisconsin scored more than 50 points in a conference game was 2014 when they defeated No. 11 Nebraska 59-24. 

• The Badgers rank No. 1 in the nation in total defense (213.8 ypg) and rushing defense (54.7 ypg). The Wisconsin run defense leads the No. 2-ranked run defense (Georgia, 80.7 ypg) by 26 yards per game. Wisconsin is surrendering just 7.4 points and 185.6 yards per game during its five-game win streak. Offensively, the Badgers are averaging 270.0 rushing yards per game over the last five games.

• Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin have all secured bowl eligibility by reaching six wins this season, while Maryland needs just one more win to become eligible. The Big Ten will continue to feature the largest bowl lineup in conference history.

• In 2021, the Big Ten has seen top-five single-game FBS rushing-yard performances from Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson (2nd, 270 vs. Tulsa), Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III (4th, 264 at Northwestern) and Illinois’ Chase Brown (5th, 257 vs. Charlotte). The Big Ten has three additional 200-plus-yard rushing performances this season: Walker III’s 233 yards at Rutgers on Oct. 9, Brown’s 223 yards at Penn State on Oct. 23, and Northwestern’s Evan Hull’s 216 yards vs. Ohio on Sept. 25.

• Additional top-five single-game FBS performances in the Big Ten include: Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell (2nd, 536 passing yards vs. Michigan State), Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (4th, 242 receiving yards at Maryland), Purdue’s David Bell (5th, 240 receiving yards at Iowa), Northwestern’s Brandon Joseph (4th, 111 punt return yards vs. Indiana State), Northwestern’s Chris Bergin (t-2nd, 19 tackles vs. Minnesota), Nebraska’s Luke Reimer (2nd, 19 tackles), and Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal (2nd, 5.5 tackles for loss).

• On October 10, for the first time in the history of the Associated Press college football poll (established in 1936), the Big Ten has five teams ranked in the top 10. Iowa leads the conference at No. 2, followed by No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, and No. 10 Michigan State.      

• The 2021 Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and will be televised nationally on FOX. The winner will earn the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and a chance to play in one of the six bowls that comprise the College Football Playoff, including the Rose Bowl Game.

COURTESY BIG TEN COMMUNICATIONS

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