Iowa (7-4, 5-3) Nebraska (3-8, 2-6)
Of course, this Black Friday game isn’t nearly as impressive as Michigan-Ohio State, but it highlights what has been a remarkable turnaround by Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes. Iowa will secure the West title and move back into the Big Ten championship game with a victory over the swooning Cornhuskers. Iowa has won four straight since opening conference play 1-3. Playing in the bottom league in the Power Five, the Hawkeyes have been able to offset one of the nation’s worst offenses by having a defense that ranks among the best.
Wisconsin enters Paul Bunyan’s Ax game against Minnesota and has won 26 of 31 games played with a traveling trophy on the line. …Penn State’s Nick Singleton (863) and Kaytron Allen (748) are the first pair of FBS freshmen running on the same team to rush over 700 yards apiece Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson (1,013) and Kevin Marks (845) in 2018 …. Of the three Big Ten quarterbacks with five 400-yard passing games since 2000, two are active – Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell. The third was the late Dwayne Haskins, who had all five of his in 2018 for Ohio State. … As of 2018, Nebraska’s .279 winning percentage in Big Ten games (12-31) is the second worst behind Rutgers’ .136 (6-38). Ohio State is first with .950 (38-2).
Indiana is a 10 1/2-point home underdog against Purdue, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The game for the Old Oaken Bucket is the Hoosiers’ bowl – unless they get to 5-7 and need to fill a bowl slot – and there’s nothing they want more than their rival’s hopes of getting to the conference championship game. going into the event Iowa loses to Nebraska on Friday. The Hoosiers have some mojo after a double-overtime win at Michigan State ended a seven-game losing streak.
Illinois RB Chase Brown is poised to add significantly to his nation-leading total of 1,582 rushing yards against a Northwest defense allowing for a Big Ten-worst 4.64 yards per carry. The Doak Walker semifinalist has averaged a Bowl Subdivision high of 28.1 carries per game and has had at least 29 in five of the last six games. The Illini have lost three in a row and to sneak into the Big Ten title game they need to win the Land of Lincoln Trophy and let Iowa and Purdue lose.
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