We take a look around the Big Ten for the biggest news and storylines.
Between games every week, we’ll get you caught up on what’s happening in the Big Ten. Here are five storylines from across the conference to keep an eye on heading into Saturday’s contests.
Indiana (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten):
Hoosiers running back Morgan Ellison is back practicing with the team, according to head coach Tom Allen. Ellison was suspended indefinitely on Aug. 24 for undisclosed reasons. The sophomore’s 704 rushing yards led the team last season. It is still not clear if or when Ellison will be allowed to participate in games. Zach Osterman of the IndyStar summarized all the available information on Ellison and his situation.
Iowa (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten):
While the Hawkeyes’ loss to Wisconsin in week four was in all likelihood their biggest game of the season, Saturday’s matchup with Minnesota holds a different kind of significance for Kirk Ferentz’s team. Despite being the Badgers’ primary competition for the division title since the Big Ten was realigned, Iowa has failed to consistently win in dominating fashion the way Wisconsin does. Columnist Chad Leistikow looked at the importance of the Minnesota game in the larger context of where the Iowa football program wants to be moving forward.
Maryland (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
Interim head coach Matt Canada made reducing penalties the focus of his team’s bye week. The Terrapins have been flagged 37 times through four games and Nebraska is the only Big Ten team averaging more penalties than Maryland. Don Markus of The Baltimore Sun wrote about why discipline will be crucial for the Terrapins against Michigan on Saturday and the odd correlation between the team’s performance and the amount of penalties they commit.
Michigan State (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten)/Northwestern (1-3, 1-1 Big Ten):
The Wildcats have won the last two meetings in this series, including a 39-31 triple-overtime victory last season in Evanston. In that game, Northwestern negated Michigan State’s vaunted run defense through the short passing game. Detroit Free Press reporter Chris Solari wrote a piece about how the Wildcats’ recent success against the Spartans has created a blueprint for other teams to follow heading into Saturday’s contest in East Lansing.