Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Big Ten Football Weekly Release

• Conference action continues this week, with five Big Ten contests highlighted by a pair of divisional matchups. Action kicks off on Saturday afternoon when Penn State travels to Northwestern. Ohio State and Wisconsin will enjoy byes this week, with the complete schedule appearing to the right.

• Three Big Ten teams appear in the AP Poll this week. Michigan leads the conference at No. 2, followed by No. 4 Ohio State and No. 6 Penn State. Maryland and Wisconsin are both receiving votes.

• Four Big Ten teams remain undefeated on the season, as Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State are all 4-0.

• Penn State currently ranks among the top 15 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 nationally in scoring defense (8.8 points per game), while ranking 15th in scoring offense (40.5 points per game).

• Four additional Big Ten teams rank in the top 20 in terms of scoring defense: Michigan (1st, 2.25 points per game), Ohio State (2nd, 8.5 points per game), Maryland (11th, 12.2 points per game) and Rutgers (19th, 15.2 points per game).

• Ohio State scored on its final play of the game with one second left to rally past No. 9 Notre Dame, 17-14, on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. DeaMonte Trayanum scored on a 1-yard run on Ohio State’s final play from scrimmage to culminate a 15-play, 65-yard drive to overcome a 14-10 Ohio State fourth quarter deficit. The Buckeyes have won 12 of their last 13 road games against ranked teams and five of their last six on the road against AP Top 10 teams.

• Penn State Football registered a 31-0 victory against Iowa on Saturday evening in front of the second-largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history. The shutout marked the first for the Nittany Lions against an AP Top 25 team since the 1999 Alamo Bowl against No. 18 Texas A&M (24-0). Penn State scored 30 points for the 11th consecutive game, the second-longest streak in program history and the longest active in FBS. Quarterback Drew Allar completed 25-of-37 passes for 166 yards and a career-best four touchdowns, as Penn State became the only team in the FBS who has not turned the ball over this year.

• Northwestern overcame a 21-point fourth quarter deficit, marking their largest comeback since defeating Indiana in 2009 after trailing by 25, on Saturday with a 37-34 overtime victory against Minnesota. Wildcats’ wide receiver Bryce Kirtz posted 10 receptions, 215 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the win, posting career-highs in every receiving statistical category, including scoring the first two touchdowns of his career.

• Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy completed 15-of-21 attempts for 214 yards and a touchdown on Saturday against Rutgers, his 10th career game over 200 passing yards. He added 51 rushing yards on seven carries. The junior entered the top 10 all-time in passing touchdowns at Michigan with his performance, reaching 35 for his career and tying Tom Brady at 10th.

• With a 31-7 victory against the Scarlet Knights, the Wolverines have won 19 straight games at home dating back to 2021. It is the longest home winning streak under head coach Jim Harbaugh and the program’s best since a 21-game winning streak from 1998-2001 under coach Lloyd Carr. Michigan also resumed its conference winning streak and extended it to 16 straight games, matching the program’s longest since a 16-game stretch from 1996-98 under Carr.

• The 2023 campaign will feature 99 All-Big Ten honorees (first-, second-, third-team or honorable mention) selected by either the coaches or the media last season, with Ohio State leading the way with 16 all-conference returnees. The East Division welcomes back 56 all-conference players, while the West returns 43. Illinois is the only West team with double-digit all-conference returnees with 10, while each team has at least one All-Big Ten performer returning.

• The Big Ten finished last season with three teams ranked in the AP Top 25, tying for the third-most of any conference. All three teams finished in the Top 10, marking the second straight year that the conference had three top 10 teams at the end of the season. The 2023 AP Preseason Poll also featured five Big Ten teams in No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State, No. 19 Wisconsin, and No. 25 Iowa, while Illinois and Minnesota are both receiving votes.

• Last season, the Big Ten posted the fifth-highest single-season attendance total in conference history with 6,333,196 fans attending home games. Excluding 2020, this marked the ninth consecutive season and 10th time in 11 seasons that more than six million fans have attended Big Ten home football games.

• This season’s Playoff Semifinals will take place Monday, January 1, 2024, at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl. Houston will host the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, January 8, 2024, at NRG Stadium. The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game.


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