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Friday, December 03, 2021
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When millions of people are battling the contagious COVID-19, it is careless of the Big Ten to prioritize the return of college football without addressing the health and safety of their students.

Big Ten Outlook: Can Iowa withstand hostile College Park?

#5 Iowa vs. Maryland

In College Park, it’s a battle of unbeatens.

Unranked but unbeaten Maryland takes on No. 5 Iowa Friday night. Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has led the Terps to one of their best starts since joining the B1G. The Alabama transfer has thrown 10 touchdowns and only one interception, solidifying himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the B1G. Tagovailoa has nearly double the passing yards of Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras.

Despite their ranking, Iowa should not take playing Maryland away lightly. The Hawkeyes have two wins against overrated — and now unranked — teams in Indiana and Iowa State. While Maryland is not known for its football or as a particularly hostile opponent, don’t underestimate Maryland’s student section for big games. During B1G basketball, they can be brutal, belligerent and downright violent.

From chanting “cheesecake” every time overweight Purdue basketball player Caleb Swanigan touched the ball to allegedly throwing batteries at opposing fans, Maryland fans can be nasty. And that doesn’t include the riots after big wins. This year Maryland’s football student section has improved—the student section has been over capacity every game this year.

With Tagovailoa and home-field advantage, Maryland will upset a top 5 team. Iowa is only a 3 ½ point favorite in this game, a testament to just how good the Terps have been this year. It will be close, but the resurgent Terps will upset the Hawkeyes.

Prediction: Maryland 30, Iowa 24

Minnesota vs. Purdue

After falling to Bowling Green last week, the Gophers had their biggest upset of the P.J. Fleck era. Somehow Minnesota could not beat a team that lost to South Alabama two weeks prior. Since Minnesota lost Mo Ibrahim for the season, Minnesota’s offense just isn’t threatening. Quarterback Tanner Morgan has struggled, throwing for just 540 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions on the season.

Purdue, meanwhile, is led by quarterback Jack Plummer who has 840 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Boilermakers also have a sturdy defense, giving up barely 300 yards per game. If Bowling Green can hold Morgan to just five completions and 59 yards, expect this Purdue defense to shut down the Gophers — especially at home.

Purdue will win this game, and the Gophers will drop to below 500. The Gophers are an average team without Ibrahim and will likely have to rely on Morgan to win the game. If Morgan is not good enough to beat Bowling Green, he won’t beat Purdue.

Prediction: Purdue 27, Minnesota 10

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