No. 6 Michigan State 55, ?Penn State 16
Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes in his return from a shoulder injury, and host Michigan State wrapped up a spot in the Big Ten championship game with a rout of Penn State on Saturday.
The Spartans (11-1, 7-1) will play unbeaten Iowa for the conference title next weekend, with the winner in good position to advance to college football’s playoff.
Michigan State is No. 5 in the selection committee’s ranking.
The Spartans finished tied atop the Big Ten East with Ohio State, and Michigan State upset the Buckeyes last weekend with Cook on the sideline. The senior came back Saturday and was brilliant against Penn State (7-5, 4-4). Cook went 19-of-26 for 248 yards.
No. 17 Northwestern 24, ?Illinois 14
Justin Jackson rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown, and Northwestern beat host Illinois.
Freshman Clayton Thorson threw for 146 yards and a score as Northwestern (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 16 CFP) avenged last year’s 47-33 home loss to Illinois. It was the fifth consecutive win for the Wildcats, putting them in position for a Jan. 1 bowl game.
A few hours before Illinois (5-7, 2-6) took the field, the school announced interim coach Bill Cubit had agreed to a two-year contract. Cubit took over for the fired Tim Beckman right before the season started.
Wes Lunt threw for 241 yards and Ke’Shawn Vaughn had 62 yards on 12 carries, but the Illini lost for the sixth time in their last 10 meetings with the Wildcats.
Maryland 46, Rutgers 41
Brandon Ross scored on an 80-yard run with 4:40 to play and Maryland overcame a 21-point deficit to defeat host Rutgers in what might be Kyle Flood’s final game as the Scarlet Knights’ coach.
Ross ran for three touchdowns for the second straight game and Ty Johnson carried for two more as the Terrapins (3-9, 1-7 Big Ten) gave interim coach Mike Locksley his first win in six games and snapped an eight-game overall losing streak.
Ross’ go-ahead score came on the first play from scrimmage after Kyle Federico had put Rutgers ahead 41-39 with a 30-yard field goal with 4:57 to play.
Kenneth Goins Jr. had given Maryland its first lead at 39-39 with a 42-yard touchdown run with 8:43 to play.
Chris Laviano threw a career-best four touchdowns and Paul James ran for a touchdown for Rutgers (4-8, 1-7), which lost five of its final six games in a turbulent season that saw Flood suspended three games for trying to influence a player’s grade and six players dismissed for off-the-field problems.
Indiana 54, Purdue 36
Nate Sudfeld threw for four touchdowns and Devine Redding ran for a career-high 144 yards to help Indiana pull away from host Purdue and become bowl eligible for the first time in eight years.
The Hoosiers (6-6, 2-6) won the Old Oaken Bucket for the third straight time — their longest winning streak in the series since taking four straight from 1944-47.
Indiana did it by winning back-to-back road games for the first time since 2007 and back-to-back road games in league play for the first time since 1993.
Austin Appleby threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two scores, while Markell Jones rushed for 96 yards with a touchdown and broke Purdue’s single season rushing record by a freshman.
The Boilermakers (2-10, 1-7) lost their last four.
Indiana sealed the win with Sudfeld’s 72-yard touchdown pass to Andre Booker with 10:15 to go.
Wisconsin 31, ?Minnesota 21
Dare Ogunbowale rushed for a career-high 155 yards and a touchdown and Wisconsin beat host Minnesota for the 12th straight time.
Taiwan Deal rushed for 90 and two scores and Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) kept Paul Bunyan’s Axe, which goes to the winner of the most-played rivalry game in college football.
Mitch Leidner was just 16-for-37 for 223 yards with a touchdown, three interceptions and a fumble for Minnesota (5-7, 2-6), which hasn’t beaten its border rival since 2003. The Golden Gophers turned the ball over five times.
The Badgers rushed for 199 of their 257 yards in the first half against Minnesota.