Harbaugh wants to create better memory on this visit to Iowa
Some things to watch in the Big Ten in Week 11:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 2 Michigan at Iowa. The last time Michigan went to Iowa City as the No. 2-ranked team, in 1985, Jim Harbaugh was the quarterback and the then-No. 1 Hawkeyes dashed the Wolverines' national championship hopes with a 12-10 win. Harbaugh, now the Michigan coach, won't be facing an Iowa team of '85 vintage on Saturday. The Hawkeyes have lost three home games and were all but eliminated from the West Division race with last week's 41-14 loss at Penn State. But the Wolverines have lost three straight in Iowa City since last winning there in 2005, and this will be only the second game they've traveled outside the Great Lakes State.
Minnesota at No. 21 Nebraska. The Gophers can still make the Big Ten championship game, but only if they win their next three games. All are difficult. First up is a trip to Lincoln, where they won in 2014 after erasing a 10-point deficit in the third quarter. They'll be going against a Nebraska team still smarting from a 62-3 beat-down at Ohio State and with the status of quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. in doubt. Armstrong was going through a concussion protocol this week after getting knocked unconscious against the Buckeyes. If he can't play, Ryker Fyfe will make his second career start.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Wisconsin, which hosts Illinois, has won 10 of 11 against the Illini. That includes six straight, matching the longest streak by either team in series history. … Illinois' three quarterbacks have combined to throw three interceptions, ranking fourth in the FBS and tied for first in the Big Ten. … Nebraska has won 18 straight prime-time games in Lincoln since 2008. … Rutgers has 16 sacks in nine games to top last year's total of 12. … With 30 career TD passes, David Blough has passed Purdue greats Len Dawson (29) and Bob Griese (28).
Indiana is a 6 +-point underdog at home to No. 12 Penn State. The Hoosiers, who need one more win for bowl eligibility, face one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Nittany Lions have won five straight and remain alive in the East Division race, a game behind Michigan. They've averaged 555 yards and outscored their last two opponents (Purdue, Iowa) by a combined 103-38. The Hoosiers have recorded 10 sacks and 28 tackles for loss in their last three games. The defense faces a much more difficult task in trying to corral Big Ten rushing leader Saquon Barkley.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Michigan QB Wilton Speight is coming off the best game of his career, having completed nearly 80 percent of his passes and throwing for 362 yards against Maryland, including a school-record 292 in the first half. Iowa has given up 29 pass plays of 20 yards or longer, the third-worst mark in the conference. If Speight gets on a roll, the Wolverines will be hard to stop.
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