Big Ten Weekly Football Update

With just four weekends remaining in the regular season, 13 Big Ten teams will take the field this week. The action opens on Saturday at noon ET and features six conference games and four divisional matches …
• Michigan stands atop the East Division standings with a 5-0 record, with Ohio State close behind at 4-1 in conference play. Maryland, Michigan State and Penn State are all tied for third place at 3-2. The Wolverines host Penn State on Saturday, while the Buckeyes welcome Nebraska …
• Northwestern leads the West Division with a 5-1 Big Ten record, followed by Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin at 3-2. The Wildcats welcome Notre Dame on Saturday, while the Hawkeyes visit the Boilermakers and the Badgers host Rutgers …
• The Big Ten features three programs that rank among the top 10 nationally in scoring margin. Michigan leads the conference and ranks sixth nationally, outscoring its opponents by an average of 21.6 points per contest. Ohio State follows in eighth nationally at +20.1 points per game, while Penn State is 10th at +18.8 points per contest …
• Maryland sophomore running back Javon Leake became the first individual to earn both Big Ten Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week honors in the same week. Leake rushed five times for 140 yards and three touchdowns and added three kickoff returns for 134 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown …
• Two freshmen quarterbacks made their first career starts in record fashion last weekend. Michigan State’s Rocky Lombardi completed 26 of 46 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns against Purdue in his first career start, recording the second-most passing yards by a Spartan quarterback making his first career start, trailing only Ed Smith’s 324 yards against North Carolina State in 1976 …
• Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan made his first career start at quarterback on Saturday, throwing for 302 yards and three touchdowns while completing 70.8 percent of his passes (17 for 24). He notched the fourth-most passing yards by a Minnesota freshman quarterback since 1980 and the most since Adam Weber had 352 passing yards against Wisconsin in 2007 …
•Michigan’s Devin Bush, Purdue’s Markus Bailey and Wisconsin’s Ryan Connelly are among 10 semifinalists for the 34th annual Butkus Award (presented to the nation’s best linebackers), while Michigan’s Karan Higdon, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, Purdue’s Rondale Moore and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor highlight 20 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award (honoring the nation’s top collegiate player). Michigan’s Chase Winovich and Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones are part of 20 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, given to the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year …
• Four Big Ten schools – Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State - have clinched bowl berths by reaching six victories on the season. Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin can join that group with their next win. The Big Ten will continue to feature the largest bowl lineup in conference history …