A quick look at Week 9 in the Big Ten

October, 21, 2008
10/21/08
6:05
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

All eyes will be on Ohio Stadium as it hosts a night game for the first time since 2005. Penn State-Ohio State is the main event this week, but there are four other games going on in the Big Ten.

Here's a look at what's on tap in Week 9.

No. 22 Northwestern (6-1, 2-1) at Indiana (2-5, 0-3)
The Wildcats try to eclipse their wins total from 2007 against struggling Indiana, which comes in on a five-game slide. Northwestern's offense turned in its best performance of the season against Purdue, and senior quarterback C.J. Bacher looks to continue the momentum against a vulnerable Hoosiers secondary. Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis is once again questionable with a high ankle sprain. Indiana has won three of its last four Homecoming games.

Illinois (4-3, 2-2) at Wisconsin (3-4, 0-4), ESPN2
Times are tough in Badger Land after four consecutive losses, including blowout defeats against Penn State and Iowa. With starting running back P.J. Hill (lower left leg) questionable and quarterback Dustin Sherer making his second career start, Wisconsin's defense will need to step up. Illinois quarterback Juice Williams and wide receiver Arrelious Benn have been dominant in Big Ten play. The Illini snapped Wisconsin's 14-game win streak last year in Champaign.

No. 24 Minnesota (6-1, 2-1) at Purdue (2-5, 0-3), ESPN Classic
Gophers coach Tim Brewster said the bye week came at a good time for his team, which was banged up after its big road win against Illinois. The bye has been a bugaboo for Big Ten teams so far, as only one team (Michigan) won following the week off. Minnesota is ranked for the first time in three years and faces a Purdue team on a four-game losing streak. The Boilers need a confidence boost and could get one from running back Kory Sheets, who has performed well despite the slide.

Michigan State (6-2, 3-1) at Michigan (2-5, 1-2), ABC
The Spartans looked a bit shell-shocked last week against Ohio State, suffering a humbling loss at home. They should have no trouble recharging for their No. 1 rival. Michigan has won six-straight games in the series, and if Michigan State can't get over the hump this year, it will be a major blow for Mark Dantonio's team. Spartans star running back Javon Ringer said he'd be embarrassed to go through his career without beating Michigan. The home team has captured 13 of the last 16 games in the series, and Michigan State hasn't won in Ann Arbor since 1990.

No. 3 Penn State (8-0, 4-0) at No. 9 Ohio State (7-1, 4-0), ABC
No shortage of storylines here as the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes meet with Big Ten title hopes and possibly national championship implications on the line. Penn State has never won in Columbus as a member of the Big Ten, while Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor faces his home-state school -- one of his many suitors during the recruiting process. The game features the Big Ten's top two defenses, two dynamic quarterbacks (Pryor and Daryll Clark), two talented running backs (Chris "Beanie" Wells and Evan Royster) and two successful coaches (Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno). Ohio State has won its last six Homecoming matchups.

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