WISCONSIN – CAMP RANDALL STADIUM

Madison, Wisconsin is an ideal college town highlighted by the state capitol and surrounding lakes – Mendota and Monona. It is home to Camp Randall Stadium, which is frequently regarded as one of the Big Ten’s wildest and most thrilling venues. Once a Civil War training site, this massive structure is crammed into a beautiful residential area among dorms, fraternity houses, campus buildings, and bars.

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NORTHWESTERN – RYAN FIELD

Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois is known as the “Wrigley Field” of college football. It doesn’t quite have the history of the Cubs, but it boasts a very classic and old-school stadium atmosphere. For a while now, NU has been calling themselves Chicago’s Big Ten Team. Attempts to market this slogan are popping up around the city, and the evidence is beginning to show with more rumps in the seats in Evanston – perhaps because Chicagoans are slowly realizing that Northwestern is no longer The Big Ten’s little brother.

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Game #339: #9 Penn State @ Northwestern

A summer of tumult in Evanston set the football program on shaky ground. Hazing allegations resulted in the ousting of legendary head coach, Pat Fitzgerald and the hiring of interim coach, David Braun. However, the Wildcats have already exceeded expectations. After suffering a 12-game losing streak, Northwestern has notched impressive victories over UTEP and Minnesota. But, highly ranked Penn State stood as a formidable obstacle on this Saturday.

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Game #332: Buffalo @ #19 Wisconsin

The Luke Fickell era.

Anticipation for the new coaching regime has been palpable between Lakes Mendota and Monona. Coach Chryst’s firing last October sent seismic blasts through Wisconsin’s fan base. While shocking at first, the understanding that the Badgers have the potential to be elite is evident. But, the run-heavy philosophy of previous coaches needed tweaking, and Fickell was ready to install the air raid offense – a cultural shift saturated in intrigue.

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Game 326: #2 Ohio State @ Northwestern

Blustery conditions in Evanston became the best defense for Northwestern. It stifled the Buckeye passing game. The Wildcats took advantage of the home weather and with the wind behind their backs, they managed to score first thus stunning every onlooker. Along with struggles in the passing game, Ohio State also stumbled when working to move the ball on the ground. The 21-7 Buckeye victory urged many critics to ask the question, “What’s wrong with Ohio State?” 
The answer is – nothing. The question is flawed because the Buckeyes are unfairly being compared to the juggernaut that they have created. 

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PENN STATE – BEAVER STADIUM

Friendliness comes to mind when mentioning Penn State and Beaver Stadium. Happy Valley is a joyous place for the home team, and outside of a few conference rivals, it’s a welcoming spot for visiting fans, as well. Perhaps it’s because Nittany Lion fans know that wherever these fans came from, they must have traveled a tremendous distance. State College, Pennsylvania is hidden in a valley amongst the Allegheny Mountains and the famous Mount Nittany. Lion fans arrive days before kickoff parking their RVs in the many open grass lots around the 100,000+ seat arena. Tailgating at Penn State is tops in the Big Ten conference. Fans start early and celebrate late.

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Game 325: Minnesota @ #14 Penn State

Known as the greatest show in sports, the white out at Penn State is a dizzying display of school spirit. Typically, invites are reserved for traditional powerhouses such as Michigan or Ohio State. On this night, Minnesota would be making its first trip into the lion’s den for the famed white out. As it often has in the past, the decibels reached such deafening digits in Beaver Stadium that the Gophers were unable to get the snap off on their first offensive possession. Being forced to function with a backup quarterback set the Gophers with an additional disadvantage.

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Game 322: Wisconsin @ Northwestern

A week of turmoil ended blissfully for the Badgers, while Northwestern has now found themselves in a free fall.

In a stunning move six days prior to this game, the Badgers fired their successful head coach, Paul Chryst. Overall, Wisconsin has maintained a strong level of winning consistency. However, victories in the critical games have been a daunting hurdle, such as Big Ten title games or regular season games against Ohio State. When former Wisconsin head coach, Bret Bielema, brought his Illini into Camp Randall and decimated the Badgers, that became the final nail. Paul Chryst was on the chopping block.

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Game 319: New Mexico State @ Wisconsin

Washington State’s upset over Wisconsin last weekend exposed the Badgers and their predictable rushing-based offense. Four-star QB recruit, Graham Mertz, seemed to only have one or two stars lit on the field. Overall, the defense played well, but the offense had many errors to correct, especially when it came to fundamental execution. While this outcome was phenomenal for the visiting Cougars, it was probably the worst case scenario for this week’s opponent, the New Mexico State Aggies. Wisconsin would come out well-practiced and angry. The Aggies were the punching bag.

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