Big Ten Recap Week 3
The College Football season entered its third week this past weekend, and it was a wild one. Ten of the eleven teams in the Big Ten played this past weekend, and it was a fairly successful weekend for the Conference as a whole.
The Recap will be held in what the Big Ten rankings should look like in my opinion.
We'll start off with the Nitanny Lions...
#5 Penn State vs. Temple
The Nitanny Lions played their 36th game against the Owls under Joe Paterno, and like the 35 previous meetings it was a Penn State victory.
Penn State improved to 3 - 0 on the year, and continued to look good on both sides of the ball. Evan Royster compiled his seventh 100 yard rushing game of his career, and the first of the season. Daryll Clark continued to put up good numbers, while managing the game as good as any quarterback in the country.
Penn State went on to win the game with a final score of
Penn State's defense has held it's first three opponents to under seven points, a feat that hasn't been done at Penn State since 1996.
Penn State has also been fighting illness throughout the team, and hopes to be all well before Iowa rolls into town on Saturday.
#11 Ohio State at Toledo
Ohio State looked to rebound after a heartbreaking loss to USC, and they did just that. The Buckeyes looked very impressive on both sides of the ball as Tressel opened the playbook a bit, and the defense held a prolific Toledo offense to zero points. Terrelle Pryor threw a 76 yard bomb on the opening drive and Ohio State didn't look back en route to a 38-0 victory.
Sazenbacher continued to make big plays, and Pryor made plays through the air and on the ground with his feet.
Dan Herron, Brandon Saine, and Jordan Hall all ran for decent yardage.
Jordan Hall who was Pryor's teammate in highschool looked explosive for a freshman and made a case for more playing time.
The defense continued to look great, and didn't let Toledo into Ohio State territory for the whole first half.
The Game against Illinois should be a fun one to watch, as the defense of Ohio State looks to shutdown Illinois and it's offensive fireworks.
Iowa vs. Arizona
Iowa looked to prove itself after an impressive win against instate Rival Iowa State. The Arizona Wildcats came in undefeated under Coach Mike Stoops and looked to gain credibility for the Pac 10 Conference. Iowa would have no part of that as they took control from the first drive of the game, and played physical defense the entire game.
Stanzi managed the game well enough for a 10 point victory, and Adam Robinson tried to make Hawkeye fans forget about Jewel Hampton's injury while putting up 101 yards and two touchdowns.
A very solid win for Iowa and the Big Ten Conference as Iowa won
Iowa travels to Penn State for a ESPN College Gameday Experience, and a Night game in Happy Valley. It should be a great one.
#25 Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan
Michigan welcomed Eastern Michigan to the Big House and wanted to prove that it was deserving of its 25th ranking. In a tightly contested first half there was no shortage of offense for either team. Tate Forcier didn't do much during the game, and was even injured for a short time. Instead the Michigan rushing attack stepped up as Carlos Brown rushed for a career high 187 yards, and the 3rd longest run in Michigan history, a 90 yard touchdown run.
After halftime the Wolverine's defense got it together and UofM outscored the Eagles 21-0. Denard Robinson also was a factor as he ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Michigan totaled its win count from last year.
#23 Michigan opens up Big Ten play against Indiana this weekend.
Minnesota vs. #8 California
The Gophers looked to defend TCF Bank Stadium in its inaugural season, however Jahvid Best had a different idea. His idea was more on the lines of 5 rushing touchdowns and single handedly beating Minnesota. After going down 14-0 the Gophers mounted a drive capped by a 26 yard picture perfect grab by Eric Decker for a momentum grasping touchdown. Decker would go on to catch another touchdown with 46 seconds before halftime to make it 21-14, and would throw for a touchdown to MarQueis Gray.
It would stay tied at 21-21, but the Gophers couldn't capitalize on any of their defensive stops. The Bears would take the lead with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter, and Adam Weber threw his first interception of the season at the worst time possible.
The #8 Cal Bears went on to win 28-14.
The score is indicative of how close the game actually was, and if their is such thing as a moral victory the Gophers definitely got one in this game.
The Gophers (2-1) look to rebound against Northwestern, and to get some revenge for the meltdown in the Metrodome that occurred last year.
Wisconsin vs. Wofford
Wisconsin looked to prove that they could infact blow out a team when they welcomed Wofford into Camp Randall Stadium. After a duel that lasted 2 overtimes with Fresno State Badger fan's were longing for a game that wasn't quite so close. I haven't watched Wisconsin too much this year besides the Fresno State game, but what I saw from the Badgers today was impressive. They are definitely a classic example of Wisconsin football, and they have the runningback core to take care of buisness. Zach Brown rushed for 2 touchdowns, Clay added 70 yards, and Curt Phillips the freshman quarterback added 92 yards with only four carries.
The special teams also came up big with a blocked punt for a touchdown.
I wasn't too impressed with Wisconsin in their first two wins, but this game showed me that they have a lot of talent and could put together a pretty successful season if they band together.
Wisconsin rushed their way to a 44-14 win over Wofford and improved to 3-0 on the season.
They play Michigan State next week.
Michigan State at Notre Dame
Michigan State traveled to South Bend where they had won the previous six meetings, but Notre Dame snapped the streak.
Both team's offenses looked good, and Michigan State's turnovers killed them in the end.
Michigan State had looked to bounce back after they let the game slip away from them against CMU. Michigan State played both quarterbacks and Kirk Cousins got a majority of the playing time. Caper led MSU in rushing with 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Michigan State was about to pull a repeat of last week on Notre Dame as they were driving down the field with one minute left. Unfortunately for the Spartans they threw a game clinching interception to the Irish on Notre Dame's 4 yard line. The Irish went on to win the game 33-30.
Mark Dantonio will have to keep his team focused if he wants MSU to avoid a season collapse comparable to John L. Smith's teams. Michigan State travels to Camp Randall Stadium to play Wisconsin this weekend.
Illinois (BYE WEEK)
Illinois had a bye week, and is coming off a 45-17 win over Illinois State.
They will travel to Columbus for a game against the Buckeyes who will be looking for revenge for the last time the Illini came to the Horseshoe.
Northwestern at Syracuse
Northwestern went to the Carrier Dome and came out a loser in an offensive shootout. Neither team had trouble scoring points, which is surprising with all the defensive talent Northwestern returned, boasting one of the best secondaries in the nation. Mike Kafka looked like a more mobile version of Bacher as he threw for 390 yards, 3 touchdowns, and rushed for a touchdown.
Northwestern's rushing attack has taken a major hit though with the loss of Sutton. They had only 52 yards on the ground.
In a game that would be decided with whichever team got the ball last Northwestern lost the battle. Syracuse hit a 41 yard field goal with no time remaining to win 37-34.
Pat Fitzgerald has to get the Wildcats ready to play Minnesota in a rematch of last years instant classic in the Metrodome.
Indiana at Akron
One of the biggest surprises from the Big Ten this year has been Indiana.
Yeah, I know they haven't played anyone but after their struggle in game one against Eastern Kentucky I didn't expect them to win another game.
Indiana fired on all cylinders starting from the opening kickoff as Ray Fisher returned it 91 yards for a touchdown.
Defense played a big role for the Hoosiers as they had four interceptions, two of which were hauled in by Austin Thomas.
The Hoosier's offensive attack was distributed pretty even as they had 175 passing yards, accompanied by 180 rushing yards.
The Hoosiers went on to win the game 38-21 with Akron scoring a touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game.
Ben Chappell looks to lead his undefeated Hoosiers into the Big House for an upset against #23 Michigan this weekend.
It's time to see if these Hoosiers are forreal.
Purdue vs. Northern Illinois
Purdue came into the contest with Northern Illinois after a tough loss to Oregon in Autzen. The offense looked prolific against Oregon but seemed to stutter against Northern Illinois.
Northern Illinois hadn't beaten a Big Ten team in 21 years, but came into West Lafayette on a mission. The Huskies put 454 total yards up on the weak Boilermaker defense.
Purdue came out of the locker room stale and it showed as they were down 21-7 at halftime. They mounted a comeback only to come up short as NIU went for it on 4th and one from there own 15 yard line and converted.
The final play was wild and filled with laterals that came up short when a Boilermaker fumbled.
Purdue lost 28-21 and fell to 1-2 on the season.
One surprise from this game was the mobility of Joey Elliot who rushed for two touchdowns, one of which was a 58 yard scamper to the endzone.
The Boilermaker's are going to have to get it together or their season could potentially fall apart.
Purdue will be tested by Notre Dame as they come to West Lafayette this weekend. Hopefully their offense will show up and score an upset, or the Boilermakers could be 1-3 and in real trouble.