B1G Week Two Review

Well it was almost a perfect weekend for the B1G this past weekend, as the conference went 11-1 in their games. Who came up short? Who was the biggest surprise? Let’s take a look:

Penn State 45 Eastern Michigan 7

This game was actually still close at halftime, as Penn State only led 17-7. But Eastern Michigan really never had a chance and Penn State was in control the whole way. It was a great tune-up game for the Nittany Lions, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Freshman Christian Hackenberg threw for 311 yards and a touchdown, which was a 45 yard bomb to dynamic wide receiver Allen Robinson. The offense also rushed for 251 total yards, 216 which came from Akeel Lynch and Bill Belton.

Michigan State 21 South Florida 6

Well the Spartans were once again awful on offense. And it didn’t matter who they put at quarterback. Michigan State tried out three different quarterbacks in this game: Andrew Maxwell, Connor Cook and Tyler O’Conner. Combined they threw for only 94 yards and completed 12 of 24 passes. The running game wasn’t much better, as the Spartans only rushed for 171 yards total (a far cry from the Le’Veon Bell days). As horrible as the offense has been for Michigan State, that’s how good their defense has played. On Saturday, the player that stood out for the Spartan defense was Shilique Calhoun. Calhoun returned a fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter and had a 56 yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter. So I guess this makes Calhoun the biggest offensive threat on the team.

Iowa 28 Missouri State 14

The Hawkeyes got their first win of the season, although it probably didn’t feel like it at times. By no means it was a blowout, but Iowa pulled off a solid win. The offense had nearly 500 yards total and got a good game out of quarterback Jake Rudock (193 yards passing and two rush touchdowns). The real star for Iowa is running back Mark Weisman, who rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns. If Iowa wants to at least reach a bowl this season, it’s going to ride on the legs of Weisman.

Illinois 45 Cincinnati 17

I’m sorry Illinois. I was wrong! You proved everyone wrong on Saturday. I predicted this game was going to be a slaughter, but in favor of Cincinnati. Instead the Fighting Illini turned the tables and pretty much had their way with the Bearcats. The only time it was really close was early in the fourth when it appeared Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux scored a rushing touchdown to bring the game within five. But as he crossed the goal line he was fumbling the ball. Officials reviewed it and controversially overturned the touchdown, giving Illinois the ball back. But don’t let that overshadow a great victory by Illinois. I also have to note the fantastic game by Nathan Scheelhaase. His stat line: 26 of 37, 312 passing yards, four touchdown and zero interceptions. Watch out B1G.

Purdue 20 Indiana State 14

Purdue played like Purdue. They got out to a solid lead, but then decided to let Indiana State comeback and almost win. That best sums up this game. I actually predicted the Sycamores would get the upset, but they fell just short as they tried to drive down the field late and score. Indiana State still out gained Purdue, despite the loss (295-284). I don’t see great things happening for Purdue in the B1G.

Wisconsin 48 Tennessee Tech 0

Congrats on beating another high school team, Wisconsin! I look forward to you playing a formidable foe, which comes this weekend. Not much to report here. Wisconsin had another game with three 100 yard rushers and Joel Stave threw for three touchdowns.

Indiana 35 Navy 41

Indiana was the only B1G team to taste defeat, costing the conference a perfect weekend. As I expected, this game was a shootout and came down to the very end. The Hoosiers though, didn’t have an answer for the Midshipmen’s high-octane triple option offense. Navy rushed for 444 yards, including 127 yards from quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort. I think both teams can make it to bowls and I’ll be curious to see how these two teams play from here on out.

Nebraska 56 Southern Miss 13

Nebraska looked much better in this game. Granted the opponent was Southern Miss, who has now lost 14 straight games, but it’s a start for the Cornhuskers. The Black Shirts picked off Southern Miss quarterbacks four times and held their running game to 62 yards. The offense was good for them too, as Taylor Martinez had over 200 totals yards and three touchdowns. Ameer Abdullah added 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. It’s a good thing Nebraska played well against the Golden Eagles too because they have UCLA next weekend.

Northwestern 48 Syracuse 27

So much for this being a repeat of their 2012 match-up. Northwestern came out firing on all cylinders and made sure this game was never even close. The Wildcats looked great all-around. The defense forced Syracuse quarterback Drew Allen into throwing four interceptions. The offense had a balanced attack, with 375 passing yards and 206 rushing yards (despite the absence of Venric Mark). Senior quarterbacks Trevor Siemian (259 yards, 3 TD) and Kain Colter (203 total yards and 2 TD) paced the offense. Wide receiver Tony Jones also had a great game, catching nine passes for 185 yards and a touchdown.

Minnesota 44 New Mexico State 21

Out of all of the B1G games this past weekend, you were most likely to forget about this one. The Golden Gophers actually got an easy win. Shocking, right? Minnesota dealt with the Aggies easily, thanks to a stout rushing attack and another great defensive performance. Gophers’ running back Rodrick Williams Jr. carried the ball 16 times for 148 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Philip Nelson rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown (127 passing yards).

Michigan 41 Notre Dame 30

There was a lot of hype surrounding this game coming in, as there is every year. And it was a typical UM-ND game. But it wasn’t as chaotic as I thought it would be. Michigan seemed in control for much of the game and kept the Fighting Irish in-check throughout. The Wolverine offense impressed me with their performance, especially quarterback Devin Gardner. Gardner was 21 of 33 for 294 yards and four touchdowns, while also adding 82 yards and a touchdown on the ground. (Side note: Gardner is now wearing #98 to honor Michigan legend Tom Harmon. It’s great to see a legendary player get honored, but I don’t know about that number. Only Michigan..) The other standout performer for Michigan was wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, who took his game to another level. Gallon caught eight passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns. For Notre Dame, Tommy Rees had a very similar game to the one he had two years ago against Michigan, throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, but also two interceptions again. I said this game would come down to the better quarterback and Gardner was clearly better.

Be sure to check back Thursday as I take a look at the week three schedule!

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