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Big Ten Football Roundup: Really, Big Ten?

Way to stink up the joint, guys.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois 42, Western Kentucky 34

The Fighting Illini were actually down by ten points in the second quarter and down by six with two minutes to go in the third. Although Wes Lunt's 456 yards through the air is enviable, the Illinois ground game wasn't able to muster more than 64 yards. With Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young combining for 79 yards, it looks as though it's going to be passing game or bust in Champaign.

Nebraska 31, McNeese State 24

McNeese State had the game tied up with just 4:21 to go in the fourth quarter, and it looked as though they were going to pull off the upset bid. In spite of a rough outing by Nebraska's Tommy Armstrong, Jr. he connected with Jordan Westerkamp for one hell of a play that was ultimately called back for a lineman downfield. However, after a stalled McNeese State drive that could have given them the lead, Armstrong hit Ameer Abdullah for a 58 yard touchdown to take the lead for reals. Giving the ball to the Cowboys one last time, Nebraska's Corey Cooper intercepted Tyler Bolfing to sweat out the win.

Penn State 21, Akron 3

Hey, look, a game that wasn't in question! That's how a Big Ten team should handle Akron. Or is it? It seems like a nice little blowout on the surface, but you'd think that a Big Ten team should beat Akron by more than 18 points, right? Christian Hackenberg had a good outing with 319 yards on 22 completions for an 8.9 average, but two interceptions. Hmm. The run game just wasn't there for the Lions, though; just 106 yards.

Purdue 17, Central Michigan 38

I'm just going to let that score sit there and speak for itself.

Rutgers 38, Howard 25

We shouldn't anoint anyone as anything too early, but 2-0 is 2-0. Gary Nova has been very solid in this young season, passing for 563 yards, 6 TDs, and only 1 INT. Four of his touchdowns came in this game against Howard. "But, Peter, look at that score!" you may be saying. It looks pretty close until you see that Rutgers was up 31-7 going into halftime; they had the game in hand, so Howard scoring some points isn't that big of a deal. Plus, it was Howard.

Wisconsin 37, Western Illinois 3

After pissing away a lead against LSU during week one, Wisconsin took their frustrations out on the Leathernecks, but not until the second half. The Badgers held a slim 9-3 lead going into the break due to the vaunted UW running backs just not being able to get through the Western Illinois defense. Corey Clement was the team's leading rusher with a measly 57 yards, while Melvin Gordon could muster only 38. It was Tanner McEvoy who did the scoring for Wisconsin by getting one on the ground and three through the air.

Northwestern 15, Northern Illinois 23

This was the first win in eight tries for the Huskies over the Wildcats. Come on, Northwestern, I know you had a really weird season last year, but that's no excuse for losing to...You know what, I'm not going to do this. Northern Illinois has been a very good football program that has taken advantage of Big Ten teams--5-3 in the last five years--and the way the conference played last weekend, we could use a team like NIU in the Big Ten.

Minnesota 35, Middle Tennessee 24

The final really wasn't as close as it appears. After going up 35-10, Minnesota did take their foot off the gas a little bit, but not soon enough, as Mitch Leidner suffered some sort of knee injury toward the end, and it appears as though it may be and MCL strain. The game for Minnesota, though, really belonged to the Big Ten's co-offensive player of the week: David Cobb. Cobb had 220 yards on 29 carries for a 7.6 ypc average and two touchdowns. The guy is legit.

Iowa 17, Ball State 13

The Hawkeyes were down 13-3 in the third quarter, but scored twice in the fourth to pull ahead and win. Frickin' Iowa! Quarterback Jake Rudock hit a career high 322 yards on 33 completions, but only the two touchdowns means that Iowa football is alive and kicking.

Maryland 24, South Florida 17

In yet another example of the maligned new member getting a win, Maryland came from three points down to beat the Bulls. Don't get too excited about this win, though--six turnovers (four lost fumbles and two interceptions) mean that this was one lucky day for the Terrapins.

Michigan State 27, Oregon 46

Which emotion was going to win out: Big Ten pride or schadenfreude? Given the way the Michigan game was going at the same time, schadenfreude won out, because when things go poorly for the Wolverines, I don't want anyone to have nice things. The Spartans controlled much of this game and looked as though they were going to pull off a huge one in Autzen. After going up 27-18, Michigan State allowed Oregon's Marcus Mariota to take over and vault themselves to the number two spot in the country.

Michigan 0, Notre Dame 31


Ohio State 21, Virginia Tech 35

The Buckeyes never led in this game. They tied it at 21-all in the fourth quarter, but just couldn't get over on the Hokies. Braxton Miller's absence was keenly felt on Saturday night as J.T. Barrett threw three picks to just one touchdown. Barrett was also the team's leading rusher with 70 yards, while Ezekiel Elliott racked up a mere 32 yards.

The Takeaway

Big Ten football is very hard to watch, and it's even harder to have to write things about them. Hey, Indiana didn't lose or struggle! What? Oh, they didn't play? Figures.