Big Ten action returned and it lasted all weekend, totaling four days. The giants stood tall, though some were shaky, and the punching bags were punched. Not much was shocking, with a lot panning out as expected, but what did this week reveal about the Big Ten?
14. Northwestern Wildcats (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Last week: 14
Everyone knew it would be bad, and it was the definition of it. With 13 first downs, 12 total rushing yards, two turnovers and 201 total yards of offense, the Wildcats somehow, someway scored a touchdown. That was it.
Up next: UTEP
13. Indiana Hoosiers (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Last week: 13
It’s bad when you score less than Northwestern does through four quarters. It’s bad to only produce 153 total yards of offense, but at one point the Hoosiers were down four before Ohio State kicked a field goal right before halftime. They picked off OSU, too, so props for that. All around, it was a bad time.
Up next: Indiana State
12. Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Last week: 11
Well if it isn’t Nebraska. It must truly be painful to watch a game where you outperform your opponent in almost every metric and still lose. Minnesota couldn’t do anything and Nebraska still couldn’t win. Guess that’s what happens when you have four turnovers, including a fumble that led to the Golden Gophers scoring late.
Up next: Colorado
11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 12
Not that it was great, because a performance such as this could only take down the likes of Northwestern, but the Scarlet Knights did win a football game. In fact they scored three touchdowns and a field goal to do so. They shut out the Wildcats through the first three quarters, but only out-gained the Wildcats 285 to 201. Not the best, but the worst is much worse.
Up next: Temple
10. Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 7
A win is a win, though the Golden Gophers hoped it looked nicer. With a 3-0 score a half, Big Ten football truly made its return. Minnesota couldn’t get anything going on the ground, rushing for just 55 yards. Their lone touchdown came late when Nebraska fumbled halfway through the fourth quarter.
Up next: Eastern Michigan
9. Purdue Boilermakers (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 9
The Boilermakers sat in the driver’s seat all day, until a late surge by Fresno State in the third quarter turned the tide. That, and Purdue’s offense lagged a lot in the second half. They were outgained 487 yards to 363 on the day. While Hudson Card threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns, it wasn’t enough. What did them in was turning the ball over on downs twice in three possessions to end the game.
Up next: Virginia Tech
8. Michigan State Spartans (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 10
MSU rolled through Central Michigan, backed behind Noah Kim and his 279 passing yards and two touchdowns. Nathan Carter rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown to aid the Spartans. Michigan State held CMU scoreless in three quarters, while coming with a pick and holding the Chippewas to 96 passing yards.
Up next: Richmond
7. Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 8
Illinois was outclassed by Toledo in everything, yet came away with the win. The Illini were out-gained 416 to 374, while being called for 10 penalties. The stat column details a different story than the final score, but last second field goals win games if they’re good.
Up next: Kansas
6. Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 4
Iowa scored a passing touchdown on the opening drive of the season for the first time in three decades, if that’s any indication of how the day went. Cade McNamara threw two touchdowns in the first half, but then the offense dropped off. Despite Utah State out-gaining the Hawkeyes across the board, Iowa was saved by its opponent’s turnovers and penalties.
Up next: Iowa State
5. Maryland Terrapins (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 6
Taulia Tagovailoa was the star of the show, accounting for fin the first half for the Terrapins. Tagovailoa threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while his 22-yard rushing touchdown started off the scoring for Maryland. Maryland didn’t give up a touchdown and held Towson scoreless in two quarters.
Up next: Charlotte
4. Wisconsin Badgers (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 5
All eyes turned to Wisconsin for Luke Fickell’s debut and while the first half left a lot to be desired, the Badgers came out on top. Behind Chez Mellusi’s 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Braelon Allen’s 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns, the Badgers ran Buffalo out of Wisconsin. Tanner Mordecai has some work to do, throwing two picks on the day, but with a heavy hitting ground game established, the Badgers can be on the up.
Up next: Washington State
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 2
The Buckeyes tested out their new quarterback and there were definite growing pains. OSU was up 10-3 at half, with the lone interception leading to Indiana’s field goal. They held the Hoosiers scoreless through the remainder of the game, but the offense has some work to do. The defense shut out the Hoosiers in three quarters and held them to 153 total yards and eight first downs.
Up next: Youngstown State
2. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 3
Penn State came out looking good on paper. Drew Allar threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut in Happy Valley, while Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 121 yards and a touchdown. They out-gained West Virginia 478 yards to 305, while committing no turnovers and only one penalty the entire game. The bulk of the scoring came in the fourth quarter, but given the Mountaineers were shutout in two, Penn State’s performance was enough.
Up next: Delaware
1. Michigan Wolverines (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Last week: 1
Even without Jim Harbaugh, Michigan made quick work of East Carolina. J.J. McCarthy shone alongside Roman Wilson, who caught three touchdowns. McCarthy, with a true hold on the offense now, threw for 280 yards while completing 26-of-30 passes. Michigan’s defense shutout the Pirates up until the final seconds of the game.
Up next: UNLV