The non-conference schedule is complete and we now shift our focus to Big Ten play. The Michigan Wolverines are off to a 3-0 start, but let’s check in on how the Wolverines’ opponents did this past week.
Colorado State: 38-7 L against Washington State
The non-conference slate wasn’t too kind to the Rams, who are now 0-3 on the year. This was Colorado State’s second game against a Power 5 team, and it went pretty similarly to the first.
Hawaii: 24-14 W against Duquesne
The Rainbow Warriors picked up their first win of the season over Duquesne. Not the best competition, but after the way the season has started for Hawaii, a win against anybody feels good.
Michigan’s non-conference opponents are a combined 2-9 on the year so far.
Maryland: 34-27 W against SMU
The Terps survived a scare from SMU over the weekend to get to 3-0 and set up a battle of undefeated teams this weekend in Ann Arbor. Maryland trailed by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but was able to come back to win. Taulia Tagovailoa and Maryland’s offense seem very capable, but the defense has some question marks.
Iowa: 27-0 W against Nevada
The Hawkeyes are playing very solid defense so far, allowing just 13 points in three games, but the offense is holding them back. Michigan’s trip to Iowa also seems much less daunting now, as it was announced that the game will kick at noon. Any time you avoid Kinnick at night is a good thing.
Indiana: 33-30 W in OT against Western Kentucky
Indiana is barely scraping by, but the Hoosiers are 3-0 after only winning two games a year ago. It looked pretty bleak for them early on against Western Kentucky, but they were able to get this one to overtime and win on a field goal, which was set up after they blocked a Western Kentucky field goal. It hasn’t been pretty, but wins are wins.
Penn State: 41-12 W against Auburn
The Nittany Lions went down to Auburn and made a statement. The Tigers aren’t the best team in the world, nor the SEC, but Penn State dominated from start to finish. Jordan-Hare in an orange out is a very difficult environment to get a win at, and the Nittany Lions made it look easy.
Michigan State: 39-28 L against Washington
Every team in the Big Ten East is currently undefeated except for one: Michigan State.
The Spartans’ offense looked fine in this one, especially quarterback Payton Thorne and wide receiver Keon Coleman. Michigan State seemed determined to run the ball despite little success, which definitely hurt, but it’s the Spartan secondary that is holding the team back. Washington quarterback Michael Penix threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns.
Rutgers: 16-14 W against Temple
The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 after non-conference play after a gritty road win against Temple. Rutgers also won a close one on the road against Boston College in Week 1. Those are games past Rutgers teams would probably not win.
Nebraska: 49-14 L against Nebraska
The first game for the Huskers without Scott Frost was not pretty. At least Frost found new and exciting ways to lose each week, this one was just boring. Nebraska has a long way to go to return to relevancy.
Ohio State: 77-21 W against Toledo
Ohio State struggled a little bit against Notre Dame, but otherwise cruised through non-conference play. The Buckeye offense looks smooth and showed they can put up a lot of points against Toledo. However, the starting defense showed some struggles in the first half, specifically the secondary. It’ll be interesting to see how that progresses throughout the year.