Did You See That? Week 2 in the Big Ten and Whatever Else I Watched
What a weekend of college football. Saturday was a bonkers day and it seems like those bonkers days come earlier and earlier every year. With the Big Ten going to a nine-game conference season soon and FCS cupcakes going bye-bye, expect that to continue. This is a good thing for college football. So let’s recap it. In Da B1G
Michigan 35, Oregon State 7 – The Wolverines continued their Pac12 migration with a home game against the Beavers, who rolled over and played dead. As mediocre as Michigan looked at Utah last week, they looked markedly better in their first home game. Michigan outgained OSU by a ridiculous 405-138. No word on if they chose to celebrate a win over OSU the way they’d like to.
Illinois 44, Western Illinois 0 – The Illini seem to be mad. Bill Cubit seems to be a legitimate college coach and not a clown show. The orange warriors have outscored their first two opponents 96-3, which…is pretty good. Sure, Western is from the Missouri Valley, but so is Indiana State, who Purdue didn’t thump this badly. Illinois has a road game at UNC next week – if they get by the Tar Heels, they come back home for a date with Middle Tennessee. Could Illinois be 4-0 heading into conference play? Yes, I plan to remind you every week that Illinois was a team most, if not all, Purdue fans had chalked up as a victory.
Bowling Green 48, Maryland 27 – Hoo-boy. I was concerned last week that BG put up 30 points through three quarters on the road at Tennessee. This week they laid in wait through the first half, trailing 13-6 at the break, before unleashing hell on the Terps in the second half. Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson threw for six TDs, including four in the fourth quarter. Yeah, I’d say I’m a bit concerned about this team. 36/51 for almost 500 yards from a QB will do that. Oh, and they also had a guy rush for over 100 yards and rolled up almost 700 in total.
Penn State 27, Buffalo 14 – Penn State found someone they were better than this week after getting worked over by Temple last weekend. Of course, I remember a time when Penn State football would have beaten a program like Buffalo by five or six TDs. Christian Hackenberg, for the record, was atrocious again, putting up a line of 14/27 for 128 yards and a lone TD. Yeah, real pro potential there!
Wisconsin 58, Miami of Ohio zippo – Somehow Joel Stave is still in college. He threw for three TDs, the Badgers rushed for three and Miami had -3 yards on the ground. So Wisconsin is still big, boring and very good at home. Hooray.
Ohio State 38, Hawaii 0 – I’m sure what happened here is what happens to a lot of teams when they go to Hawaii. The Hawaii players probably were just so chill from spending a couple days in the paradise that is Columbus, Ohio that they had trouble focusing.
Washington State 37, Rutgers 34 – In what was perhaps the most finish of the day, Rutgers outscored WSU 22-17 in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough. Hanging onto a 30-27 lead with just over a minute and half to go, the Cougs had to punt the ball away. Rutgers Janarion Grant had a truly highlight-reel return to give the Scarlet Knights the lead and what looked like the win. But Washington State and blank-stare Mike Leach weren’t done. On a great play with just under a minute to go, it looked like the Cougars had their game-winning TD… but after celebrating it, replay showed the receiver just barely grazed the sideline. No matter, the Cougars worked their way down and scored again, this time for realsies and with only 13 seconds to go. You’ll never believe this, but a Mike Leach offense featured a QB going 47/66 for 478 yards and four TDs, while the team had a total of 81 yards on the ground.
Minnesota 23, Colorado State 20 – Minnesota was in need of a win to avoid an 0-2 start and road games against FBS teams are really never gimmes. Trailing 17-13 with under a minute to go, Minnesota rallied for a TD to take the lead… only to see the Rams tie it with a FG at the horn. Minnesota took it in OT, though, to get their first win.
Northwestern 41, Eastern Illinois bagel – I always find it hard to take meatheads like Fitz seriously when he comes into the press room after a 41-0 win and immediately talks about the things they need to do better. It’s kind of disingenuous. Yeah, we get it, Lombardi, you aren’t ever satisfied.
Iowa 31, Iowa State 17 – I’ll admit, I’ve always found it fun that the CyHawk game is played very early in the season. This always seemed to me like it should be their hate week game at the end of the season, but it provides a neat rarity in the non-conference – two fan bases who really hate one another. This week, Kirk Ferentz laid a golden egg.
Michigan State 31, Oregon 28 – For those who care about conference pride and taking pride in how another team does, this one was for you. The Spartans returned the favor to the Ducks from last year’s game up in Autzen. It’s almost as if the Spartans are hyperfocused on the fact that they were probably good enough to be in the CFB Playoff last year, but their one hiccup cost them. Looks like they aren’t going to let that happen this year.
Nebraska 48, South Alabama 9 – Okay, Mike Riley, you can stay. After the shock of losing on a Hail Mary to BYU (and that’s an ironic thing anyway, Mormons and the Virgin Mary and all) last week, the Huskers got back on track with a perfectly timed patsy. They go visit the Miami Hurricanes next weekend, though, so the path doesn’t stay easy.
Indiana 36, Florida International 22 – IU seemed destined to lose this one as they trailed 14-13 well into the third quarter. However, a 17-7 fourth quarter in IU’s favor sealed it. Nate Sudfeld had a solid game but had a really weird rushing stat line. The team ran for over 200 yards and Jordan Howard had 159 yards on 27 carries. But the only two rushing TDs were by Sudfeld, who had -17 yards rushing on seven carries officially. Anyway, IU moves to 2-0 and the notion of Kevin Wilson keeping his job beyond this season remains alive.
Toledo 16, Arkansas 12 – Mere days after Bret Bielema took shots at OSU’s schedule, Toledo comes in and, while being paid $1M for playing at the Hogs, takes down Coach Ruddy.
We’ve repeatedly said we’re not conference loyalists, and there is very little we like about Wisconsin, yet watching Bret Bielema fall on his face never gets old. I mean this as a serious question: Are Arkansas fans tired of him yet? They should be.
Oklahoma 31, Tennessee 24 – The Vols jumped out to a 17-0 lead early and I found myself looking at this packed house in Knoxville and the Volunteers thumping a ranked opponent and, naturally, I thought about the fact that Purdue pursued Butch Jones and even had him on campus. Then Tennessee stopped scoring until overtime and at that point it wasn’t enough. Regardless, the Vols got better a lot quicker than Purdue has.
Texas A&M 56, Ball State 23 – Sports Illustrated picked A&M to finish last in the SEC West. S-M-R-T. They’re 2-0 and ranked 16 in the nation.
Arizona 44, Nevada 20 – The guy Michigan ran out of town three coaches ago continues to prove it was Michigan and not him who was screwed up.
BYU 35, Boise State 24 – America’s darling of mid-majors has lost their first game and now there are articles about BYU being the “dark horse for the playoff.” Ahh, no. They’re a nice little story, but BYU has as much chance of making the CFB Playoff as IU.
Notre Dame 34, Virginia 27 – In true Notre Dame fashion, they found a way to luck out against Virginia. Or course, luck eventually runs out as Malik Zaire broke his ankle in an ugly roll of it. Maybe Everett Golson can transfer back, Domer fans.
Auburn 27, Jacksonville State 20 – It took overtime for Auburn to survive the Gamecocks. No, not those Gamecocks.
Bills Fan Does the Dizzy Bat – I will never, ever get tired of this.
A 107-90 High School Football Game – This must give Mike Leach a stiffy.