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Big Ten Football: Week Two in Review

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A look back on how the conference fared this weekend

NCAA Football: Indiana at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Week Two of the 2017 season has come and gone, and despite Rutgers dropping their 11th straight contest, there were games in the rest of the conference. We are in the heart of the Out-of-Conference games, and how the teams do in these games is how it is viewed nationally. Last week, the conference had 12 OOC games, and had a 10-2 record. With this weeks games, the OOC record is now 21-6. How did they each do?

Friday

Purdue 44 Ohio 21

No, not THAT Ohio, Ohio University in Athens Ohio, not that other one in Columbus. As a result, Purdue was able to roll, continuing to look like the team that took Louisville to the brink last weekend. In the final seven minutes of the first half, Purdue scored 24 unanswered points.

Saturday

Duke 41 Northwestern 17

This was a game that was supposed to be a close one. It wasn’t. Duke dominated the Wildcats, and it was not pretty. As Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern Head Coach stated himself, "We were out-coached, out-executed, out-played. That starts and ends with me." He was correct, in his best play call of the day. Nothing says it better than Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune sportswriter stated:

Michigan 36 Cincinnati 14

Michigan was all over an FBS team from Ohio yesterday, just not the one in Columbus. The Wolverines pushed Rutgers’ former Big East rival all over the field on their way to an easy victory. The best play of the day was a botched punt that ended up with a voluntary safety.

Maryland 63 Towson 17

This game showed that the victory last week over the Texas Longhorns was not a fluke. Maryland did what they were supposed to do, and that is dominate their in-state FCS foe. Dominate they did! Maryland’s Ty Johnson and D.J. Moore each scored a pair of touchdowns. The Terps may be for real, folks.

Wisconsin 31 Florida Atlantic 14

Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor was a human highlight reel, scoring three touchdowns and running for 223 yards in this easy win over Lane Kiffin’s Owls. Wisconsin jumped out to a 14 point lead, and cruised the rest of the way in a strong outing for the #9 Badgers.

Iowa 44 Iowa State 41

The in-state rivalry lived up to its reputation to thrill as the Iowa Hawkeyes came from behind in the 4th quarter to stun the Iowa State Cyclones. This game is one that throws out the records each year as both teams fight for bragging rights. It was a see-saw affair that went into overtime with the teams tied at 38-38. The Big Ten Hawkeyes responded with a touchdown to the Big Twelve’s Cyclones field goal to clinch the victory in the first round of overtime in a real thriller in Ames and take home the treasured Cy-Hawk trophy.

Michigan State 28 Western Michigan 14

A 61-yard first quarter touchdown by the Spartans set the tone as the Michigan State squad powered over their in-state little brother, using their strong defense to slow down the Western Michigan Broncos.

Indiana 34 Virginia 17

Indiana rolled in their visit to Hoo-ville yesterday. After taking a 17-3 lead into halftime, the Hoosiers stuffed the Wahoos and came away with the victory. Redshirt QB Peyton Ramsey (imagine that, a QB from Indiana named Peyton!) was 16 for 20 for 173 yards with a pair of TD passes. Simmie Cobbs had a great reception/run early in the game that gave the lead to Indiana for good in the first quarter.

Penn State 33 Pitt 14

In-state Rivalry Week continued just across the Delaware when Penn State hosted the ACC’s Pittsburgh and proved to be a challenging host by throttling the fellow Keystone State team. Penn State QB Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns, including one to Saquon Barkley that was a 46 yard catch and run that was a thing of beauty. However, Head Coach James Franklin said the game was nothing important to him, despite the long-term rivalry between the two schools, and was no more important than beating the MAC’s Akron the week previously.

In any case, here are some highlights from the game.

Oregon 42 Nebraska 35

The Ducks jumped out to a big lead in the first half taking a 42-14 lead into the locker room at the half. The second half was all Nebraska. The Huskers tried to make a comeback, but the initial lead was good great to overcome, falling short in Eugene.

Oklahoma 31 Ohio State 16

First year Sooners’ head coach Lincoln Riley came into Columbus last evening and took down Urban Meyers and the #2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State led the scoring or was tied until just prior to the end of the 3rd quarter, when Sooner receiver Lee Morris caught a touchdown pass to give them their first lead in the game, 17-13. A pair of Oklahoma touchdowns in the 4th quarter proved too much to overcome, and the #5 Sooners won the second half of the home-and-home series, with each team winning the away portion of the two year series.

Illinois 20 Western Kentucky 7

After struggling last week against Ball State, the Illini rolled yesterday against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Prior to the game, the Western Kentucky high-powered offense was considered to be a challenge for Illinois’ young defense, but that proved not to be the case, as the Illini smothered WKU, keeping them scoreless until well into the 4th quarter.

Minnesota 48 Oregon State 14

P.J. Fleck’s Golden Gophers had a monster scoring game and Shannon Brooks ran wild for three touchdowns in a big win over the Pac-12’s Beavers in Corvallis. The result was never really in doubt, as Minnesota jumped to a 14-0 lead before a pair of Oregon State touchdowns made it 20-14 at the half. The second half, however, was all Minnesota, as they scored four unanswered touchdowns to finish out. A big win for the young Gopher team.

Summary

The Big Ten continued to do well in its out-of-conference games, with a weekly record of 10-4, with big losses by Ohio State and Nebraska. However, setbacks for Northwestern and Rutgers, coupled with the defeats of Ohio State and Nebraska, doubled the conference losses from the previous week. Overall, the Big Ten has a two week total record of 21-7, with Rutgers being the only team not to have an out-of-conference victory. Let’s all hope that ends on Saturday!