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Big Ten Football: Week Three in Review

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NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Iowa vs Michigan State Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we are in the end of the third week of the out-of-conference portion of our season this week. Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State and Maryland all have one out of conference game remaining, but the rest of the conference has completed their OOC games and now move toward their “real” season against the conference brethren.

So how did we do? Well, let’s take a look...

Friday

South Florida 47 Illinois 23

This started out as a really ugly game. There were 14 penalties in the first quarter alone, a missed extra point, a safety, two interceptions...well, you get the picture.

Illinois had 50 penalty yards and only 21 yards of offense in the first quarter. They never really did get things under control, and dropped a clunker against the former foe of Rutgers from the Big East and American Athletic Conferences.

Saturday

Michigan 29 Air Force 13

Michigan didn’t seem to be able to get a lot done in the first half, and Air Force did not attempt a pass in the entire first half. At the half, Michigan barely led, 9-6. However, in the second half, the Wolverines began to put things together, and pulled away with the win. Michigan’s defense held the triple-threat offense of Air Force to only 232 yards on the entire day. The punt return below put the Wolverines ahead by 10 and they never looked back.

Northern Illinois 21 Nebraska 17

While Nebraska has not looked particularly strong this season, this one was a real shock when the Huskers dropped one to their MAC foe yesterday in Lincoln. Two interceptions gave NIU a 14-0 lead at the half, and Nebraska did not score until halfway through the 3rd quarter. In the 4th, Nebraska took the lead for the first time of the day, but a strong drive gave NIU the lead for good, capped off with yet another interception of Nebraska’s QB Tanner Lee to preserve the win.

Minnesota 34 Middle Tennessee State 3

P.J. Fleck and the Flecktones had another strong outing yesterday against a Middle Tennessee State program missing their strong quarterback, Brent Stockstill. As a result, the Blue Raiders were never able to get anything going against the surging Golden Gophers.

Iowa 31 North Texas 14

As expected, the Hawkeyes took down North Texas easily yesterday, but only after trailing 14-10 at the half. However, the Mean Green were done scoring for the day at halftime, and Iowa pulled away for the win.

Wisconsin 40 BYU 6

The #10 Badgers took down the independent BYU Cougars on the arm of QB Alex Hornibrook’s 4 TD passes to his strong receiving corps. Wisconsin scored their first touchdown at the end of the first quarter, breaking an early 3-3 tie, and with the exception of a second Cougar field goal as the first half ended, the rest of the day was all Badgers.

Purdue 35 Missouri 3

The biggest surprise of the day was how easily the Boilermakers handled the SEC’s Missouri Tigers. It really was a one-side as the score indicates, with just about every stat category showing how Missouri was manhandled by Purdue. Missouri’s only score was a 29-yard field goal at the end of the first half, making the score at the half 28-3. A final 3rd quarter TD ended the scoring for the day for Purdue who has won their first consecutive games since 2012.

Ohio State 38 Army 7

As expected, Ohio State rolled over the Cadets at The Horseshoe. J.T Barrett set the all-time Big Ten record for touchdowns, beating out former Boilermaker and current NFL quarterback Drew Bree's, with Barrett accountable for 107 total touchdowns in his career. Freshman sensation running back J.K. Dobbins showed his abilities as well, running for two touchdowns of his own.

Northwestern 49 Bowling Green 7

Bowling Green tied the score at 7-7 against the Northwestern Wildcats in the first quarter with a 20 yard touchdown run. However, that was the Falcons’ only score of the day, and Northwestern rolled to an easy victory.

Penn State 56 Georgia State 0

In the least surprising result of the day, the Nittany Lions put away the Georgia State Panthers early yesterday. The game was all Penn State, with QB Trace McSorley passing for 309 yards and four touchdown passes. Yes, Penn State really is that good, folks, but the score has to be tempered agains the fact that Penn State beat a team that is 0-2, losing in week one to the Tennessee State Tigers 17-10.

Indiana @ Florida International

Canceled due to Hurricane Irma

Summary

The conference finished week three of the season with a record of 9-2 against teams from other conferences. As the third week ends, there are only five more out of conference games remaining. Thanks to Hurricane Irma, Indiana’s game this week against Florida International was cancelled, and they have added Charleston Southern, an FCS team in the Big South Conference on October 7 to their schedule. This coming Saturday, the remaining OOC games will be played. They are: Indiana hosts Georgia Southern of the Sun Belt Conference; Maryland takes on UCF of the American Athletic Conference; Michigan State hosts ACC/Independent Norte Dame; and, Ohio State hosts UNLV of the Mountain West Conference.

The conference OOC schedule to date is a strong 30 wins against 9 losses. The reputation of the conference has hit some bumps so far with losses to Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan and even Ohio State’s loss to Oklahoma (solely due to the expectations of the Buckeyes’ performances), but overall the conference looks strong as the majority of conference play begins on September 23.