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Big Ten Football: Week Three Review

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Week three of the college football season has come and gone, and with it go the large majority of out of conference games. With no conference games being played in week three, there were plenty of Big Ten games to choose from if you, like many others, were unable to see the Rutgers-Kansas tilt. Thirteen games against out of conference opponents meant a full day of switching channels, even without the Scarlet Knights available due to playing away against a Big XII foe. Michigan State was idle yesterday, using the week no doubt to recoup after their last-minute loss to Arizona State late last Saturday.

Temple(1-2) 35 Maryland(2-1) 14

The day opened with surprises and the first game was an example of shockers. Maryland was never really in it, never getting closer than 14 points from the middle of the second quarter. Former Rutgers commit Anthony Russo had a good day as the Temple starter, throwing 15 for 25 for a TD and one interception.

Troy(2-1) 24 Nebraska(0-2) 19

In another shocker, Nebraska was unable to get anything going early, as Troy took a 17-0 lead before the ‘Huskers were able to tack on a touchdown at the end of the half. Nebraska came out firing at the beginning of the second half, with a pair of touchdowns in the 3rd quarter come back to within four by the end of the 3rd quarter. Trading touchdowns in the fourth quarter didn’t help, and Nebraska fell to the Trojans to fall to 0-2 under Scott Frost.

Indiana(3-0) 38 Ball State(1-2) 10

Indiana did what it was supposed to do, come in and beat up a MAC foe at home. Ball State scored first with a field goal to take a 3-0 lead, but that was their last lead of the day. Hoosier quarterback Peyton Ramsey had a stellar day, throwing for 169 yards at a completion percentage of 74%. Running back Stevie Scott backed him up with 114 yards for two touchdowns.

Penn State(3-0) 63 Kent State(1-2) 10

This looked like it might be another surprise, but it didn’t last long. Kent State came back and tied up the game after the Nittany Lions’ initial touchdown, but with the exception of a field goal, the rest of the day belonged to Penn State. This was a laugher all the way to the end, with several big pass and run plays for touchdowns. If you watch the video below, be prepared for a lot of highlight reel-type plays.

South Florida(3-0) 25 Illinois(1-2) 19

Another heartbreaker for the Illini. Illinois lead through the entire game through the first three quarters of the game, and then the Bulls scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take this one that was played in Soldier Field in Chicago.

Michigan(2-1) 45 Southern Methodist(0-3) 20

After playing rather close early, SMU lost their ability to stop the Wolverines in all phases of the game. This was a game tied at 7-7 until just before the end of the half, and then Michigan turned on the jets. By the end of the third quarter the Wolverines had taken a 22 point lead. Despite the Mustangs’ attempt to close the gap, they never got closer than 15 points, and then Michigan tacked on another 10 points to close it out.

Minnesota(3-0) 26 Miami of Ohio(0-3) 3

P.J. Fleck’s team rolled over Miami of Ohio, and the result was never in doubt. The Red Hawks sole score was a field goal halfway through the second quarter, by which point the Golden Gophers already held a 10-0 lead. This was an “empty the bench” game for Minnesota, who were able to walk away with this win.

Brigham Young(2-1) 24 Wisconsin(2-1) 21

In a day of shockers, I don’t think there is a bigger one than #6 Wisconsin falling to BYU. This wasn’t supposed to be particularly close, yet it was tied in the first, second, and fourth quarters. Badger quarterback Alex Hornibrook was sacked twice, intercepted once, and didn’t throw any touchdowns, while running back Jonathan Taylor, despite running for 117 yards did not reach the end zone all day, either.

Iowa(3-0) 38 Northern Illinois(0-2) 14

Iowa took care of business yesterday against Northern Illinois. The Panthers didn’t score until the 4th quarter, after most of the starting Hawkeyes had been pulled from the game. Nothing to see here, move along folks...

Akron(2-0) 39 Northwestern(1-2) 34

Northwestern was shocked by a second half surge by the Zips. Up 21-3 at the half, the Wildcats stalled in the second frame, and gave Akron the opportunity, and they took advantage. A pair of sacks as well as a pair of interceptions (one of which was returned for an Akron TD) on Northwestern’s Clayton Thorston, as well as a stout Akron defense that held Northwestern’s runner Jeremy Larkin to 88 yards combined to give Akron the come-from-behind victory in Evanston.

Missouri(3-0) 40 Purdue(0-3) 37

This was a back and forth game that was not decided until literally the final seconds, when Missouri kicked the winning field goal as time expired. Missouri held as much as a 17 point lead, but the Boilermakers kept fighting back, only to fall just short at the end.

Ohio State(3-0) 40 TCU(2-1) 28

The big battle of the day between two teams in the top 15 was everything you would have expected. A thriller as the visiting Buckeyes (it was considered a neutral site, held at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys) fell behind 21-13 mid-way through the third quarter, and a see-saw battle continued until Ohio State began to pull away at the end. This game included everything, including a sack/strip by Nick Bosa in the end zone by the Buckeyes leading to an Ohio State TD, as well as a 93-yard yard run from scrimmage by TCU.

Kansas(2-1) 55 Rutgers(1-2) 14

I don’t think anyone, even the Jayhawks, thought they would score more points on the Scarlet Knights than Ohio State, but a Rutgers team that had six turnovers that included three interceptions from true freshman quarterback Artur Sikowski, two of which were pick sixes. With the exception of a blocked field goal taken back for a Rutgers touchdown, there were little to cheer about.

Summary

If you were unable to see Rutgers yesterday, at least be glad. It was like being dragged across a gravel road in a bathing suit. But, the hapless Scarlet Knights were not the only ones who lost that were expected (at least by the Rutgers faithful) to win. This week of non-conference games definitely put a dent in the Big Ten’s reputation. Losses to Group of Five teams abounded in the conference. The Big Ten’s 5-7 record on the day attests to the fact that it was not a good one for the conference.

However, next week, with a couple of exceptions (Rutgers being one of them) the Big Ten battles begin in earnest. It will be interesting to see how schools respond to the dashed expectations of this week.