Minnesota 44, New Hampshire 7 – MarQueis Gray had four touchdowns in the first half and finished with over 100 rushing and passing for the first time this season. New Hampshire was terrible, again, we don’t know too much about Jerry Kill’s team yet; but at least they got a win and are working out the kinks.
14 Ohio State 31, UCF 16 – The Buckeyes have figured out Braxton Miller’s current limitations, but every week they are allowing him to demonstrate his strengths on the ground. Miller rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns after getting off to a slow start through the air. The Buckeye passing attack has been conservative, but could be holding back at this point in the year. The defense forced three interceptions by getting pressure up the gut.
Virginia 17, Penn State 16 – Told ya. Penn State jumped out to a lead but squandered opportunities and then wore down. It’s only week 2 and they’ve worn down twice; this trend doesn’t bode well for the long haul. More importantly for Penn State is regrouping and keeping fan support and the commitments from a talented 2013 class.
22 Notre Dame 20, Purdue 17 – Well I missed on the upset pick here, but I was close. Purdue played as tough as expected, but tip your hats to the Irish for making enough plays to win at the end. Brian Kelly is doing a good job studying the Big Ten style of play and not tippy toeing around opponents they have superior talent to. Tommy Rees came off suspension to lead a late drive to win the game; it will be interesting to see how Kelly manages his quarterbacks going forward.
Indiana 45, UMass 6 – Indiana scored a big road win, but lost the player that sparked it. Quarterback Tre Roberson had touchdown runs of 50 and 39 yards before going down with a leg injury. The Hoosiers received some needed momentum but won’t hold it if Roberson can’t go next week and beyond. Despite playing the sisters of the poor, Indiana won’t look down on a 2-0 start.
19 Michigan 31, Air Force25 – Air Force might be a decent team, but Michigan is giving people reason to believe last year wasn’t a glimpse into the immediate future. Denard Robinson saved a potential letdown by rushing and passing for more than 200 yards, and chipping in two touchdowns on the ground and through the air. What’s scary for Michigan is that a preseason Big Ten favorite is fighting for their lives in the fourth quarter against a service academy. Notre Dame is licking its chops.
11 Michigan State 41, Central Michigan 7 – Le’veon Bell scored two touchdowns for the Spartans, but more encouraging was the site of Andrew Maxwell completing 20-of-31 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns while showing off better accuracy. Sparty rolled a decent Central Michigan team, and with Michigan and Wisconsin looking rather pedestrian are staking a claim as the conference’s best (eligible) team. The defense once again looked big and suffocating.
Iowa State 9, Iowa 6 – I told you you’d probably fall asleep, I just didn’t think that Iowa State would win. The Big Ten’s woes continue, and Iowa looks to be part of the mediocre parade. The defense looked strong enough to hold Iowa State under 10, but the offense is going to have to get something done if Iowa is going to turn this around. First time the Hawkeye’s lost to Iowa State at home in more than a decade.
Oregon State 10, 13 Wisconsin 7 – Here are the numbers that tell the story. Monte Ball rushed for 61 yards, and Wisconsin as a team rushed for 35. A year ago Ball would have been over 150 and Wisconsin over 300; but it appears that was a very different Wisconsin team and this one is here to stay. The Badgers have already fired their new offensive line coach, which is very strange timing. The Badgers still have a NFL caliber tailback and a tough defense, but things are down in Madison.
22 UCLA 36, 16 Nebraska 30 – Nebraska was missing tailback centerpiece Rex Burkhead but still managed to rush for 260 total yards; this one is on the blackshirts. If Nebraska is going to succeed in the Big Ten and nationally, it’s going to have to get back to the basics. This defense hasn’t been any good since Ndamukong Suh graduated. UCLA has looked good through two weeks, but isn’t an acceptable loss for Nebraska.
Northwestern 23, Vanderbilt 13 – The Wildcats held Vanderbilt to only three second half points and 318 total yards. Pat Fitzgerald’s defense wasn’t expected to be a strong suit, and an opening shootout at Syracuse proved its not yet a finished product, but the group took huge strides against the Commodores. Kain Colter shined for Northwestern when it mattered most, breaking a 29 yard touchdown run to cap a 17 point 4th quarter.
Arizona State 45, Illinois 14 – The beatdown in the desert began before kickoff when Illinois starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase couldn’t go with an ankle injury. What replaced Scheelhaase was terrible performance from Reily O’Toole and Miles Osei, whom combined for 101 yards passing and three interceptions. Illinois plenty hyped defense allowed over 500 yards of total offense without a single answer. Big Ten, we present you with, the blueprint.