Big Ten Recap Week 3

By poguemahone on September 19, 2010 at 2:00p

Pictured: Joe Paterno running faster than Evan RoysterWeek 3 of the 2010 season found almost the entire Big Ten in some sort of unholy early-season funk. That's a shame, because cupcakes for Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan aside, this was a big week nationally for the Big Ten, as Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota all took on BCS OOC competition. Said funk meant bad things for some of the Big Ten's better teams. You know what happened in the "Battle of Ohio", and now you're going to get educated on what else happened around the conference.

Penn State 24, Kent State 0

The unmitigated snoozer-of-the-week featured the Penn State Nittany Lions taking on an utterly overmatched Kent State team. The Lions averaged just 3.9 yards/carry against a team that finished 51st in rush D last season, with senior Evan Royster racking up 38 yards on 11 carries. I didn't see much of this game, as it was also a noon start, but what little I saw led me to conclude that Penn State's OL is doubleplus ungood and will cost them at least three games this season. I threw out the Bama game because it's Bama, but Kent State is a team the Lions should be pushing all over the field, and they really just couldn't blow the MAC front off the ball. Robert Bolden threw for a touchdown, ran for another and tossed two picks in another uneven game for the true freshman. The MACrificies continue to roll in for Joe Pa as the Nits take on Temple next week.

Michigan 42, UMass 37

This was 17-7 at one point with Michigan on the ropes, but the Wolverines stormed back on a 66-yard catch-and-run by Darryl Stonum, followed by a turnover and another Stonum touchdown that would put Michigan permanently in the lead. As you can likely see by the 37-point effort for the Minutemen, this was also Michigan's worst defensive performance of the season, giving up 210 yards rushing on 43 carries to UMass' top two running backs, as well as 200 yards passing to UMass signal caller Kyle Havens. The Wolverines have all sorts of work to do on defense, but on offense, they finally got someone other than Denard Robinson over 100 yards rushing: Mike Shaw had 115 yards on just 9 carries. Bowling Green comes to town next week, and it's not looking like a given that the Wolverines will walk away with a W.

 Purdue 24, Ball State 13

In their first game without star receiver Keith Smith, the Purdue offense registered a thorough "hmm, okay, I guess" against a Ball State team that lost to Liberty last week. The Boilers totaled 404 yards of offense and notched three passing touchdowns, two by Robert Marve and a third by back-up Rob Henry, off a miraculous tipped catch by Cortez Smith that went 76 yards. That was essentially the only highlight-reel worthy play of the entire day, and the Boilers have some worries going forward: Robert Marve was banged up for the second half, while the Ball State offense managed 150 yards on the ground. Purdue was last in the conference in rush D in '09, and it looks like another long year barring a major turnaround for the Boiler front seven. Toledo will provide more cannon fodder Danny Hope's team next week, but don't be surprised if they struggle yet again.

Illinois 28, Northern Illinois 22

In what appears to be a recurring gag among Big Ten teams this week, the Illini too massively underperformed against a team it should have handled easily, but there were a couple good takeaways for Ron Zook's team: redshirt freshman Nathan Scheelhaase QB and RB Mikel LeShoure racked up 295 yards rushing against the Huskies, and didn't commit any turnovers. This might be the only way forward for this team, as Scheelhase remains lost in the passing game, going 8 of 16 for just 80 yards against a porous UNI secondary. Good luck sustaining those rushing totals, though: the Illini get a bye before the Buckeyes travel to Champaign on October 2nd.

Indiana 38, Western Kentucky 21 

Indiana's obsession with clubbing college football's baby seals continued as they carpet-bombed the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Bowling Green (Kentucky, of course) this week. QB Ben Chappell threw for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Hoosiers totaled nearly 500 yards of offense. Nothing much else needs said here, other than that the Hilltopper D held Indiana to 3.2 YPC on the ground, and Indiana won't be winning many Big Ten games at all if it can't run the football. The Hoosiers host miserable Akron next Saturday.

Northwestern 30, Rice 13

Northwestern was never really threatened by an impotent Rice offensive effort in the first half, which allowed the Wildcats to build a 10-point cushion they would never relinquish. Dan Persa was again the competent, if largely unspectacular Northwestern QB in completing 24 of his 32 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, NW struggled in the second half, but ultimately only surrendered one late fourth quarter touchdown in garbage time. The Wildcats are 3-0 and get Central Michigan - who upset Michigan State on the road last year - in Evanston next week.

USC 32, Minnesota 21

Minnesota hung tough for a half and then some, but USC eventually woke up and pulled away. The Gophers held a surprising 14-13 lead early in the third quarter before surrendering a 97-yard TD return on the ensuing kickoff to Robert Woods. The Trojans then scored on their next two possessions to put the game on ice. It's doubtful that Minnesota's performance was enough to save Tim Brewster's job, as evidenced by the torrent of boos unleashed late in the 2nd quarter, when Minnesota decided to not let turnover-prone Eric Weber sling the ball downfield with less than a minute to go, opting instead to kneel and attempt to run the clock out. It was probably the smart call, but Gopher fans didn't care: they wanted points, and as sloppy as USC was playing, they were probably expecting the win. The Gophers get Northern Illinois at home next week.

Wisconsin 20, Arizona State 19

The Badgers got 246 yards passing out of Scott Tolzien, to go with 123 yards yards on the ground for John Clay, and they needed every single one of those yards to outlast Arizona State. Wisky, whose special teams channeled the Buckeyes', surrendered two massive first half kick-off returns - one for a touchdown, the other ending at the 3-yard line just before half-time. Still, on the back of a 19-yard John Clay touchdown run, Wisconsin nursed a 20-13 lead before surrendering a late 4th quarter touchdown to the Sun Devils. Fortunately for Brett Bielema, the kick was blocked by Johnny's favorite human being Jay Valai, and the Badgers were able to run out the clock. I'm not sure exactly what Wisconsin can take away from this game. Arizona State is debuting a new Air Raid offense, which directly attacks the Badgers' biggest weakness: the secondary. So perhaps Wisconsin is no worse than expected, but I doubt the Badger staff thought they'd need to block an extra point to beat a team that went 5-7 a year ago. Back to tin cans next week, when Austin Peay comes to Madison.

Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 31

Mark Dantonio has onions. Down 28-31 in overtime against Michigan State and needing a 46-yard field goal to tie, he opts for the fake field goal, and if that isn't crazy enough, the senior punter completes it for a 29-yard touchdown to win the game. I won't lie in saying that I just finished watching this game about five minutes before writing this and thus recency bias might be a problem, but it was definitely the best non-Buckeye play I've seen this season. Michigan State's defense has been gashed by Notre Dame for most of the night, with Irish QB Dayne Crist throwing for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns, but Kirk Cousins mostly answered the call, throwing for 250 yards and a couple scores himself. I'm not sure Dantonio will ever be able to work his magic with MSU's defense, but I'm still kinda pulling for him after all these years. The Spartans will take on Northern Colorado next week.

Iowa 27, Arizona 34

In what was just a sloppy, ugly (though mostly winning) day for Big Ten teams across the board, Iowa topped just about everyone in the nightcap by getting a punt blocked on their first possession, tossing a pick-six on the next, then giving up yet another kick return TD for a Big Ten special teams unit, all Pictured: Cat watching Iowa in the first halfin the first half. If you're keeping track, that's Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin each allowing a kick return touchdown, along with the Buckeyes being a block in the back away from giving up one of their own. Arizona was the beneficiary of an extremely short field TD following the block, two non-offensive touchdowns, and totaled two field goals on genuine offensive drives. Pictured at right: a cat watching Iowa play in the first half.

Then... the second half happened. Iowa scored on a long touchdown pass in the third, watched Arizona fumble a punt away in the fourth, and then then scored on another long pass to McNutt to close the gap to 27-21. Arizona, apparently pooping its pants in yet another potential program-defining win, watched QB Nick Foles respond to all the pressure in the world by throwing a pick-six to a Hawkeye defensive end to make it 27-27. Naturally, Iowa missed the extra point, because this game just wasn't bananas enough for them. Foles then led 'Zona's first legit touchdown drive of the night, and Iowa couldn't respond (four sacks in a row? Even Ohio State's starting O-Line against Florida are shaking their heads). Thus, one of the Big Ten championship favorites gives the conference its first major black eye against a BCS foe this season. I look forward to Cam Heyward, Nate Williams et al. having their way with the Hawkeye offensive line in November. 


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M Man's picture

MSU coach Dantonio suffers heart attack after ND win, underwent cardiac cath and stenting procedure, now stable and recovering.  Heart damage called "minimal": 

buckeyedude's picture

"Indiana's obssession with clubbing college football's baby seals..." That's a funny line right there Sam. LMAO.

Read that M Man about Dantonio. Sounds like he's doing better(better than Urban Meyer anyway), which is good.

Iowa choked for sure, but now they have nothing to lose when we go to their House. I really was hoping they'd lay it on those Kitties.



Poe McKnoe's picture

As for Jake Locker sucking, I'm all for anything that makes Todd McShay look like a douche.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Not for nothing but Locker is very hyped, very underperforming...remember in 07 when we went to UW? Everyone called for the upset, he was gonna smoke us blah blah blah...I just never saw it.


Coach D, get better!!!!

"2014 National with it!!!"

Ian_InsideTheShoe's picture

Iowa looked slow all night long, wasn't ready to play.

Not impressed at ALL

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I really think Iowa's performance was a direct reflection of scheduling. They started at 9:30pm thier time and finished after 12:30am. That is EXTREMELY late. And they were 3 bad defensive plays away from pulling off the comeback. They will still be hard to beat at Kinnick Stadium by the time we play them.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Joe Beale's picture

OT, but I think I know who's going to win the Houndie award this week.  

Joe Beale's picture

Phil Simms just quoted " man Chris Spielman" during the broadcast of the Patriots-Jets game.  Apparently, the former Super Bowl MVP is a big fan of Spielman's show.  Cool.

Irricoir's picture

Anyone watch the Iowa game and listen to the fans at 1:00 remaining? How are you going to chant over rated so loud that I could make it out on national TV. This "Overrated" team took you to the wire and you were sitting in your seats with misery on your faces, not two minutes earlier when they tied the game. I don't care much for Iowa other than them, putting a smudge on our conference last week, but I look forward to teams beating down on Zona in the future. I mean really you get beat a gazillion to nothing in your bowl game and you "SURVIVE" against Iowa and all of the sudden you have the credibility back, to attempt to humiliate your visiting team? I hardly think so.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

osujake9's picture

Iowa might be a bit overrated.

iball's picture

Iowa is overrated. Ricky Stanzi is overrated. Jake locker is overrated.

ESPN is simply looking for another Tebow. A media darling to report on even when there isn't much to report. God forbid they look to a black player from Ohio State to fill this role, ahem, Terelle Pryor.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

buckeyedude's picture

Don't make a racial issue out it.



iball's picture

"other than that the Hilltopper D held Kentucky to 3.2 YPC on the ground, " ??????

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

poguemahone's picture

Whoops. Meant Indiana, obv.

bdegroff's picture

I dont believe in the "Iowa being overrated B.S."  Yes they did look horrible in the first half. Stanzi will never be a pro QB with his turnover issues. They were down 24 - 7 at one point in time. They outscored Arizone 20 - 3, to tie the game. Unfortunately, the D couldnt hold up and they gave up a touchdown. However, lets look at the time at which they started this game. 10:30 Eastern time, 9:30 central. Which means by the time this game started they are either done playing home games or have started the last quarter if they had a late game. Anyone have any idea of when they arrived in Arizona to play the game? They probably had a day or two to get acclimated to the time change. Not going to happen. They came out sluggish. Used what energy they could to get back in the game. In the end they had nothing left. I dont feel they are overrated but got screwed by the late time start of the game. If that game started at 3, I bet they win. They definitely win that game at home.

iball's picture

They were ranked #9. Do you really think they could beat a team like Auburn? Not me. I say overrated. Doesn't mean they're not a top 25 team. Doesn't mean they can't beat us.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I work with a bunch of U of A grads and many of them claimed that after "thumping" Iowa, they could go undefeated in the Little 11. I had to laugh at that. They have won ONE game against a ranked oppent in ten seasons and they are immediately capable of beating an entire conference. One went as far as saying they would hit Pryor so much he would leave on a stretcher. That made me laugh pretty good considering its Monday morning. We would easily hang 50 on those desert kitties. I also reminded them of the beating we gave them in '99 when we went out to Tucson. They convienantly forgot about that game.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Irricoir's picture

Bah, I am not going to sit and make excuses for Iowa. I heard enough from them all about last year. Iowa will make excuses for Iowa, don't worry about that. They got beat in the secondary which was mighty surprising and either Iowa's D line underperformed or what I believe, Zonas offensive line performed at the peak of their capabilities. Iowa lost that game and to everyone that says Stanzi would have beat us last year, theres the kink in your argument. Iowas O-Line looked tired at the end but I think as the year progresses they will improve. We can't afford to sleep on them. They will come into our game hungry.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

plooder's picture

From EDSBS Picture says it all.  Iowa could not stop a 3 man pass rush when they had to.

plooder's picture

Iowa's Defense is very good.  21 of Arizona's points were attributable to the Iowa Special teams and Offense.