B1G Recap: Electric Boogaloo

By Nicholas Jervey on September 8, 2013 at 6:00a

Now that's more like it.

The Big Ten fared much better in Week 2 than Week 1, and the 11-1 record isn't the only indicator of that. Unlike last week, the Big Ten's victories had some oomph, some credibility, some teeth.

With few exceptions, the foes that should have been blown out were. In the big games, nobody looked feckless (hey there, Florida and USC). And unlike most seasons, it appears that the Big Ten will escape 2013 without losing to any FCS schools.

With that said, here's how the Big Ten did in Week 2.

#17 MICHIGAN 41, #14 NOTRE DAME 30

In the game of the week, Michigan held off Notre Dame in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 115,109.

Notre Dame decided to find out what tackling with no arms would look like as Jeremy Gallon took a pass 61 yards for a 10-0 Wolverines lead. The Fighting Irish responded with their own lucky touchdown and tying field goal before Devin Gardner started to take control of the game. In spite of Gardner throwing a horrendous interception in his own end zone and Notre Dame narrowing the lead to 34-30, Michigan would hang on to secure the Big Ten's first victory over a ranked opponent in 2013. 

Gardner, who wore #98 to honor Michigan legend Tom Harmon, dominated for the Wolverines with 294 passing yards, four touchdown throws, and a rushing touchdown against the aforementioned horrifying interception. Notre Dame fans will complain about the shaky pass interference calls on Michigan's final touchdown drive, but that's what you can expect from referees in one of the biggest games in Michigan Stadium history.

Michigan plays Akron next week, and if the first two weeks of the season are any indication it'll be a slaughter.


Thanks to Kain Colter's rushing, Trevor Siemian's passing, and a ball-hawking defense, Northwestern took care of business against Syracuse.

The Wildcats raced out to a 34-7 lead, with Siemian capping the action on a five yard touchdown pass to Christian Jones. Colter led Northwestern in rushing with 87 yards and a touchdown, while the Northwestern defense's four turnovers kept Syracuse out of the game.

Northwestern plays Western Michigan next week in another late contest. There's always one ranked team nobody bothers to watch, and Northwestern may be that team this season.


After giving up heaps of yardage to Wyoming last week, Nebraska's highest priority was fixing the defense. The Blackshirts addressed those concerns when they stymied Southern Mississippi.

Nebraska picked off four passes on the day, returning two for touchdowns. Behind the ever-efficient Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah's 114 rushing yards and two touchdowns, Nebraska cruised to a 35-6 halftime lead. Southern Mississippi gained less than half the yardage Wyoming managed in Week 1.

Nebraska plays UCLA next week in what should be the conference's highest profile game.



After Illinois's scare against Southern Illinois and Cincinnati's demolition of Purdue, the Bearcats looked like an overwhelming favorite against the hapless Illini. That's why they play the games.

Illinois jumped out to a stunning 21-0 lead thanks to Bill Cubit's spry offensive playcalling and Nathan Scheelhaase's passing. Scheelhaase finished with 312 yards passing and four touchdowns, and Illinois's 522 yards of offense were its most since the Mezozoic Era.

The turning point occurred in the third quarter: facing fourth and goal, Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux fumbled into the end zone. Cincinnati recovered it, but since offenses can't advance the ball from the spot of a fumble on 4th down, Illinois took possession on its 1-yard line. 99 yards later, Illinois had a comfortable 28-10 lead that would last the rest of the game. Well wishes to Legaux, who suffered a brutal knee injury late in the game and was taken off on a cart.

At 2-0, Illinois has matched its win total from last season. They host Washington next week.


Dantonio, we talked about this. Never expose Jim Bollman to bright light, never get him wet, and never, ever feed him after midnight. Otherwise, you get spirit-crushing Walrusball performances on the reg.

Once again, Pat Narduzzi's defense bailed out the craptastic offense with two defensive touchdowns, both by Shilique Calhoun. Combined with a lightning delay and heavy rain, it couldn't have been a pleasant game for Spartans fans.

The offense needs two more touchdowns to catch up to its defense in scoring, and Michigan State will try to make that happen against Youngstown State. Settling on a quarterback would help.


Navy provided the one blemish on the conference's record this week in a tight win over Indiana in Bloomington.

Much like last year's game, Indiana could not handle Navy's option running attack, giving up 444 yards on the ground. Indiana closed the deficit to six with 3:53 left in the game, but the Hoosiers could not get a stop on Navy's final drive.

Nate Sudfield had a good day for Indiana, accounting for 396 all-purpose yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Nevertheless, as has often been the case in the Kevin Wilson era, Indiana's inability to play defense submarined its hopes. The Hoosiers will look for a more complete performance next week against Bowling Green.


After a slow start, Penn State put the boots to Eastern Michigan.

Eastern Michigan took an early lead on a fumble return and managed bupkis after that as Penn State more than tripled their yardage, 574-183. Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch each ran for 108 yards, and kicker Sam Ficken set a Penn State school record by making his 14th straight field goal.

Christian Hackenberg had another mixed day, but he's playing well for a true freshman, throwing for 589 passing yards through two games. Penn State plays Central Florida next week, which has looked pretty good so far this season.


At least one school has to be the dregs of the conference, and it looks like the Big Ten's dregs are Purdue. Though Purdue avoided an embarrassing loss to FCS school Indiana State, this game did nothing to inspire confidence in the Boilermakers.

After starting the game with a 99-yard Akeem Hunt kickoff return touchdown, Purdue managing only a field goal for the rest of the half. Indiana State scored to make it 20-14 and had two chances to take the lead, but Purdue forced a late punt and intercepted the Sycamores with seconds remaining to preserve the win.

Aside from Hunt, who also had 82 rushing yards, nobody stood out for Purdue. The Boilermakers' next game is against Notre Dame, which looks to rebound from the loss to Michigan.


Although Iowa snapped a seven game losing streak with a win over FCS school Missouri State, the Hawkeyes did not get the statement win many in the program hoped for. Iowa dominated Missouri State in yardage, but 11 penalties for 100 yards and several other miscues made the game far closer than it should have been.

In spite of sluggish offense and maddening conservatism, Iowa took a 21-0 lead on the strength of Mark Weisman's 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns. After Missouri State scored two touchdowns in ten seconds, Jake Rudock's 2-yard touchdown put the game away for the Hawkeyes.

Jokes about offensive coordinator Greg Davis's horizontal passing attack aside, it's clear that Iowa can put together a solid offense if they make good decisions and don't shoot themselves in the foot. The Hawkeyes face Iowa State next week in the Cy-Hawk Series.


Unlike last week, when it won by four touchdowns despite being outgained, Minnesota deserved its convincing victory over New Mexico State.

Minnesota ran over the Aggies with 148 rushing yards from Rodrick Williams Jr. and 122 rushing yards from Philip Nelson. In addition, a 65-yard punt return by Marcus Jones pushed the Golden Gophers lead to 27-7 before halftime, and a 50-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter capped Minnesota's scoring.

Minnesota plays Western Illinois next week, which will hopefully allow Jerry Kill to tune up the glorious Minnesota variant of the Maryland-I.


Last week, Tennessee Tech played NAIA school Cumberland. Yes, that Cumberland. This week, Tennessee Tech played three-time defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin. The results were not pretty.

Wisconsin had its way with Tennessee Tech's defense all game long, racking up 606 yards of total offense and 387 rushing yards. Corey Clement, Melvin Gordon, and James White gave Wisconsin three 100-yard rushers for the second time this season.

Meanwhile, the Badgers defense held Tennessee Tech to 113 yards of total offense. Behind a solid defense, a powerful rushing attack and an efficient no-name quarterback – Joel Stave went 24/29 passing – this team reminds me of the 2010 team that ruined Ohio State's championship dreams. Wisconsin plays at Arizona State next week.

Even though Maryland and Rutgers aren't in the Big Ten yet, the neighborly thing to do is to make them feel welcome. As such, their games will be recapped for the rest of the season.


Old Dominion is a transitioning FCS/FBS school, which means it can expect teams like Maryland to cave its head in on a regular basis. Stefon Diggs had six catches for 179 yards and a touchdown, and for the umpteenth time I wish he were a Buckeye.

Maryland plays at Connecticut next week. A 3-0 start looks likely, as does a bowl bid.


Rutgers recovered from a painful loss to Fresno State by crushing Norfolk State. Paul James had 119 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and the Scarlet Knights defense improved from allowing 52 points to shutting out the Spartans.

The only interesting thing from this game: pinned on its 1-yard line in the first quarter, Norfolk State elected to punt on a third down. And lo, Jim Tressel smiled. Rutgers hosts Eastern Michigan next week.

So after a Week 2 in which everything went better than expected, Week 3 features a number of Big Ten/Pac-12 and other BCS matchups. I'd recommend Nebraska/UCLA, Illinois/Washington, Iowa/Iowa State (unless Iowa is playing FerentzBall), and Penn State/UCF.


Comments Show All Comments

vitaminB's picture

Notre Dame decided to find out what tackling with no arms would look like

That's the funniest thing I've heard all week.
Good week for the B1G, as they slowly, silently try to reestablish some semblance of credibility.

CUBS's picture

Cheers all around, except you Indiana. If people didnt notice, Cal had a really had time with Portland State. I think they are looking ahead to you guys. I see Michigan and Wisconsin are doing their usual 'Show up in September' theme.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Thanks - good luck to the Cats in the Legends.
I gotta say, though, that Wisconsin really did their "show up" last year in October, because they were terrible last September.
You have a point, though, in that when Wisconsin runs into teams they can't just steamroll - and don't have Russell Wilson - they tend to lose those. We should get a better read on Wisconsin this week at Ariz St. 

CUBS's picture

I think Wisconsin will get slowed when they face an actual defense that knows how to adjust to the run. Wisconsin will have to beat most of their B1G opponents through the air, and I dont see that happening. I do think they will be a really tough game for anyone who plays them but I havent seen anything from them yet that really shows theyll push OSU for the division title. The game in Columbus will be a close one because Wisconsin will eat up a lot of the clock, but as of now, I think OSU can win that game by a couple of TD's, maybe 17 points even.

urbz4prez's picture

I watched the illinois game and was very impressed. After seeing cincy destroy purdue last week I was expecting another blowout but illinois' offense was very efficient in their play calling and in their execution of the plays. I have always thought scheelhase (sp?) was a talented qb who just couldn't put it all together. He had it together yesterday, throwing some nice balls to get the win.

"And Urban Meyer said "Let there be light, and it was so."

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Good job B1G. IlliNoiz handled business. Makes me wonder if theyre stepping up or if Purdont is that bad...or somewhere in between.
Also, sorry, but im pretty bored with our schedule. Im aware Cal was supposed to be better and Vandy backed out...but Buffalo, SDSU, and FAMU are meat. Looking forward to B1G play.

AndyVance's picture

I agree on Buffalo and FAMU (that game should have NEVER been on the schedule - at least slot an Ohio MAC team, for cryin' out loud), but SDSU should have been a better team than what is showing up this year. They were a respectable squad last year, but apparently have decided that playing football isn't their strength this season.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Florida A&M is on the schedule because Gene Smith wanted to bring a HBCU band to Columbus and couldn't get Grambling. Of course while he was signing the deal said band was busy beating one of it's own members to death...but I digress.
Buffalo was just a last minute replacement for Vanderbilt.

TheShadow's picture

Can somebody explain the Eminem interview with Herbie and Musburger during the ND game last night? Was the guy tripping on something or just playing with the Herbie and Musburger? I will say it was rather hilarious to watch Herbie hold back from busting out laughing as he watched Mathers stare off into oblivion and follow some imaginary entity. Herbie then suggests going to break and Brent doesn't even miss a beat agreeing to do so. I will say it was highly entertaining. Now that I think about it... it was more than likely a well planned promo for Berzerk.

hit_the_couch's picture

I believe he used to have a drug problem and has since sobered up. I've seen a few of his interviews and he tends to do oddball things.
I can't say for sure on his condition, as I pay little to no attention to mainstream musicians and rappers.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

TheBadOwl's picture

He was doing it just to screw with them.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

saltybuck61's picture

From the things I have seen with him before, this is a regular occurance. He is a very strange man. Hilarious interview though. Made the game entertaining

AndyVance's picture

I was pleasantly surprised with how the bottom half of the B1G teams played this week.

  1. Navy is nothing to sneeze at, but it would be nice if Wilson's team could play both sides of the ball.
  2. Purdue is going to provide some really low lows this year... The Hoosiers put 70+ on the Sycamores last week, and the Boilermakers barely scratched out the win.
  3. Good for Jerry Kill, but why is Minnesota only playing teams from the Mountain timezone this season?
  4. Does anyone else feel like Scheelhaase has been playing for like 12 years now? I swore he should have been graduated by now.
  5. Sparty gonna spart.
Run_Fido_Run's picture

. . . why is Minnesota only playing teams from the Mountain timezone this season?

Maybe Minnesota is trying to widen its recruiting footprint in the fertile Dakotas/Montana/Idaho/Wyoming football region.

MN Buckeye's picture

Perhaps that, and because the weak teams east of the Mississippi River are still too much for the Gophers. After all, they paid UNC $800K to NOT play them this year.

Charlene's picture

We can continue beating our 4 cup cakes and scoring 40 points and deservingly drop in the polls every week. We basically have a 6 or 7 game schedule. The commentators like to call the cupcakes warmups to try to make it sound better than playing teams that are 99.99% going to be blown out.  What a joke of a schedule. Michigan is real and if our DB's play Gallon Soft, like they have thus far, he will break an NCAA record of yards and TDs against us to go with another attendance record.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Are Koala bears grumpy?

Normal Buck's picture

Fido, you are on fire this morning.  

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

How do you know it's not a Drop Bear?

CALPOPPY's picture

Just be careful outside today because it might hurt to get hit by the falling sky.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

hit_the_couch's picture

More like Gallon has seen any DBs worth while. Stop Gallon, stop Fitz then they have little.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

M Man's picture

The officiating crew for ND-Michigan was an ACC crew.  I agree that it was a shaky game, and that both pass interference calls late in the game to facilitate the last Michigan touchdown were lousy calls.
If ND doesn't like it, they can complain to their new partners in the ACC.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Besides, ND gave up 25 FDs and 460 yards of total offense - when ND's defense couldn't get off the field, that put the ACC refs in more situations to screw up.   

hit_the_couch's picture

I think the 2nd PI call was legit as the ND DB had a hold of whichever UM player it was, Funchess? The 1st PI call was complete b.s. though.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

blueinsconsin's picture

The first PI was weak.  There were some very touchy calls that went both ways during the game though.

Not here to troll...Go Blue

Gulfstreambuckeye's picture

Go blow

Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust...but life goes on.

blueinsconsin's picture


Not here to troll...Go Blue

Nicholas Jervey's picture

I didn't mean to imply that the referees were giving Michigan home cooking by being a particular conference's referees, rather that pressure situations in intense games make pro-home team calls more likely. You won't find much love lost for Notre Dame here, either.

Ceci n'est pas une signature.

81Alum's picture

I thought TTUN looked good and if they continue to take care of business, The Game in November could be between two unbeaten teams, and we'll play again in the BIG championship game.

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Kelly gave scUM bulletin board material by yammering about the game being a regional rivalry. He doesn't seem to have learned yet how to shut his piehole. And that so-called great defense of his spent those four hours last night in their lockerroom.

blueinsconsin's picture

I was actually shocked how Illinois handled Cinci.  I was thinking it would be the other way around.

Not here to troll...Go Blue

oh_dad55's picture

I'd like to see the Buckeyes put enough pressure on Gardner that he throws more interceptions in the end zone.  He's shown us that he can be rattled.


pjtobin's picture

I'm glad to see the big ten win some games. I know it helps make  our SOS look a little tougher. I hope this is the year we dominate in bowl games. And take over as the new leaders. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Nice to see the B1G dominate overall.  Time to bring some respect back to the conference.  Hopefully the teams will keep it up!
Go Bucks!!

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Eminem in the house!

bucktooth's picture

Anyone else think Sparty could lose to YSU next week?
Bucktooooooooth, heeyaw.