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Buckeyes Buckeye Archive Big Ten Recap - Week 1
Written by Dan Wismar

Dan Wismar

Martinez Nebraska4A  little something new to keep track of the Big Ten Conference week to week...(I know...a lot like what you suspected “Big Ten Recap” might mean). At the end...if you can make it that far...we’ll select my Big Ten Players of the Week and my Plays of the Week in the conference. So let’s roll...

Minnesota 30 - UNLV 27  3OT
The Golden Gophers opened on the road on Thursday night in Vegas and came away with a win over the Rebels in three overtimes. UNLV tied the game at 13 with two minutes left in regulation, and then Gopher QB Marqueis Gray connected with John Rabe for TD passes in each of the first two overtimes. An interception of UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry led to the winning field goal for Minnesota in the third OT. Junior receiver A.J. Barker had a 101-yard day receiving for the Gophers on three catches. Recap  (Minnesota 1-0 , Next game: 9/8 vs New Hampshire)


Michigan State 17 - Boise State 13
The 13-ranked Spartans hosted a Friday night affair in East Lansing against the No. 24 Broncos of Boise St. and rode the 44-carry, 210 yard rushing performance of LeVeon Bell to a close win. The Spartans went up 10-3 after one quarter, but the Broncos came back with a 10-point 2nd quarter, and led most of the way until MSU finally broke through with the go-ahead TD with six minutes to play in the game. Afterwards, Bell could be seen mouthing the words “Denard who?”  Recap  (Michigan State 1-0 , Next game: 9/8 at Central Michigan)

PSU OU1Ohio University 24 - Penn State 14
Penn State should have scheduled Coastal Carolina for this one. Instead they faced MAC East favorite Ohio U. The Lions took a 14-3 halftime lead, but failed to score again, and the Bobcats  scored three second half touchdowns to disappoint the faithful in what used to be called Happy Valley. PSU QB Matt McGloin threw the ball 48 times, completing 27, but averaged just 5.4 yds per attempt, and the leading PSU rusher had 53 yards on the ground. Not a recipe for winning football. Bobcat QB Tyler Tettleton was the star of the game with 324 yds passing and 2 TD’s. Recap (Penn State 0-1, Next game: 9/8 at Virginia)

Northwestern 42 - Syracuse 41
This was a crazy back-and-forth affair that saw the lead change hands four times in the first half before the Wildcats seemed to take command at 35-13 in the 3rd. But the Orangemen stormed back with 28 unanswered to lead 41-35 with 2:40 to play. At that point NW coach Pat Fitzgerald went with his passing QB Trevor Siemian over Kain Coulter, and he looked like a genius when Siemian drove the Wildcats 75 yards in 10 plays for the winning score with 44 seconds to play. Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib threw for 470 yards and 4 TD’s in defeat. The Wildcats’ Venric Mark had punt returns of 53 and 82 yards, the latter for a TD.  Recap (Northwestern 1-0 , Next game: 9/8 vs Vanderbilt)

Hyde Miami3Ohio State 56 - Miami University 10
Urban Meyer’s Ohio State debut started slowly...okay terribly...but the Buckeyes got it together against a surprisingly game bunch of Redhawks, eventually prevailing easily 56-10. Braxton MIller broke the OSU single-game rushing record for a quarterback (held by Cornelius Greene), with 161 yards on the ground, to go with his 207 passing yards. Miller threw TD’s to Devin Smith and Philly Brown, and Carlos Hyde chipped in with 84 yards rushing with two TD’s. Travis Howard had two picks from his cornerback spot, and the Bucks scored a special teams TD off a muffed punt snap. Recap - TCF story  (Ohio State 1-0, Next game: 9/8 vs Central Florida)

Illinois 24 - Western Michigan 7
New Illini coach Tim Beckman won his first game in Champaign with a 24-7 victory over Western Michigan, but his starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase went down with an ankle injury in the 3rd quarter with his team up 17-0. The Illini were able to hang on with the help of an interception return for a score by Ashante Williams when the Broncos were driving, trying to draw within three in the 4th quarter. Scheelhaase was 11 of 18 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown, and added a rushing touchdown. Backup Reilly O’Toole finished up for Illinois, but they had trouble moving the ball for the rest of the game. Recap (Illinois 1-0, Next game: 9/8 at Arizona State)

Nebraska 49 - Southern Mississippi 20
Perhaps the most impressive overall performance by a Big Ten team on opening weekend was turned in by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Taylor Martinez has been the subject of doubts and jokes about his passing prowess in his first two years as the Huskers’ QB, but he had a career day Saturday with 354 yards passing and matched his high of 5 TD passes as Nebraska ran away from the Eagles after leading 28-17 at the half. The only down side to the victory was a knee ligament sprain suffered by the Cornhuskers’ star running back Rex Burkhead, who left the game in the 3rd quarter, and is “day to day, week to week” according to coach Bo Pelini. Recap   (Nebraska 1-0, Next game: 9/8 at UCLA)

Wisconsin NI1Wisconsin 26 - Northern Iowa 21
The Badgers nearly blew one in the 4th quarter against the Panthers of Northern Iowa after taking what looked to be a secure 26-7 lead in the final period. Panther QB Sawyer Kollmorgen threw two long TD passes to David Johnson to draw them within five points, and Northern had the ball again in Wisconsin territory in the final minutes, but failed to convert on a 4th and 1 pass, and the comeback fell short. Montee Ball had 120 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Bret Bielema’s latest free agent quarterback Danny O’Brien was sharp, going 19 of 23 for 219 yards, with two TD passes to Jared Abrederis. Recap  (Wisconsin 1-0, Next game: 9/8 at Oregon State)

Iowa 18 - Northern Illinois 17
In yet another Big Ten-MAC matchup on opening weekend, the Hawkeyes escaped in the final minutes of a game in which they trailed most of the way, even though they dominated the game statistically. The Huskies of Northern Illinois led from early in the 2nd quarter, and held a 17-9 lead going into the 4th. But Hawkeye running back Damon Bullock broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run with 2:15 to go to get Iowa over the hump and avoid the upset. Northern was able to pass for only 54 yards for the game, but quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for 119 yds including a 73-yard TD run. Hawkeye QB James Vandenberg had a frustrating day, completing 21 of 33, for just 129 yards and a 3.9 yd average per attempt, with no TD’s or INT’s. Recap  (Iowa 1-0, Next game: 9/8 vs Iowa State)

Purdue 48 - Eastern Kentucky 6
Purdue’s starting quarterback Caleb TerBush was suspended for the opener for a violation of team rules, but Robert Marve stepped up with a career high in passing yards with 295, and added three TD passes, and the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky provided scant resistance in a 48-6 rout in West Lafayette. This one was over at halftime with the Boilers up 34-6. Purdue’s receivers O.J. Ross and Antavian Edison had good days, and Akeem Shavers led the Boilermakers in rushing with 74 yards. Purdue defensive tackle Kawaan Short blocked a field goal and an extra point in the win. Recap  (Purdue 1-0, Next game: 9/8 at Notre Dame)

Indiana 24 - Indiana State 17
The Hoosiers were able to snap a nine-game losing streak with this win over Larry Bird’s alma mater, joining quite a long list of Big Ten teams with underwhelming opening day victories. They had to like what they saw of sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson, however. He threw for 280 yards and a touchdown, on 26 of 36 passing, and added a rushing TD. Still the Hoosiers had to hold off the charging Sycamores on their last three possessions to secure the win and end the skid that dated to last September. Glenville’s Shane Wynn had a big day, leading the Hoosiers in receiving with 6 catches for 95 yards, including a 71-yard TD reception. Recap  (Indiana 1-0, Next game: 9/8 at Massachusetts)

UM AlabamaAlabama 41 - Michigan 14
Speaking of underwhelming....the Wolverines went to Dallas for a nationally-televised clash with Alabama, and were thoroughly taken apart by the Tide. It was 21-0 after a quarter, and 31-0 before Michigan finally dented the scoreboard right before halftime. It may not have defined the power gap between the SEC and the Big Ten, but it surely defines the gap between Alabama and anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line. The Tide took away the run from Denard Robinson, and in the process exposed him as the mediocre passer he is. They also demonstrated that the rebuilding of the Wolverine defense is a work still in progress. Receiver Jeremy Gallon showed well for Michigan, but good days for Wolves were in short supply. Recap  (Michigan 0-1, Next game: 9/8 vs Air Force)


Random Thoughts: It would be silly to try drawing any sweeping conclusions from one week of games, but if anything, the Week One results suggest that the conference is heavy on mediocre football teams and light on elite ones, if it has any elite ones at all. The fantasy that Michigan is a Top Ten program has been shattered, Penn State is clearly in decline, and Wisconsin, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State all look like they have had better teams in the last few years. And there is little indication that the league’s second tier programs...Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue...are doing anything but maintaining that status. I’d like to be wrong, but the conference appears to be weaker top-to-bottom than it was five or six years ago. A lot can happen in the next few weeks to change that assessment, but those are just my initial reactions to what I saw in Week One.


Current Big Ten Statistics


LeveonBell2Big Ten Players of the Week - Week One


LeVeon Bell - RB - Michigan State - 44 carries, 210 yds rushing , 2 TD

Taylor Martinez - QB - Nebraska - 26 of 34 passing, 354 yds, 5 TD

Honorable Mention:
Braxton Miller - QB - Ohio State
Kawaan Short - DT - Purdue
Venric Mark - WR/PR - Northwestern
Damon Bullock - RB - Iowa
Travis Howard - CB - Ohio State

Play of the Week

A no-doubter on opening weekend...OSU WR Devin Smith’s one-handed TD catch against Miami. Watch it here


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