The excitement of the opening week of college football is now in the books and we look forward to week two and the games for all of the Big Ten teams.
Oregon State (0-1) @ 8 Wisconsin (1-0)
Wisconsin looks to build off of a big opening win over UNLV. Oregon State is looking to bounce back after losing to FCS Sacramento State on overtime last week. Wisconsin’s offense looked dominant a week ago, gaining 499 yards, but the Badgers need to improve on defense where they allowed UNLV to move the ball with ease at times throughout the game. Even in a loss the Oregon State offense gained a lot of yards, highlighted by freshman RB Malcolm Agnew’s 223 yards rushing and three touchdowns performance.
Toledo (1-0) @ 15 Ohio State (1-0)
Ohio State should be able to roll to another easy win in this in-state battle with Toledo. Quarterbacks Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller will each get to gain more game experience and show what they got before the Buckeyes go on the road next week to Miami (FL). Ohio State will also have the benefit of having RB Jordan Hall and CB Travis Howard back for this game after they served a one game suspension. Both players are expected to be starters. Toledo dominated FCS New Hampshire in week one. The Rockets gained 591 yards on offense en route to a 58-22 win.
Fresno State (0-1) @ 10 Nebraska (1-0)
Nebraska looked good in their first game as a member of the Big Ten, collecting a 33 point victory over Chattanooga. The new style Husker offense gained 364 yards in week one, powered by Taylor Martinez who rushed for 135 yards and passed for 116. A traditionally strong running team, Fresno State struggled to move the ball on the ground against Cal last week as they only managed 68 total yards rushing. It won’t be much better this week as Fresno State’s young offensive line goes against one of the better defensive lines in the country.
Florida Atlantic (0-1) @ 17 Michigan State (1-0)
Michigan State eased to a season opening win against Youngstown State last week. QB Kirk Cousins was efficient in completing over 80% of his passes for 222 yards and one touchdown. The RB duo of Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell combined for 131 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. WR BJ Cunningham also had a good game hauling in nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Florida Atlantic struggled against Florida in their first game, scoring only three points off of 137 yards of offense. While not much went right for the Owls, they did intercept three passes off of Florida.
3 Alabama (1-0) @ 23 Penn State (1-0)
Penn State is looking to revenge a 24-3 loss to Alabama last season in this matchup of traditional powers. The Penn State quarterback race is still tight between sophomore Rob Bolden and junior Mathew McGloin who each saw equal action in the Nittany Lion’s week one win. Alabama looks to be in the same situation at quarterback, as the position is unsettled between sophomore AJ McCarron and freshman Phillip Sims. McCarron saw the most action in week one and passed for 226 yards and a score.
Notre Dame (0-1) @ Michigan (1-0)
The first night game at Michigan Stadium pits the Wolverines led by first year coach Brady Hoke against a desperate Notre Dame team. Both teams dealt with weather related delays in week one, but the games had very different outcomes. Michigan’s performance looked promising and included two defensive touchdowns in a game that saw the fourth quarter cancelled. Notre Dame was plagued by mistakes throughout their game in which they lost to South Florida. The Irish are switching their starting quarterback from Dayne Crist to Tommy Rees for this week.
Iowa (1-0) @ Iowa State (1-0)
Iowa has won three straight against in-state rival Iowa State, including last season’s 35-7 win in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won easily last week against Tennessee Tech, but lost some depth at RB when backup Mika’il McCall broke his ankle in the game. McCall was Iowa’s leading rusher in the game with 61 yards on just nine attempts. Iowa State is coming off of a close win over Northern Iowa in which they had to score two touchdowns in the final five minutes to win. The Cyclones were plagued by four turnovers, including three interceptions by QB Steele Jantz.
New Mexico State (0-1) @ Minnesota (0-1)
Minnesota looked much improved from last year in their close loss to USC last week. This week Minnesota has a much easier opponent in New Mexico State. The Gophers held USC to only 67 yards rushing in the game, last season Minnesota was last in the Big Ten in rushing defense allowing 191 yards per game. QB Marqueis Gray was hurt in the USC game but will be back to starting this week. The Aggies only rushed for six yards last week as they lost to Ohio by 20 points. New Mexico State has only won two of their last 13 games. Minnesota hasn’t been able to win much at TCF Bank Stadium since it opened, this game will be a good opportunity to turn that around.
South Dakota State (1-0) @ Illinois (1-0)
Illinois’ passing game was impressive in their week one victory over Arkansas State. The Illini had two receivers go over 100 yards receiving and QB Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Illinois did get off to a slow start in the game as they trailed with less than two minutes left in the first half before scoring 26 unanswered points. South Dakota State held on for a 29-28 victory over Southern Utah last week after jumping out to a 29-7 lead. Jackrabbits QB Thomas O’Brien passed for 279 yards and three scores in the victory.
Eastern Illinois (1-0) @ Northwestern (1-0)
Northwestern earned a hard fought road victory over Boston College without the services of All Big Ten quarterback Dan Persa. Without Persa the Wildcats ran the ball a lot, totally 227 yards on 54 carries. While the offense was solid the defensive performance looked similar to last season when they were tenth in the Big Ten in pass defense. Northwestern gave up 375 yards passing during the win. Eastern Illinois beat Illinois State last week behind 304 yards passing from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Eastern Illinois also forced four turnovers in the game.
Purdue (1-0) @ Rice (0-1)
QB Caleb TerBush led Purdue to a come from behind win in his first start for the Boilermakers while throwing for 219 yards. The Purdue offense also received a spark from RB Ralph Bolden who played in his first game since 2009. Rice had a hard time moving the ball against Texas last week as they only gained 224 yards and scored seven points. The highlight for Rice was at halftime when their band spelled out $EC on the Texas’ field.
Virginia (1-0) @ Indiana (0-1)
It was a rough start to the Kevin Wilson era as Indiana fell to Ball State 27-20. The Hoosiers passing game was still sharp though as quarterback Edward Wright-Baker passed for 272 yards and star receiver Damarlo Belcher went over 100 yards receiving. Virginia rolled to an opening week victory over FCS foe William & Mary 40-3. En route to the victory Virginia gained 496 yards while allowing only 169 yards.
Must see game: Notre Dame @ Michigan
The first game under the lights at The Big House is turning out to be one of the most hyped games in Michigan’s history. Not because of the product on the field but because of the Michigan is actually having a night game. And don’t forget that the last two seasons the Michigan/Notre Dame game came down to the final minute of the game, which saw Michigan winning both by scoring late touchdowns.
Upset Watch: Alabama @ Penn State
Paternoville has been in full force all week and Happy Valley is as tough of a place to play as in when the crowd is rocking. Add in that Alabama’s quarterback(s) will be playing in their first road game and an upset of one of the best teams in the land would be far from shocking.
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