Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
IU shut out the Charleston Southern Buccaneers to improve to 3-2 on the season. The rest of their opponents, past and future, were busy with conference play. Read on for a quick recap of each contest from the past week.
Ohio State – see below
Virginia – 28 vs. Duke – 21
An early season victory in Charlottesville is looking better with each passing week. Bronco Mendenhall’s Virginia Cavaliers are now 4-1 (1-0) after knocking off the Duke Blue Devils 28-21. UVA scored a touchdown in each quarter and outgained the Blue Devils 310-255 en route to their third straight win. Since losing comfortably to IU, the Cavaliers have beaten UConn, won at Boise State and now knocked off Duke. They play UNC, Boston College and Pittsburgh next and could find themselves at 7-1 before their schedule toughens.
Georgia Southern – 25 vs. Arkansas State – 43
The Eagles lost their home opener on Wednesday night, falling to the Arkansas State Red Wolves and dropping to 0-4 on the season. It would be quite surprising if Tyson Summers still had his job when the calendar turns to January.
Penn State – 31 at Northwestern – 7
The Nittany Lions dominated the Northwestern Wildcats behind a stout defensive performance and an efficient day from Trace McSorley. Saquon Barkley was held in check but still found the end zone twice while gaining 75 rushing yards but it was McSorley’s 25-34 passing performance that helped separate PSU from the Wildcats. Northwestern only managed 67 rushing yards and their passing game wasn’t a whole lot better. The Nittany Lions now have a bye week before hosting Michigan and facing back-to-back road games at Ohio State and Michigan State.
Michigan – 10 vs. Michigan State – 14
IU’s next two opponents battled for the Paul Bunyan Trophy on Saturday night and played a wet, sloppy contest that ended with a surprising Spartan victory. The Michigan Wolverines dominated the Michigan State offense in the second half but they turned it over five times and fell short in their comeback bid after falling behind 14-3. John O’Korn was just 16 for 35 for 198 yards with three interceptions and the Wolverines only gained 2.6 yards per carry. Brian Lewerke threw for less than 100 yards but he took care of the ball and had a first half rushing touchdown that proved to be the winning score. Both offensive lines struggled with the opposition all night and it was hard to tell if the game said more about the defenses or the two woeful offenses. In addition, how big of a role did the monsoon they played through in the second half play on the offenses? In short, Michigan turned the ball over five times and paid dearly for their mistakes. IU will have to play really well to knock off either team but both of the next two games are winnable.
Maryland – 14 – at Ohio State – 62
So in the past three games, Maryland has been blown out by Central Florida, beaten Minnesota on the road and then got annihilated by Ohio State. I have no clue what to make of the Terrapins. Max Bortenschlager was only 3 of 12 for 16 yards and the Terrapins managed just 66 yards of offense as OSU’s defense punished them all game. A Ty Johnson kick-off return for a touchdown was the lone bright spot for Maryland on the afternoon. Of note, Caleb Henderson played a bit on Saturday and it’s possible the UNC transfer is healthy enough to take over as the starting quarterback for the Terps. They have a bye week before traveling to Wisconsin.
Wisconsin – 38 at Nebraska – 17
The Badgers are now 5-0 (2-0) after a terrific second half propelled them to a comfortable victory in Lincoln over the struggling Cornhuskers. While Wisconsin threw for only 113 yards, they ran for 353 yards with a 7.2 yards per carry average. That effort was led by freshman Jonathan Taylor. Taylor, a near lock for Big Ten Offensive Freshman of the Year, had 249 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns. The Badgers now host Purdue and Maryland and they appear likely to be favorites in each of their remaining games and could very well be 12-0 heading into the Big Ten Championship game.
Illinois – 16 at Iowa – 45
The Fighting Illini were giving Iowa all they could handle and led 16-13 in the second half. Then Illinois, a young squad playing a lot of underclassmen, ran out of gas and fell apart in in the final 20 minutes and ultimately losing by a lopsided score of 45-16. Jeff George Jr. was the starting quarterback and he had some bright spots but made some costly mistakes (three interceptions, only completing 22 of 45 passes) that proved fatal for his team. Malik Turner and Mike Dudek are decent weapons but Illinois does not have a lot of playmakers for him to spread the ball around to. Freshman Mike Epstein had 83 yards rushing, including a 58 yard scamper and he appears to be a back they can build around in the future. This continues to be a team I expect to beat later this season.
Purdue – 31 vs. Minnesota – 17
The Golden Gophers are clearly not the team I thought they were but credit has to go to Purdue as they made the necessary plays after a lightning delay to secure a big 31-17 victory at home to improve to 3-2 (1-1). The Gophers ran the ball well enough (227 yards on 47 carries) but their passing game continues to be an Achilles heel and a late pick six from the Boilermakers made sure the Boilers wrapped up the win. Elijah Sindelar got a lot more work than David Blough and was the more effective of the two as Blough had two interceptions in just ten throws. I would expect Sindelar to be the main quarterback (and perhaps the sole quarterback) when Purdue travels to Wisconsin this weekend.