B1G Week 1 breakdown

BRR Big Ten Reporter
Posted Sep 2, 2013


Who gets the game-ball for each Big Ten squad after week one?

Indiana Falls Just Shy of Scoring Record

The Hoosiers wanted to make a statement in the opener after falling to Indiana State last season. Their response on Thursday night, a 73-35 shellacking of the Sycamores, was nothing but impressive. Indiana started Tre Roberson under center before giving Nate Sudfeld some action. Roberson went three for six with two scores while Sudfeld had a terrific line of 12-17 with 219 yards and four touchdowns. Indiana came very close to surpassing their school-record of 76 points after notching a program-best 45 points in the first half.

Tidbit to Know: Running back Stephen Houston looked lost out on the field. He gained just nine yards on eight carries and had a dropped pass after being wide-open. The senior scored 12 touchdowns last season and ran for over 740 yards.

Game ball: Nate Sudfeld (12-17, 219 yds, 4 TDs)

Special Teams Carries Minnesota to Rout

It wasn’t the greatest start to the game for the Golden Gophers, but a pair of special teams plays propelled Minnesota to a 51-23 win against UNLV. Marcus Jones took a 98-yard kickoff return to the endzone before Martez Shabazz recovered a blocked field goal attempt and ran it all the way for a 51-yard score.

Tidbit to Know: No Gopher had more than 30 receiving yards or three receptions. Someone in the receiving corps will need to step up in the passing attack.

Game ball: Phillip Nelson (10-22, 99 yards, 1 TD, 12 carries, 83 yards, 2 TDs)

Spartans Survive Sloppy Offensive Play

There’s no question that Michigan State will go as far as their defense can take them. The offense was underwhelming as both Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook failed to impress under center. The Spartans received touchdowns via a two-yard run by Jeremy Langford and a 16-yard fumble return by Shilique Calhoun en route to a 26-13 win over Western Michigan. The Broncos were only able to amass 11 yards on the ground and 193 passing yards against the Big Ten’s No. 1 defense.

Tidbit to Know: While it’s easy to point fingers at the quarterbacks for the lack of production, the receivers didn’t help them at all. In total, there were six drops – three of which came from their most experienced option, senior Bennie Fowler.

Game ball: Jairus Jones(2 interceptions)

Second Half Woes Spoils Hazell’s Purdue Debut

In Darrell Hazell’s first game as the head coach of Purdue, the Boilermakers watched a 14-7 halftime deficit turn into a 42-7 beating courtesy of the Cincinnati Bearcats. Purdue’s defense was no match for the Bearcats’ running attack, allowing four scores on the ground. Hosey Williams led the way with 70 yards on 15 carries while quarterback Munchie Legaux added 55 yards and a score.

Tidbit to Know: Defensive leader and four-year starting cornerback, Ricardo Allen, left with an apparent ankle sprain. The team will know more on the severity on Sunday.

Game ball: LS Jesse Schmidt (recovered muffed punt, led to 7-yard TD run by Rob Henry)

Scheelhaase’s Career Game Leads Illini to Victory

A 22-0 second quarter in favor of Illinois was just enough to give the Illini a 42-34 win over Southern Illinois. The Salukis made a valiant comeback that fell just short of tying the game up. Nathan Scheelhaase racked up 416 yards and two touchdowns under center for Illinois, including a 53-yard strike to Josh Ferguson. Two receivers, Ryan Lankford and Ferguson, surpassed the 100-yard mark.

Tidbit to Know: A 1-0 start is exactly what the Illini wanted, but there is some concern surrounding their running game, which totaled a measly 49 yards on 30 attempts.

Game ball: QB Nate Scheelhaase (28-36, 416, 2 TDs)

Ohio State Good, Not Great in Opener

A BCS favorite, the Buckeyes started fast before playing down to the competition. Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller tossed two touchdowns with 178 passing yards and 77 rushing yards while Jordan Hall had a monster game with 159 yards and two scores en route to a 40-20 win over Buffalo. The No. 2 team in the nation did have three turnovers and nine penalties, which obviously won’t please head coach Urban Meyer.

Tidbit to Know: Ohio State converted two two-point conversions on their first and second touchdowns of the game to capture a 16-0 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter.

Game Ball: Jordan Hall (21 carries, 159 yds, 2 TDs)

Wisconsin Gives Andersen Impressive Win in First Game

Unlike Darrell Hazell with Purdue, Gary Andersen watched his squad rout its opponent, Massachusetts, 45-0. Despite the absence of Montee Ball, who’s now suiting up on Sundays for the Denver Broncos, the Badgers featured three 100-yard rushers: Melvin Gordon (144 yards), James White (143 yards) and Corey Clement (101 yards). All three players recorded one rushing touchdown.

Tidbit to Know: Jared Abbrederis, arguably the best receiver in the conference, had just two receptions but made the most of them, racking up 122 yards and two scores. He collected touchdowns of 65 and 57 yards.

Game ball: Wisconsin Offensive Line (three 100-yard runners, 393 rushing yards)

Late Field Goal Dooms Iowa

The Hawkeyes didn’t see this one coming. Northern Illinois converted on a 36-yard field with four seconds remaining in the game to capture a 30-27 victory. A back-and-forth affair, the Hawkeyes held a 27-20 lead with less than seven minutes left. Quarterback Jordan Lynch had a heroic performance for the Huskies, tallying 275 passing yards and three touchdowns while adding 56 more yards on the ground. Starting under center for Iowa, Jake Rudock tossed a costly interception with about a minute and a half to go that set up the game-winning kick.

Tidbit to Know: This was Iowa’s first season-opening loss since 2000. The loss also drops their losing streak to seven dating back to last year.

Game Ball: RB Mark Weisman (20 carries, 100 yards)

Michigan’s Offense Rolls in Season Opener

Michigan’s 59-9 beatdown of Central Michigan was an all-around effort. Quarterback Devon Gardner netted three touchdowns – two rushing, one passing – while Fitz Toussaint scored twice and freshman halfback Derrick Green found the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown. Receiver Jeremy Gallon also hauled in a score on a 16-yard pass from Gardner. The scoring, though, was first started by a 30-yard Joe Reynolds touchdown return after a blocked punt.

Tidbit to Know: Head coach Brady Hoke was pleased with their offensive balance (242 rushing, 221 passing). Their pass-run ratio allows Gardner to utilize the play-action, which Hoke believes is his biggest strength.

Game ball: RB Fitz Toussaint (14 attempts, 57 yards, 2 TDs)

Hackenberg Wins First Collegiate Start at Penn State

As all freshmen do, quarterback Christian Hackenberg showed some signs of being overwhelmed. Unlike all freshmen, though, Hackenberg looked poised. While that can be a confusing concept to grasp, Hackenberg made big plays when he had to and was able to overcome his mistakes. He connected on a few deep balls, including two 50-yard touchdown strikes. After being benched the first half, receiver Allen Robinson made his presence felt, leading the way with 133 yards and one touchdown on seven catches.

Tidbit to Know: Starting linebacker Mike Hull left with a knee injury. No word yet on the severity, but safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong rose to the occasion in his absence. He registered eight tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a sack and an interception.

Game ball: QB Christian Hackenberg (22-31, 278 yds, 2 TDs)

Cornhuskers Survive Scare at Lincoln

Nebraska hasn’t lost a season-opener since 1985. That streak still lives on, but there were times it looked like Wyoming might pull off the upset. Despite the scare, the Cornhuskers pulled out the 37-34 victory thanks to two touchdowns by halfback Imani Cross and a 100-yard night for Ameer Abullah. A four-year starter, Taylor Martinez had a respectable night, going 17-22 for 155 yards and three scores with 77 rushing yards. The problem, to no one’s surprise, was the defense, which 382 passing yards and four touchdowns via the air.

Tidbit to Know: Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith amassed 443 total yards of offense. That’s definitely going to keep Nebraska defenders up at night. If they want to make a BCS run, they’re going to need to figure out how to stop even better dual-threat players like Braxton Miller and Devon Gardner.

Game Ball: WR Quincy Enunwa (3 receptions, 27 yards, 2 TDs)

Costly Win for Northwestern

While there’s no such thing as a bad win, Saturday night’s game, which saw Northwestern win a thriller over California by a score of 44-30, may wind up setting the team back. Right off the bat the Wildcats had to overcome the loss of starting quarterback Kain Colter to a concussion before seeing starting corner Daniel Jones suffer a serious leg injury. There were positives, of course, such as junior back Treyvon Green bursting out for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. The game was sealed by a 40-yard Colin Ellis interception return for a touchdown with over seven minutes remaining – his second of the game. Tidbit to Know: A 2012 1,000-yard rusher, Venric Mark only mustered up 29 yards on 11 carries for the Wildcats. The problem? Like Colter and Jones, Mark was dealing with an injury to his hamstring. Game ball: CB Colin Ellis (2 INTs, 2 TDs)

Big Ten Week 1 Record: 10-2

*** Posted by Josh Harvey***


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