Despite playing at home, the Illini were heavy underdogs. They proved the nation wrong, though, after routing the Bearcats, 45-17. Just as they did in the first week, Illinois strung together a lethal offensive attack anchored by quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. The senior hit 11 different receivers for 312 yards and four touchdowns. After jumping out to a 21-0 lead, Cincinatti managed to claw back to a 28-17 deficit late in the third. That would be the closest they got as Illinois finished on a 17-0 run to clinch the surprising win and open the season 2-0.
Tidbit to Know: Scheelhaase’s four touchdowns Saturday afternoon were as many as he had all of last season.
Game ball: QB Nate Scheelhaase (26-37,312 yards, 4 TDs, 24 rushing yards)
Iowa Ends Losing Streak
It was a streak that haunted the Hawkeyes for quite some time. Their seven-game losing streak dating back to 2012 came to an end Saturday as they pulled out a 28-14 win over Missouri State. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest win, but Iowa fans have to appreciate the effort by their bulldozer of a running back, Mark Weisman. The redshirt junior amassed 180 yards and two scores on 30 carries. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes’ defense held their ground against the Missouri State ground game, which only tallied 70 yards.
Tidbit to Know: Weisman became the 42nd Iowa player to run for 1,000 yards in a career.
Game ball: QB Jake Rudock (19-28, 193 yards, 33 rushing yards, 2 TDs)
For the second straight week, the Spartans’ defense paved the way to victory. Their 21-6 win over South Florida featured two defensive touchdowns, both by defensive end Shilique Coleman. One of his scores came on a four-yard fumble return and the other via a 56-yard interception return. Michigan State’s offense didn’t contribute much, scoring just one touchdown in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Jeremy Langford. Three quarterbacks saw action for the Spartans with no one standing out among the crowd.
Tidbit to Know: Quarterbacks Andrew Maxwell, Connor Cook and Tyler O’Connor combined for 94 passing yards on 12 completions.
Game ball: DE Shilique Coleman (1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, 2 TDs)
Last week, freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg stole the headlines for Penn State and deservingly so. Once again, he had a solid outing, throwing for 311 yards and one touchdown on 22-33 passing. This game, though, saw the running backs have a much bigger impact than in Week One. Akeel Lynch (one TD) and Bill Belton (two TDs) each had 108 yards. Meanwhile, Zach Zwinak only registered 43 yards on the ground but found the endzone twice. Between the air and ground, Penn State’s offense is becoming one of the best dual-attacks in the nation.
Tidbit to Know: It’s concerning for Penn State that they struggled for the second straight week on third downs, this time only completing one third-down attempt (1-10). They did, however, go 2-2 on 4th down.
Game ball: WR Allen Robinson (7 rec, 129 yards, 1 TD)
Interception Leads Purdue to Victory
The Boilermakers held a 17-0 lead in the second quarter only to watch that gap shrink to just six points in the final minutes. Indiana State was driving on Purdue’s defense until 19 seconds remaining when defensive captain and four-year starter Ricardo Allen took it upon to himself to record the game-sealing interception. It wasn’t an easy win for Purdue, but after starting 0-1, any win is a good win, even a 20-14 win over the Sycamores. The most impressive play came early in the contest when Akeem Hunt scored on a 99-yard kickoff return thanks to some trickeration in the form of a reverse. Quarterback Rob Henry didn’t do anything, nor did he do anything spectacular, finishing 15-24 for 150 yards.
Tidbit to Know: Saturday’s win marked the first victory for head coach Danny Hazell at the school.
Game ball: CB Ricardo Allen (game-saving interception)
Wisconsin’s Three-Pronged Ground Game Triumphs
The loss of Montee Ball is becoming less and less of an issue by the game. For the second consecutive week, the Badgers had three runners total 100 or more yards. In a 48-0 win over Tennessee Tech, Wisconsin ran for a total of 51 times for 387 yards. Freshman Corey Clement led the way with 149 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries while Melvin Gordon recorded 140 yards (one touchdown) and James White (one touchdown) notched 109 yards. Joel Stave did a fantastic job of doing all that was asked of him, going 24-29 with 219 yards and 3 TDs. As always, Stave favored Jared Abbrederis in the passing game, hitting him on eight passes for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Tidbit to Know: At one point, Stave completed 13 straight passes. His efficiency gives Wisconsin a dimension they haven’t had since Russell Wilson.
Game ball: RB Melvin Gordon (9 attempts, 140 yards, 1 TD, 15.6 average)
Heisman Hopeful Goes Down for Ohio State
When quarterback Braxton Miller was met by two defenders, every Ohio State fan’s heart dropped. The helmetless Miller lay on the ground holding his head after suffering a sprained MCL. In his replace, though, Kenny Guiton went 19-28 for 152 yards and two touchdowns, including a 44-yard run. For the time being, Guiton is a formidable replacement, but Ohio State is praying Miller can get back in the lineup sooner rather than later. Along with Guiton, three Buckeyes scored on the ground while Philly Brown racked up six catches and two touchdowns for 73 yards. The 42-7 win over San Diego State featured tremendous run defense (64 yards allowed) and efficient passing, a formula that Ohio State hopes will carry them to a Big Ten Championship.
Tidbit to Know: Reports are stating Miller could return next week. However, sprained MCLs have a tendency to linger and this could be something he deals with throughout the entire season.
Game ball: WR Corey “Philly” Brown (6 rec, 73 yards, 2 TDs)
Hoosiers Unable to Complete Comeback over Navy
Indiana put itself in a 17-0 hole but made a valiant comeback that fell just short as they lost 41-35 to Navy. Nate Sudfeld is establishing himself as the clear-cut starter after going 31-42 for 363 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 35 more yards on the ground. The receiving corps had another successful week with Kofi Hughes leading the way (6 receptions, 102 yards and 1 TD) followed by Ted Bolser (5 receptions, 56 yards, 2 TDs). The Midshipmen relied, as always, on their ground game to capture the victory. Indiana had no answer for the option, allowing 444 yards on the ground while forcing no turnovers.
Tidbit to Know: Sudfeld is emerging as the Hoosiers’ No. 1 quarterback. Tre Roberson only had one passing attempt and three carries.
Game ball: QB Nate Sudfeld (31-42, 363 yards, 4 TDs, 6 carries, 35 yards)
After narrowly holding off Wyoming in the opener, the Cornhuskers responded Saturday night with an impressive showing, lighting the scoreboard up in a 56-13 win. Taylor Martinez did what he had to, Ameer Abdullah coasted to a 100-yard game and both Quincy Enunwa and Kenny Bell found the endzone. The issue from Week One – the defense – forced three interceptions and held Southern Miss to just 62 rushing yards. The win is a major confidence boost for the Cornhuskers as they prepare for a Top 25 showdown against UCLA.
Tidbit to Know: Redshirt sophomore WR Sam Burtch recorded his first career touchdown on a 26-yard catch.
Game ball: RB Ameer Abdullah (17 attempts, 114 yards, 2 TDs, 4 receptions, 16 yards)
Offense Clicks as Northwestern Moves to 2-0
It didn’t matter who was under center for the Wildcats in their 48-27 beatdown of Syracuse. Trevoer Siemian went 15-19 for 259 yards and three touchdowns while Kain Colter went for 116 yards and one score on 15-18 passing. As always, Colter utilized his legs, running for a team-high 87 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. At one point, Northwestern held a 34-7 lead in what was a complete domination of the Orange. The Wildcats picked off Syracuse’s Drew Allen four times.
Tidbit to Know: RB Venric Mark didn’t play due to a lower body injury. Last season, Mark ran for 1,366 yards. They will surely need him once their conference slate begins.
Game ball: WR Tony Jones (9 receptions, 185 yards, 1 TD)
An End of a Rivalry Sees Michigan Triumphant
In what will be their last meeting for the foreseeable future, Michigan trumped Notre Dame at home, 41-30. Quarterback Devon Gardner had a phenomenal performance, tossing four touchdowns with three of them going to his favorite target, Jeremy Gallon. The junior passer also ran for a game-high 82 yards and one touchdown. The Wolverines defense didn’t have their best showing, but they made key stops when they needed to, such as cornerback Blake Countess who picked off Tommy Rees twice. The game drew close with a little under five minutes remaining until Gardner connected on a four-yard pass to Drew Dileo to seal the victory.
Tidbit to Know: Gardner wore No. 98 in honor of Michigan great Tom Harmon. He will wear the number for the rest of his collegiate career.
Game ball: WR Jeremy Gallon (8 receptions, 184 yards, 3 TDs)
Strong First Half Moves Minnesota to 2-0
Entering the second quarter, the Golden Gophers held a 3-0 lead over New Mexico State. By the final whistle, they would see the scoreboard reading 44-21 in their favor. This came thanks in large part to a breakthrough second quarter in which they racked up 24 points, including a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown and two rushing scores. The Minnesota ground game racked up 342 yards. Roderick Williams Jr. collected 148 yards and one score on 16 carries for the Gophers.
Tidbit to Know: Minnesota won despite losing the time of possession battle (28:11 to 31:49) and only going 2-9 on third-down attempts.
Game ball: RB Roderick Williams Jr. (16 attempts, 148 yards, 1 TD)
Big Ten Week 2 Record: 11-1
Big Ten Overall Season Record: 21-3
*** Posted by Josh Harvey***