Big Ten Rankings & Thoughts: Week 1

Big Ten Rankings & Thoughts: Week 1

American Athletic

Big Ten Rankings & Thoughts: Week 1


Big Ten Rankings & Thoughts: Week 1

The rankings & thoughts for all the Big Ten teams after Week 1.

14. Illinois Fighting Illini

Score: at Illinois 24, Ball State 21
Next Up:
 Western Kentucky

– Yeah, you take the win no matter what, but if it takes a blocked field goal to get out alive against Ball State, there are issues.

– Illinois, you had better find a running game fast. The Illini ran for just 71 yards averaging 2.4 yards per try.

– Ball State dominated the game at times, holding the ball for well over 36 minutes. Illinois converting just 2-of-10 third down tries had something to do with that.

13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Score: Washington 30, at Rutgers 14
Next Up:
 Eastern Michigan

– Washington is good enough to win the Pac-12 again and get back to the College Football Playoff. The Scarlet Knights were able to hang around to keep it interesting.

– The offense was way too conservative. New offensive coordinator Jerry Kill didn’t do anything crazy, but he needed to at times.

– Gus Edwards is a player. He struggled for a hard 79 rushing yards, while new QB Kyle Bolin completed 24-of-34 passes for 178 yards and two scores with two picks.

12. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Score: at Nebraska 43, Arkansas State 36
Next Up:
 at Oregon

– No, no, no, no, no. Nebraska isn’t supposed to be happy that Arkansas State just barely missed on a possible game-tying touchdown in the final seconds. The secondary was shredded for 415 yards and three scores.

– After all the hype, Tanner Lee was just okay. He completed 19-of-32 passes for 238 yards and two scores.

– Welcome to Tre Bryant. The savior for the Husker offense at times, he rancor 192 yards and a score on 31 carries. He balanced out an attack that needed to keep Justice Hansen and the ASU passing game off the field.

11. Purdue Boilermakers

Score: Louisville 35, Purdue 28
Next Up:

– There are no such things as moral victories. Yeah there are – this was one. This was Purdue showing that it really can play a little bit. This was Purdue showing that there’s hope to be interesting this year.

– Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Purdue couldn’t turn the ball over four times and win. It turned the ball over four times, and made it a fight.

– Did the new offense work? Sort of. David Blough and Elijah Singular combined to throw 57 times for 293 yards and four scores – and three picks. It wasn’t pretty, but the Boilermakers hung with Louisville.

10. Indiana Hoosiers

Score: Ohio State 49, at Indiana 21
Next Up:
 at Virginia
Ohio State survives IU: 3 Things That Matter

– Talent and speed won out. Indiana might have been great for just over a half, and the D was sound – for the most part – but Ohio State is No. 2 for a reason. Speed, speed, talent and speed.

– Richard Lagow and the big receivers were terrific – until the picks. Lago high 40-of-65 passes for 410 yards and three scores with two interceptions, and Simmie Cobb caught 11 passes for 149 yards.

– IU can’t make mistakes. It can’t lose the turnover battle -3, and even when throwing 68 passes, the offense has to control the ball and the clock better.

9. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Score: at Minnesota 17, Buffalo 7
Next Up:
 at Oregon State

– Relax. For all the pep from the P.J. Fleck act, this is still a grinding Minnesota team that’ll rely on the running game and defense. However, it needs to average better than 3.3 yards on the ground.

– Demry Croft was the stronger of the two QBs. He completed 7-of-11 passes for 63 yards, and ran for 32 yards. Conor Rhoda was okay,  completing 12-of-21 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown with an interception.

– Time of possession really, really matters. When the team isn’t rocking, holding the ball for 37 minutes makes a difference.

8. Northwestern Wildcats

Score: Northwestern 31, Nevada 20
Next Up:
 at Duke

– The Wildcats certainly made it interesting. The two one-yard Clayton Thorson touchdown sneaks – especially the first one – might be tone-setting moments for the season. The Cats aren’t going to play afraid.

– Thorson was brilliant. He completed 38-of-38 passes for 352 yards and two scores with a pick, and ran for the two scores. The interception was a problem, but he outbombed the team that’s supposed to do nothing but bomb.

– It took way, way too much work to get this done. Northwestern owned the game in so many ways, but still needed to scramble late.

7. Maryland Terrapins

Score: Maryland 51, at Texas 41
Next Up:
 Towson State
Maryland Shocks Texas: 3 Things That Matter

– Maryland could’ve buckled under the pressure, but it kept playing well after a rocky third quarter and pulled away in the fourth. Whether or not this is a marking point for the program, it will always be remembered as one of the program’s great wins.

– Tyrell Pigrome was fine, while Kasim Hill stepped in when needed. Pigrome completed 9-of-12 passes for 175 yards and two scores with a pick, and ran for 64 yards and a score before getting hurt. Hill stepped in and hit all three throws for 44 yards, and ran for a touchdown.

– Maryland was more physical. The Terp D held Texas to just 98 yards on the ground and the O ran for 263 yards. The special teams were an issue, but the team kept going back from the problems.

6. Michigan State Spartans

Score: Michigan State 35, Bowling Green 10
Next Up:
 Western Michigan

– It was a slow start, but the Spartans woke up after the first quarter and rolled. Brian Lewerke completed 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards and three scores.

– The running game was spread around. The ground attack wasn’t dominant, but it was effective enough.

– The three turnovers kept the game from getting brutally ugly. The offense isn’t sharp enough to keep screwing up.

5. Iowa Hawkeyes

Score: at Iowa 24, Wyoming 3
Next Up:
 at Iowa State

– It was hardly perfect, but it was good enough. The four turnovers were a big problem, but the D kept Josh Allen to just 174 yards and two scores.

– Nathan Stanley was hardly perfect, but he was good enough. The Hawkeye starting quarterback completed 8-of-15 throws for 125 yards and three scores with a pick.

– James Butler couldn’t get going, but Akrum Wadley ran for 116 yards and a grinding 24 carries.

4. Penn State Nittany Lions

Score: at Penn State 52, Akron 0
Next Up:

– Yeah, the offense was great in the easy win, but the key stat? 0. The defense was a killer against an Akron team that has a few okay offensive playmakers.

– Well look at that, Penn State got off to a hot start. That has to be the theme after needing to rally time and again last year. Hanging 35 on the board in the first half made things easy.

– The stars came out. Trace McSorley completed 18-of-25 passes for 280 yards and two scores with a pick, and ran for 48 yards and a touchdown. Saquon Barkley ran for 172 yards and two scores on just 14 carries.

3. Wisconsin Badgers

Score: at Wisconsin 59, Utah State 10
Next Up:
 Florida Atlantic

– Really? You were worried after a rocky first quarter? Wisconsin got the offense rolling after the size and speed were too much for the Aggies, and then … boom. That’s the Wisconsin team we were waiting for.

– The carries are going to be shared. The O ran for over five yards per carry with Jonathan Taylor and Bradrick Shaw each going for over 100 yards.

– Even with all of the defensive injuries, the linebacking corps was swarming after the first quarter. Utah State ran for just 85 yards.

2. Michigan Wolverines

Score: Michigan 33, Florida 17
Next Up:
Maryland Shocks Texas: 3 Things That Matter

The defense has reloaded immediately. The Wolverines gave up just 11 rushing yards and didn’t allow much of anything downfield with the passing game. It was a brilliant performance.

Wilton Speight will get ripped on for his two pick-sixes, but the offense was almost perfectly balanced – 218 passing, 215 rushing – thanks to a fantastic game from the line. It pounded away on a great Gator D line.

Control … the … clock. The Wolverines were far better on third downs and ended up having the ball for almost nine minutes longer.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

Score: Ohio State 49, at Indiana 21
Next Up:
Ohio State survives IU: 3 Things That Matter

– Don’t get into a twist over the first half. Ohio State came up with almost 600 yards and hung 49 points on the board. It’s fine.

– Once again, J.T. Barrett might not have seemed sensational, but he still ended up with a huge day, throwing for 301 yards and there score and running for 61 and a TD.

– This was the J.K. Dobbins day. he turned the game around with 181 rushing yards and two catches for 24 yards, while Parris Campbell caught six passes for 136 yards and a touchdown – but dropped a TD pass.

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