What happened and what mattered in the Week 4 of the Big Ten college football season?
5. The “other” games
Of course Ohio State was going to come out roaring against Tulane, winning easily in Urban Meyer’s return with 42 first half points before taking the foot off the gas. Once again, Dwayne Haskins took target practice, completing 21-of-24 passes for 304 yards and five first half touchdowns. He was great, but he also had all the time in the world to work. The ground game didn’t bust out its normal explosive plays – averaging just 3.9 yards per carry, but Parris Campbell – eight catches for 147 yards and two scores – made up for it.
Now there’s the Purdue we’ve been waiting for. It was a desperation game for a winless team, and it came through big-time. The Boilermakers rolled by Boston College 30-13 with a brilliant day from David Blough – completing 21-of-28 passes for 296 yards and three scores – and with a special performance from the defense. Purdue picked off four passes and held AJ Dillon to just 59 yards.
You just knew the Temple loss was an aberration. Maryland whacked around Minnesota 42-13 – the findings of the report that came out this week didn’t matter – as Kasim Hill was fantastic, hitting 10-of-14 passes for 117 yards and a score. The running game out-Gophered the Gophers with 315 yards on the ground averaging 8.5 yards per carry – the offensive line was dominant. Ty Johnson ran for 123 yards and Anthony McFarland averaged 18.7 – they both averaged over 11 yards per carry.
Minnesota needed a passing game in the loss to Maryland, and it didn’t have one. Zach Annexstad only hit 14-of-32 passes, and the running game couldn’t pick up the slack. The Gophers got whipped on the lines, got gashed for way too many big plays, and didn’t have any answers after the game started to get away. It was a road game against an angry Terp team, but against Iowa next week, Minnesota has to owning the trenches.
Ohhhhhh, Rutgers. Yeah, the Kansas game was a bad day, but to get blown out by a MAC team? Buffalo might be talented, but 42-13? At home? The defense didn’t have any answers, getting down 35-6 at halftime, and the offense that couldn’t take advantage of any opportunity, didn’t get into the end zone until the fourth quarter. There’s just no pop or explosion to the offense – you can’t average 4.5 yards per pass – and now, it’ll take a major upset to stay within double digits of anyone the rest of the way.