What really mattered and what’s important from Week 2 of the Big Ten college football season?
And there’s the Rutgers offense we all know and love. There was hope that the passing game was getting going after a big performance against UMass, but Texas Tech transfer McLane Carter and Artur Sitkowski combined to connect on 9-of-26 passes for 41 yards and two picks. The O didn’t go anywhere.
The Iowa offense had a nice balance to take the pressure off of both sides. It took a little while to put the game away, but Nate Stanley was a sharp 16-of-28 for 236 yards and three scores. Imhir Smith-Marsette caught two touchdown passes as the deep threat.
At the very least, Rutgers has to be a whole lot tighter. If you’re going to be bad, don’t be -3 in turnover margin and get flagged seven times. How good was the Iowa D? Rutgers came up with just five first downs.
Survive and advance … survive and advance. It’s a win. It was ugly, sloppy, and very, very rough, but again, it’s a win. Against this Army team with its funky option-offense and style, take the victory no matter how it looked, run out of the stadium, get on the bus, and move on … it’s on to Wisconsin after getting two weeks to prepare. The defense came up with the plays it had to at the very end, and it held the Army ground game to just 200 yards and three touchdowns, but …
There were way too many penalties, there were way too many turnovers, and there were way too many mistakes. The four fumbles – losing two – were a part of a disturbing trend of putting the ball on the ground, the eight penalties all seemed to come at the absolute worst times, and it was an ugly all-around performance.
The offense stalled too often. The up-tempo attack appears to have taken away the physical aspect of the Michigan attack, but Zach Charbonnet was the game-saver with 100 tough yards and three scores on 33 carries. He didn’t bust out anything big, and he was stuffed on a few big downs, but he was a steadying force when the passing game wasn’t working.
And that’s how you get over a disappointing, crushing loss. The Boilermakers might have collapsed in the second half against Nevada, but they were terrific after halftime against Vandy. Elijah Sindelar threw for 509 yards and five scores with a rushing touchdown – but suffered a concussion – and Rondale Moore was his fabulous self with 13 catches for 220 yards and one score.
The Purdue offense is pushing the ball down the field more. Sindelar isn’t afraid to give his receivers a shot deep, and he has the arm to get it there. Vanderbilt gave Georgia’s Jake Fromm a hard time last week, and this week, Sindelar bombed at will. However, it might be backup Jack Plummer against TCU if Sindelar isn’t okay.
There were a whole slew of mistakes on both sides. The eight penalties would’ve been alarming if Vanderbilt didn’t get nailed for 13 sins for 100 yards. The Boilermakers were able to overcome it with great D for three quarters – this became a surprising breeze.