Illinois Fighting Illini: The Fighting Illini of Illinois came out firing as they had a 24-21 victory over Ball State. Their pass game looked good, and their defense did not look terrible. Their run game looked very strong. However, they have several new comers and hope some can step up and take leadership roles on the team. I expect them to be about mediocre, as their freshmen will struggle throughout the year, but they do have a good chance to do well this year.
Indiana Hoosiers: Indiana began their game well against the Buckeyes. However, after a while, Ohio State took over and won 49-21. The first B1G v. B1G game of the season and Ohio State just walloped the Hoosiers. If Indiana plays the whole season like they did in the first quarter, they will be above average and may have a chance to knock off schools like Michigan and Penn State. But, as of now, they’re looking to be just another mediocre Big Ten team.
Iowa Hawkeyes: The Hawkeyes knocked off Wyoming 24-3 as their new quarterback looked like he was ready to fill in the role of leading the Iowa team. He threw three touchdowns in his debut. They did get help from Wyoming special teams as the Cowboy punter actually missed the punt! The Iowa defense looked strong, as they shut down the Wyoming offense and held them to only three points, which will help defeat many Big Ten teams in the future.
Maryland Terrapins: The Terps began their season strong, knocking off no. 23 ranked Texas in the Longhorns Stadium! In a fourth quarter shootout, Maryland came on top 51-41. There were several strong points for the Terrapins. However, their one concern was their special teams which did not play well against the Longhorn special teams. They did enough to get the job done, but, by judging them after this game, they could be ranked and in a bowl game by January.
#11 Michigan Wolverines: The Wolverines were victorious in Gainesville as they defeated the seventeenth ranked Gators 33-17. Their kicker, Quinn Nordin, was the first Michigan kicker to knock through two 50+ field goals in a single game. The Wolverines trailed 17-13 at the half, before scoring twenty unanswered in the second half. They don’t look too shabby without Jabril Peppers, but they are certainly not as powerful.
Michigan State Spartans: Michigan State had a much-needed victory over Bowling Green this weekend. Hoping for a bounce-back year, the Spartans punished Bowling Green 35-10. Their sophomore quarterback went 22 for 33 in the game and threw for 250 yards.
Minnesota Golden Gophers: The Gophers looked rough. They did come out victorious, but only winning 17-7 against a beat up Buffalo team is very unsatisfying. I believe they will be near the bottom of the standings in the Big Ten West, as in Week One they did not look to be powerful.
Nebraska Cornhuskers: Similarly to Minnesota, the Huskers victory looked very unsatisfying as they were only able to defeat a lowly Arkansas State team by seven points. Their defense looked helpless against the Arkansas State offense. The Cornhusker special teams, however, looked to be doing well. If only the rest of the team could keep up. This could be a very disappointing season for Nebraska fans.
Northwestern Wildcats: The Wildcat quarterback, Clayton Thorsen, delivered two touchdowns in the final six minutes to propel the Northwestern Wildcats over Nevada for a 31-20 victory. Thorsen looked very well in the game. And, the Wildcats may have an above average year.
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes: After a rocky first quarter, Ohio State dominated the Hoosiers of Indiana. They defeated the Hoosiers by a score of 49-21. Their freshman running back, J.K. Dobbins, broke a Buckeye record by rushing for 181 yards in his collegiate debut. J.T. Barrett and the rest of the Buckeye offense looked like they are ready to pick up where they left off last year.
#6 Penn State Nittany Lions: Penn State’s two main stars, Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley resumed their breakout seasons from last year is the beat the snot out of Akron. Akron’s defense looked plain clueless and the Nittany Lion defense held the Zips to a 56-0 shoutout. A well-played team game by Penn State.
Purdue Boilermakers: Purdue was expected to get crushed by #16 Louisville. They only lost 35-28, a touchdown. The Boilermakers had many positives looking back at this game. This season should be an at least above average one for Purdue, and a bowl game is definitely within reach for this season.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: The Scarlet Knights faced no. 8 ranked Washington and began well, then faded out. However, Rutgers looked very good. It was a good loss for them, much like Purdue’s situation. Nobody expected Rutgers to even be close, but they tossed out the hate and played a well-fought ball game. Don’t count out Rutgers this year.
#9 Wisconsin Badgers: After the first half, the Badgers and the Utah State Aggies have tied at ten a piece, and it looked as though Utah State had a chance to pull off the upset. Then, Wisconsin football happened. They scored 59 unanswered and several upper-class men had their first Badger touchdowns. It all propelled them to overall dominate Utah State 59-10.