Big Ten Review: Week One

EAST LANSING, MI - AUGUST 31: Le'Veon Bell #24 of the Michigan State Spartans jumps over the attempted tackle of Jeremy Ioane #10 of the Boise State Broncos at Spartan Stadium on August, 2010 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Week one in the Big Ten offered a little bit of everything - wild finished, bear upsets, blowouts that were supposed to be thrillers, and thrillers that were supposed to be blowouts. The overall conference record was 9-2, but Penn State's loss to a MAC team and Michigan losing in embarrassing fashion to Alabama didn't do much to heal the reputation of the Big Ten.

Alabama- 41
Michigan- 14

This was the game that could have propelled the reputation of the Big Ten and showcased the beginning of a new era under Brady Hoke. That will have for another time, as this game was never close. Alabama went up 21-0 late in the first quarter and led 31-7 at halftime. The youthful Alabama defense completely shut down Denard Robinson as the Michigan defense only gained 268 total yards on offense.

Up Next for Michigan: Air Force

Ohio State- 56
Miami (OH)- 10

The beginning of the Urban Meyer era started off with the bang, as Ohio State looked like the teams that won the B10 nearly every or at least claimed a share when they didn't. Miami appeared to have a chance to hand Meyer his first career reseat on opening day as they clung to a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter. But Ohio State finally got on the board and never looked back. Devin Smith had an absolutely astounding touchdown grab that was the highlight of week one and Braxton Miller set a Buckeyes record for rushing yards by a quarterback by picking up 161 yards on the ground.

Up Next for Ohio State: Central Florid

Wisconsin- 26
Northern Iowa- 21

Wisconsin looked like they would cruise to a blowout victory, but FCS opponent Northern Iowa went on a furious rally to nearly pull off an improbable upset of the 2011 Big Ten champions. Northern Iowa scored 21 consecutive points in the second half to pull within five. However, a failed 4th and one from the Wisconsin 41 prevented them from a go-ahead touchdown that may have sunk Bucky's season before it really started. Danny O'Brien had a very efficient start to his Badgers career by completing 19 of 23 pass attempts for 219 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Montee Ball finished with 120 yards, but averaged only 3.8 yards per carry. The Wisconsin offensive line clearly needs to mesh in the coming weeks for the Badgers to repeat as Big Ten champs.

Up Next for Wisconsin: at Oregon State

Nebraska- 49
Southern Miss- 20

Nebraska had no troubles defeating the 2011 Conference USA champions. The biggest surprise of the game was Taylor Martinez's stellar performance. T-Magic completed 26 of 34 attempts for 354 yards, 5 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Nebraska did have a troubling moment as Trevor Burkeholder left the game in second quarter with a knee injury. Initial reports are a sprained MCL, which if true, will not have the preseason All-B10 running back out for very long.

Up Next for Nebraska: at UCLA

Iowa- 18
Northern Illinois- 17

Iowa always seems to open up the season with a wacky victory over a MAC or FCS opponent. This year was no different. Iowa scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:15 remaining on a gutsy call by Kirk Ferentz, as Damon Bullock ran in a 23 yard touchdown on third and nine. Bullock thumbed his nose at AIRHBG by rushing for 150 yards on 30 carries.

Up Next for Iowa: Iowa State

Michigan State- 17
Boise State- 13

Michigan State pulled off a big win just as many predicted, but it certainly was not easy for the Spartans. Boise State has a tendency to win the openers that everyone says they will lose, so the victory should certainly be appreciated by Sparty Nation. Boise State led for a majority of the contest, but the Spatans eventually wore down the Broncos defense. The Spartans offense can be summed up in two words: Le'Veon Bell. The sophomore running back carried Michigan State with 265 total yards, including 210 yards on 44 carries. While Bell put himself in the Heisman mix with his amazing performance, the dependency on him signals potential issues for the Spartan offense. With 50 total carries, Bell will certainly get worn down as the season progresses, and Michigan State must find a way to balance out their attack to win the B10, as so many have predicted.

Up next for Michigan State: at Central Michigan

Purdue- 48
Eastern Kentuckey- 6

Purdue has become the sexy choice as the upset winner of the Leaders Division, and the first game didn't do much to dispel that notion. Purdue rolled over its FCS opponent, ending the first half with a 34-6 lead on its way to a 32 point victory. Robert Marve finished with 307 yards in the air as he went 31 of 38. Purdue did turn over the ball five times, something they cannot do if they expect to win as the schedule progresses.

Up Next for Purdue: at Notre Dame

Northwestern- 42
Syracuse- 41

Northwestern won the most thrilling game of the opening B10 weekend. The Wildcats jumped out to a 35-13 lead, but squandered it in typical Northwestern fashion. Syracuse would go on to score four unanswered touchdowns to claim a 41-35 advantage. NU was able to finally answer with a touchdown with only :40 remaining in the game. The porous Wildcats defense surrendered 470 yards and 4 touchdowns in the air, giving future opponents with an any iota of a passing game a blueprint for victory.

Up Next for Northwestern: Vanderbilt

Illinois- 24
Western Michigan- 7

The Illini defense passed its first test by stifling Western Michigan's offense usually high-powered offense. The biggest moment of the game may have come int he fourth quarter when Illinois quarterback Nate Scheelhaase had to be carted off the field with an ankle injury. In related news, Tim Beckham is still an asshat.

Up next for Illinois: at Arizona State

Minnesota- 30
UNLV- 27 (3 OT)

Minnesota won the best game that no one watched in week one, claiming a triple-overtime victory in a game that wrapped up around 3 a.m. EST. Gophers CB Derrick Wells was the hero of the game by intercepting his second pass to set up the game winning field goal.

Up Next for Minnesota: New Hampshire


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