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Big Ten Review: Week 2

Week 2 games in the Big Ten ranged from fantastic finishes (Michigan) to shocking conclusions (Iowa) to mundane wins (Michigan State/Wisconsin). The Big Ten struggled this week, going only 7-5, but that's bound to happen when a majority of the conference isn't playing FCS cupcakes.

Game of the Week: Notre Dame Fighting Irish 0-2 @ Michigan Wolverines 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: Michigan - 35 ND - 31

For awhile, it looked like Michigan was going to get blown away by the Irish in the first ever night game at the Big House. Notre Dame led 24-7 going into the final quarter, only to watch Michigan furiously rally to take a 28-24 lead with 1:12 left, thanks to a monster game from Denard Robinson (338 passing yards 4 TDs, 108 rushing yards, 1 TD). After falling behind for the first time in the game, Notre Dame used only 42 seconds of game time to score a touchdown to retake the lead. With 30 seconds remaining in the game, Robinson completed a 64 yard pass to Jeremy Gallon, then found Roy Roundtree on the next play in the endzone for the winning TD. Even if you don't like these two teams, it was an ending worth watching for any college football fan.

Michigan Player of the Game: Denard Robinson went 11/24 for 338 yards, 4 TDs 3 INTs and ran for another 108 yards on 16 carries and a TD.

All the Rest:

Florida Atlantic Owls 0-2 (0-0) @ Michigan State Spartans 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: MSU - 44 FAU - 0

Domination. MSU held FAU to one first down and 48 total yards throughout the game. Pretty easy to win when you hold the ball for 42 minutes. Kirk Cousins had a nice day, completing 16 passes for 183 yards and 2 TDs, and MSU had three players run for at least 50 yards, but none more than 69. 

MSU Players of the Game: The entire MSU defense has to get the credit for this, not only did they limit FAU to 48 yards, but they also returned a fumble for a TD in the 4th quarter.

Iowa Hawkeyes 1-1 (0-0) @ Iowa State Cyclones 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: ISU - 44 Iowa 41 (3 OT)

This game was kind of a shocker. Iowa rolled in their season opener while ISU struggled to beat an FCS team. Iowa had won each of the last three meetings with the Cyclones and 6 of the past 9. Yet Iowa couldn't hold a 7 point lead with just under 6 minutes to go in the game. Iowa and ISU traded TDs in each of the first two OTs, but in the third OT, Iowa was held to a field goal and ISU was able to punch the ball into the endzone for a TD and the win. 

Iowa Player of the Game: James Vandenberg completed 16/28 passes for 207 yards and 2 TDs. 

Oregon State Beavers 0-2 (0-0) @ Wisconsin Badgers 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: Wisconsin - 35 Ore. St - 0

I will just link to this video that Peter provided yesterday, as it nicely sums up how the game went for Oregon State:

Negative yard punt by Oregon state vs Wisconsin (via Jk44linebacker)

Oregon State couldn't get anything going on the ground, held to 23 yards on 24 attempts. They moved the ball well through the air, but couldn't crack the Wisconsin defense on the three drives they took deep into Badger territory. 

Wisconsin Players of the Game: Russell Wilson had another solid game, going 17/21 for 189 yards and 3 TDs, while Montee Ball ran for 118 yards and 2 TDs.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits 1-1 (0-0) @ Illinois Fighting Illini 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: Illinois - 56 SDSU - 3

FCS cupcake, this result was expected.

Illinois Players of the Game: Illinois had 8 players run the ball at least once, they totaled 364 yards and 6 TDs. This would be impressive if it wasn't an FCS team.

Toledo Rockets 1-1 (0-0) @ Ohio State Buckeyes 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: OSU - 27 Toledo - 22

Toledo nearly pulled off the shocker of the weekend. They took leads of 15-7 in the 1st quarter and 22-21 in the 3rd quarter. The Rockets had a chance to win it late, when they reached the Buckeyes 17 yard line with 52 seconds left, but Terrance Owens 4th and 6 pass fell incomplete and the Buckeyes held on to beat another in-state opponent. 

OSU Player of the Game: HB Carlos Hyde ran for 76 yards and 2 TDs

Eastern Illinois Panthers 1-1 (0-0) @ Northwestern Wildcats 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: NW - 42 E. Illinois - 21

Kain Colter shined again while Dan Persa continues to rehab his injury, rushing for 3 TDs as Northwestern cruised past their FCS sacrifice.

Northwestern Player of the Game: Kain Colter passed for 104 yards and ran for 109 and 3 TDs.

New Mexico State Aggies 1-1 (0-0) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 0-2 (0-0)
Final Score: NMSU - 28 Minnesota - 21

First off, I hope Jerry Kill has a speedy recovery after the seizure he suffered with 20 seconds left in the game. Even with a new coach, Minnesota is losing the types of games that Tim Brewster became famous for. A week after nearly toppling USC, Minnesota came out flat against a team they were 20 point favorites against. New Mexico St. never trailed in the game, but Minnesota had a chance to tie it up in the 4th quarter but couldn't score after having a 1st and goal from the 8.

Minnesota Player of the Game: QB Marqueis Grey threw for 211 yards and 2 TDs, he also added 110 on the ground and 1 TD.

Purdue Boilermakers 1-1 (0-0) @ Rice Owls 1-1 (0-0)
Final Score: Rice - 24 Purdue - 22

Live by the blocked FG, die by the blocked FG. Purdue preserved a win last week by blocking a late FG try and this week Rice blocked Purdue's 31 yard try as time was expiring to secure the victory. Sam McGuffie (remember him?) scored the game winning TD in the 3rd quarter for Rice.

Purdue Player of the Game: Caleb TerBush threw for 183 yards and a TD and ran for 68 yards and a TD.

Fresno St. Bulldogs 0-2 (0-0) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers 2-0 (0-0)
Final Score: Nebraska - 42 Fresno St. - 29

Nebraska needed 21 points in the 4th quarter to get some separation from Fresno St. despite being a 28 point favorite coming into the game. Fresno St. was only down 6 points with 2 minutes to play when Taylor Martinez ripped off a 46 yard TD run to give the Cornhuskers a 13 point victory.

Nebraska Player of the Game: Taylor Martinez threw for 219 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs, but salvaged his mediocre passing day by running for an additional 166 yards and 2 TDs.

Virginia Cavaliers 2-0 (0-0) @ Indiana Hoosiers 0-2 (0-0)
Final Score: Virginia - 34 Indiana - 31

Virginia was cruising in this game until there was 9:04 left in the third quarter. Trailing 23-3, Indiana proceeded to score four TDs in the next 18 minutes to take a 31-28 lead. Virginia rallied to tie it with 1:36 remaining in the game, and then kicked the winning 23 yard FG as time expired.

Indiana Player of the Game: HB Matt Perez rushed for 48 yards and 2 TDs

My Record for the Week: 9-3 (missed on Minnesota, Purdue and Iowa)
My Record Overall: 19-5