'Scuse me, while I set the mood in this here joint...
Purdue 38, Illinois 27
The Tim Beckman Farewell Tour kicked it up a notch this past weekend, allowing a previously inept Boilermaker offense to look like Oregon against their defense. Purdue rushed for a grand total of 349 yards, 177 of them coming from Akeem Hunt, who also reached the end zone once. Purdue also debuted a new starting quarterback, Austin Appleby, who lit up the piss-poor Illini secondary for 15 of 20 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown. Appleby also added 76 yards rushing and a pair of rushing touchdowns, to rub a little more salt in the wound.
Major congrats are in order for second-year Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell on earning his first Big Ten win. The fact that it came against Tim Beckman of all people, just warms the cockles of our hearts here at BSD. Unlike Brady Hoke, Beckman's athletic director doesn't appear to be one who's attached to his hip, so the possibility of having an interim coach soon enough
Ohio State 52, Maryland 24
Maryland's first home sellout crowd since 2008 was quickly quieted* as the Buckeyes reached the end zone on their first two possessions to race out to a 14-0 lead, leaving the Terps eating dust. JT Barrett once again looked spectacular, tossing for 267 yards and four touchdowns on 18 of 23 passing, while Ezekiel Elliott led the ground attack with 139 yards on 24 carries. The Buckeye defense also came up big, garnering four turnovers and holding the Terps to merely 66 yards rushing. Both Caleb Rowe and CJ Brown saw playing time at quarterback for Maryland, although neither one was particularly impressive.
*minus the countless number of Ohio State alums who reside in the Baltimore-Washington area and made the short drive to the stadium, which probably meant at least 40-50% of the folks in attendance
Indiana 49, North Texas 24
The B1G's most bi-polar team bounced back from last week's dismantling at the hands of Maryland to do the same thing to North Texas. Nate Sudfeld tossed a hat trick of touchdown passes and 230 yards while Tevin Coleman and D'Angelo Roberts both went over 100 yards rushing, combining for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Next up for the Hoosiers is a trip to Iowa, where the final score will almost assuredly be something around the realm of 12-11 or something similarly as dumb.
Northwestern 20, Wisconsin 14
Not that Northwestern winning this game takes the bad taste out of my mouth from Penn State's craptastic performance against them the previous week, but it does prove that they aren't as bad as we initially thought. It certainly helps that the Wildcats actually have a defense this year that can step up in the clutch, and they certainly did that against the Badgers by forcing four turnovers, including an interception with Wisconsin merely three yards away from a touchdown.
Melvin Gordon was his usual beastly self, carrying the Badger offense to the tune of 259 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown. Unfortunately for Gordon, he practically consists of Wisconsin's entire offensive production. You see, Wisconsin's quarterbacking situation was an absolute nightmare: Tanner McEvoy was performing so poorly (4 for 10 for 24 yards and a pick) that he was pulled for Joel Stave, who was suffering from a case of the yips. While Stave did in fact, show some signs of life, by throwing for 124 yards and a touchdown to cut the deficit to 20-14 in the fourth quarter, he also threw three interceptions, himself.
This tweet from ESPN Big Ten blogger Josh Moyer sums it up best:
Wisconsin is like bizarro-PSU. Badgers can't pass; PSU can't run. It's Gordon or bust; it's Hackenberg or bust. Seems all the same to NW ...— Josh Moyer (@ESPNJoshMoyer) October 4, 2014
Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers 26, Michigan 24
While they surely would've preferred getting their first-ever B1G win against their most hated rival a few weeks ago, BTPR fans will take the next-best thing, beating one of college football's more historically successfully programs under the Piscataway lights. This game saw five separate lead changes in the first half, including a go-ahead touchdown for BTPR right before halftime. Devin Gardner was halfway decent, running for a pair of touchdowns and throwing for 178 yards (but one interception). Perhaps the most shocking part about this game was how Michigan's defense made Gary Nova look like a Heisman Trophy candidate, allowing him to toss for 404 yards, three touchdowns (two of them to Andrew Turzilli) and no interceptions.
Michigan may have very well gotten hosed on that incomplete pass call on third and long late in the fourth quarter, which upon further review, looked like a catch. Had the catch been granted, it would've set Michigan up to either give Matt Wile a shorter kick, or they could have picked up another first down on a march towards the end zone. Instead, it was Wile who had his 56-yard attempt blocked by Lemoko Turay to secure the win for BTPR. The students naturally, went nuts and stormed the field. These were the (hilarious) results:
Michigan State 27, Nebraska 22
I recall some old-school shirts that the Student Book Store used to sell which read (and I'm paraphrasing): Happy Valley - Where Heisman Dreams Go To Die. If the stifling of Ameer Abdullah, who was held to just 45 yards on 24 rushes, was any indiciation, it may be time to make similar shirts with East Lansing replacing Happy Valley. Offensively, it was the Tony Lippett show for Sparty, as the receiver scored on a 55-yard bomb from Connor Cook and ran a reverse into the end zone.
I admittedly quit watching this game when Sparty led 27-3 going into the fourth quarter with things seeming utterly hopeless for the Huskers. Silly me. SPARTY NO was in full effect for most of the fourth quarter, as Nebraska gradually fought their way back with Abdullah running for a pair of touchdowns and De'Mornay PIerson-El taking a punt back to the house. Nebraska was in fact, driving with the ball in the game's final minutes and a chance to pull off the improbable. Alas, Tommy Armstrong threw a pick at the worst possible moment for Nebraska, ending their hopes and dreams of an undefeated season.