Welcome to this year’s edition of Creepin’ on the B1G.
While our guy Alex Robinson will be taking over this piece starting next week, you hooligans get to deal with me for week one.
So without further ado, we’ll check out how Penn State’s conference compatriots handled their week one opponents.
Lovie Smith began his third season at the helm of the Illini in unnerving fashion. Illinois welcomed regular Penn State foe Kent State to Champaign-Urbana and very narrowly escape with a victory. The Illini used a fourth-quarter touchdown to pull ahead and grab a 31-24 victory over the Golden Flashes. Illinois welcomes neighboring Western Illinois next weekend.
The Hoosiers took a trip down to Florida to play FIU in an interesting week one road trip. Indiana took a 28-14 lead into the halftime break and coasted home to a slightly too close for comfort 38-28 win. The Hoos return home Saturday and plays host to the Cavaliers of Virginia.
Kirk Ferentz is at the helm for his 4,000th season in charge of the Hawkeyes and in classic Ferentz fashion, Iowa plodded it’s way to a solid if unspectacular 33-7 victory over visiting Northern Illinois. The Hawkeyes have a big one on Saturday as rival Iowa State comes to Kinnick Stadium for everybody’s favorite rivalry, El Assico!.
Terps done sprung an upset. Maybe. Kind of? Maryland hosted Texas (!) for the back half of their home-and-home with the Longhorns and, low and behold, came away from the series 2-0! Led by quarterback Kasim Hill, the Terps put in a spirited effort to down the Longhorns 34-29 at FedEx Field. Maryland will continue its road trip with a visit to the Bowling Green Falcons.
It’s 12:16 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3 and Michigan still sucks! New quarterback Shea Badderson struggled on the road against a feisty Notre Dame defense and the Wolverines fell to the Fighting Irish 24-17. Jim Harbaugh has now lost four consecutive games. Western Michigan visits Ann Arbor on Saturday trying to make it five.
Sparty done came reeeealllll close to going full “Sparty, no!” in week one. You never go full full “Sparty, no!” Michigan State pulled victory from the jaws of defeat, topping visiting Utah State 38-31 with a late rally. Sparty will have an interesting test in week two, as it takes to the road to face the Fightin’ Herms Edwards (yes, the plural form of Herm Edwards is Herms. AP style, folks) of Arizona State.
Well, it wasn’t exactly at a lightning pace, but P.J. Fleck and co. rowed the dang boat to the tune of 48-10 victory over lowly New Mexico State. The two teams were locked at 7-7 after one quarter, and then the Gophers got rolling. Minnesota will have tough test in week two as the always dangerous Fresno State comes to town.
The Scott Frost era got off too a shocking start (heh, see what I did there?) as persistent lightning caused the Cornhuskers to cancel their game with Akron. Colorado visits Lincoln on Saturday, renewing an old rivalry from the Big 12 North days.
All hail week one conference play. Northwestern delivered the best non-PSU game of this slate, going back and forth with Purdue and eventually coming away with a 31-27 victory over the host Boilermakers. The Wildcats head back to Evanston in week two for a clash with ACC visitor Duke.
Wellllllp, so much for struggling with distractions. The Buckeyes whipped up on visiting Oregon State to the tune of a 77-31 victory. I’d prefer not to talk about it much more. But hey, at least they gave up 31! Next up for OSU is lowly Rutgers on Saturday at the horseshoe.
Take Purdue -1, they said. It’ll be easy money, they said. It wasn’t. David Blough should’ve started at quarterback. He didn’t. Purdue lost to visiting Northwestern, 31-27. Hey, at least Rondale Moore is fun. Boilermakers host Eastern Michigan in week two.
Rutgers 35, Texas State 7. Both teams are bad. The Scarlet Knights are gonna get mollywhopped against the host Buckeyes on Saturday.
Jonathan Taylor did Jonathan Taylor things. Alex Hornibrook was his perfectly average self, and the Badgers mauled their way to a 34-3 home victory over Western Kentucky. Poor, poor Big Red. The intensity doesn’t exactly turn up at all in week two as the Camp Randall faithful welcome New Mexico.