Sep 14, 2013; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Treyvon Green (22) is tackled by Western Michigan Broncos defensive lineman David Curle (68) during the third quarter at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

B1G Rewind: Week 3 Edition – Big Ten Respectability Takes a Hit

Leaders

Sep 7, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Houston Bates (55) and Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Jonathan Brown (45) react after Bates

Illinois

Lost to Washington 34-24

After a strong win over Cincinnati last week, the Fighting Illini hoped to continue in the same vein against a Washington team that had taken last weekend off. It wasn’t to be, as the Huskies took advantage of the week to prepare, rolling out the gate and taking a 31-10 lead late in the 3rd quarter. To their credit, the Illini fought back, pulling to within 7 with 9:10 left, but a field goal drive ate too much time off the clock, and an interception sealed the deal. Worryingly, QB Nate Scheelhaase only completed 9 of 25 passes after starting strong this season, and the defense gave up 615 yards of offense.

Hero of the Hour: LB Jonathan Brown – 15 Tackles, 1.5 for loss, 1 Sack, 2 QBHs.

Next Up: Miami (Ohio)

Sep 14, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld (7) scores a touchdown against the Bowling Green Falcons at Memorial Stadium. Indiana won 42-10. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana

Beat Bowling Green 42-10

After last week’s tough loss to Navy, the Hoosiers needed to get back on track in a hurry, and they did it in style, rolling over a tough Bowling Green team. The Falcons showed some fire early, blocking a punt for a TD and taking the lead on a field goal, but that was as good at it got. BGSU moved the ball, gaining 409 yards, but the Hoosier defense kept them out of the endzone. The Falcons pitched in by turning the ball over twice and missing two more FGs. Sudfeld was outstanding in his first career start, while Stephen Houston and Tevin Coleman combined for 284 yards and 2 TDs. Cody Latimer caught 6 passes for 137 yards and a TD.

Hero of the Hour: QB Nate Sudfeld – Passing 26-17-335-2-0, Rushing 5-(-15)-1.

Next Up: Missouri

Sep 14, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kenny Guiton (13) looks to pass the ball against the California Golden Bears in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated the Golden Bears 52-34. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State

Won @ California 52-34

No Braxton Miller? No problem. Kenny Guiton kept the Buckeyes rolling in an outstanding performance against the Golden Bears, throwing 4 TDs, including a 90-yarder to Devin Smith (3-149-2) on the second play of the game. Jordan Hall has also staked a claim to a starting job, continuing to tear up defenses, this time with 168 yards and 3 TDs on 30 carries. The shell-shocked Bears spotted a OSU a 21-0 lead, and despite fighting back on offense in the second half, their defense had no answer to Guiton and Co. Worryingly though, Cal rolled up 503 yards against the Buckeye D, including 371 yards through the air by true freshman Jared Goff.

Hero of the Hour: QB Kenny Guiton – Passing 32-21-276-4-2, Rushing 14-92-0.

Next Up: Florida A&M

Sep 14, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Central Florida Knights defensive back Jacoby Glenn (12) holds onto Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) during the third quarter at Beaver Stadium. Central Florida defeated Penn State 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Penn State

Lost to Central Florida 34-31

When the Nittany Lions gain 455 yards of offense and score 31 points, one would expect their gnarly defense to hold off any opponent. Not so on Saturday, as the speedy Knights ran and passed with abandon in the loss. Penn State looked stunned early on as UCF marched up and down the field, taking a 28-10 lead. Christian Hackenberg (262 yards, 1 TD) and Zach Zwinak (21-128-3) led the fight back, but Zwinak had a costly 4th quarter fumble, depriving PSU of points, and the Lions ran out of time. This could be a costly loss for Penn State’s BCS hopes.

Hero of the Hour: WR Allen Robinson 9-143-1.

Next Up: Kent State

Sep 7, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Rob Henry (15) rolls out to pass against the Indiana State Sycamores in the 2nd half at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue

Lost to Notre Dame 31-24

With the Boilermakers looking troubled in the first couple of weeks, one would expect
Notre Dame to flatten them, especially after last week’s tough loss to Michigan. Instead it looks like the light has finally gone on for Purdue, as their offense and defense were excellent, particularly in the first half. The Boilermakers defense befuddled the Notre Dame offense for much of the first half, shutting down the run (91 yards total) and giving QB Tommy Rees few windows to throw into. Purdue QB Rob Henry was efficient, taking what the defense gave him and moving the chains, and Purdue entered the 3rd quarter up 10-3. However, Rees began to find the holes in the Boilermakers zone, and they had no answer. Notre Dame amped up their pass rush too, making life difficult for Henry, who threw a pick-six to give the Irish a 31-17 lead. Purdue fought back, but couldn’t capitalize on a fumble by ND’s Amir Carlisle at the Irish 36. After punting, the Purdue offense never took the field again as Notre Dame ground out the final 7:22. A tough loss, but a fine performance by Purdue, and they could be one to watch down the stretch.

Hero of the Hour: QB Rob Henry 40-25-256-3-1.

Next Up: @ Wisconsin

Sep 14, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) carries the ball as Arizona State Sun Devils players defend during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin

Lost @ Arizona State 32-30

I commented last week about how good this Badger team really was, and after the game at Arizona State, I still don’t know. Wisconsin managed to come out on top in a sloppy first half, taking a 14-13 lead into the locker room; then continued to maintain the lead into the 4th quarter, thanks in no small part to Melvin Gordon, who opened the second half with an 80-yard TD run. The Sun Devils wouldn’t give up though, and finally took the lead courtesy of a couple of TD runs by RB Melvin Grice (who had 4 on the day). Wisconsin got back in the endzone, but failed on the 2-point conversion. They got the ball back, and a lightning drive by Joel Stave moved the Badgers into field goal range. However, a play that defies cogent explanation (it involved centering the ball) left Wisconsin with too little time on the clock, and the kicking team couldn’t get the snap off in time. A tough loss, but Wisconsin cannot fairly blame the officials on this loss.

Hero of the Hour: RB Melvin Gordon – Rushing 15-193-2.

Next Up: Purdue

 

Legends

September 14, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones cornerback Jansen Watson (2) tackles Iowa Hawkeyes running back Mark Weisman (45) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa

Won @ Iowa State 27-21

In a game that rarely means anything to anyone outside of Iowa, yet is one of the hardest fought all year, the Hawkeyes held off a furious 4th quarter rally from the Cyclones, who looked dead in the water. Behind the increasingly confident passing of Jake Rudock (160 yards, 3 total TDs) and the powerful running of Mark Weisman, Iowa took a 27-7 lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter. QB Sam Richardson brought the Cyclones to within 27-21, and they even had time for one more play, the old “multi-lateral” play that is becoming increasingly popular. Despite the comeback, the Hawkeye defense was strong, holding ISU to 59 yards and picking off Richardson twice. A solid win to give the Hawkeyes a further boost of confidence.

Hero of the Hour: RB Mark Weisman – Rushing 35-145-0.

Next Up: Western Michigan

Aug 31, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Central Michigan Chippewas running back Zurlon Tipton (34) and Michigan Wolverines linebacker James Ross III (15) reach for the ball in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan

Beat Akron 28-24

Kudos to Akron for giving the Wolverines a game, but this was a shambles, and Big Blue are lucky to escape with the win. Instead of piling 50 points on the beleaguered Zips (3 wins in 3 years) like many expected, Michigan turned the ball over 4 times and allowed Akron QB Kyle Pohl (first-year starter) to throw for 311 yards and 2 TDs. Wolverine QB Devin Gardner had a mixed performance, accounting for 349 total yards and 3 TDs, but also throwing 3 interceptions, including 1 that was returned for a score to bring the Zips to within 4 in the 4th quarter. Akron took the lead with 4:10 left, but Fitzgerald Toussaint put Michigan back on top after a quick drive. Not a problem. Akron drove back down the field, but a 4th-down incompletion at the Wolverine 2-yard line saved Michigan from a hugely embarrassing loss, probably worse than Appalachian State in 2007. The Wolverines dropped in the BCS rankings as a result, and deservedly so.

Hero of the Hour: LB James Ross III – 10 Tackles, 1 for loss.

Next Up: @ Connecticut

Aug 30, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) scrambles from the pocket against the Western Michigan Broncos during 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 26-13. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State

Beat Youngstown State 55-17

What the heck? After I talked up the Spartan passing attack all offseason, then lambasted it the last two weeks, even going as far as to suggest an upset, Connor Cook lights up the Penguins as MSU racks up 547 total yards. The running game accounted for 277 yards, and Connor Cook got to relax on the sideline (as opposed to being pulled) as Tyler O’Connor got to show what he could do (7 of 10, 68 yards). The defense was outstanding, giving up just 172 yards to the Penguins, who held the ball for less than 21 minutes. This was a very positive game for the Spartans, and couldn’t have come at a better time with the Fighting Irish up next. Unless, of course, your name is Andrew Maxwell, whose future looks a little cloudy.

Hero of the Hour: QB Connor Cook – Passing 22-15-202-4-0, Rushing 2-25-0.

Next Up: @ Notre Dame

Sep 14, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) runs with the ball past Western Illinois Leathernecks linebacker Kevin Kintzel (17) in the fourth quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 29-12. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota

Beat Western Illinois 29-12

This game was sadly overshadowed by another seizure by coach Jerry Kill, but if there is some good to take from that, the Golden Gophers played better in the second half after limping to a 7-6 halftime lead. Also coinciding with the Gophers rise was the injury to QB Phillip Nelson and the insertion of Mitch Leidner into the lineup. Leidner led the Gophers to all of their points, with a little help from David Cobb and Rodrick Williams Jr, who combined for 138 yards and 4 TDs on the ground. The defense gave up a couple of TD passes to Leatherneck QB Trenton Norvell, but allowed only 230 yards overall. A nice finish after a sloppy start, but coach Kill will have a quarterback controversy on his hands when he gets back.

Hero of the Hour: QB Mitch Leidner – Passing 8-7-105-0-0, Rushing 17-64-0.

Next Up: San Jose State

Sep 14, 2013; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Taylor Martinez (3) is sacked by UCLA Bruins defender Keenan Graham (40) in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska

Lost to UCLA 41-21

The Cornhuskers dominated most of the first half, taking a 21-3 lead with 7:12 left. That was as good as it got though, as UCLA woke up and controlled the rest of the game, beating Nebraska 38-0 from that point on. Bruin QB Brett Hundley accounted for 355 yards and 3 TDs, while Jordon James ran for 105 yards and a score. The failure to compete in the second half has to be the biggest concern to take out of this game. Not only did it drop the Huskers out of the BCS rankings, but there has to be questions about their toughness and conditioning, which was also on display in last year’s Capital One Bowl and against Wyoming in week 1.

Hero of the Hour: QB Taylor Martinez – Passing 35-21-203-3-0.

Next Up: San Diego State

Northwestern

Beat Western Michigan 38-17

With many of the Big Ten programs looking shaky (at best) this week, the Wildcats are sitting pretty at 3-0 with another strong victory. After a slow start, safety Ibraheim Campbell picked off WMU quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen, and NU were off. Relying mostly on their ground game this week, led Treyvon Green and QB Kain Colter (106 yards, TD) the running attack account for 332 yards and 4 TDs. The Broncos mustered 345 yards, but 100 of those came on their two scoring plays. The Wildcats have won three games in fine style, and while their defense has its flaws, it gets the job done over the course of a game. Legends division watch out.

Hero of the Hour: Treyvon Green – Rushing 20-158-2.

Next Up: Maine

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