While the top dog in the conference was off this week, many others battled in hopes of taking that top spot.
Minnesota 31 – Colorado State 24
In a back-and-forth contest for most of the afternoon, Minnesota’s running game gave them the edge in the end. Both Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks carried the load for the Golden Gophers as the team combined for 243 rushing yards. The Gophers are now 3-0 on the season and start Big Ten play next week at Penn State.
Purdue 24 – Nevada 14
In another close game with the Mountain West, Purdue pulled ahead late and secured a win over the Wolfpack. After a terrible interception early in the game, quarterback David Blough recovered and led Purdue with 300 yards through the air, finding Bilal Marshall and Brycen Hopkins on long touchdown passes. Purdue moves to 2-1 on the year and also beings Big Ten play next week at Maryland.
After falling to North Dakota State last weekend, Iowa rebounded with a tough, defensive minded win over Rutgers. Both defenses fought hard all afternoon but an Akrum Wadley touchdown run in the middle of the fourth quarter sealed things up for the Hawkeyes. I was very impressed with Rutgers’ defense, and if they can figure out their offense, things might start to look upwards for the Scarlet Knights.
Wow…I don’t think anyone saw this one coming. We knew it would be a pretty good game, but the Badger defense took things to a whole new level. When you can force 4 turnovers and hold Spartan running back L.J. Scott to 61 yards rushing, you are bound to have a pretty good day. Wisconsin better get back in the saddle because they have a trip to ‘The Big House’ scheduled for next week.
The Wolverines have looked pretty scary so far in this college football season, and Saturday was no different. Michigan dismantled Penn State and pretty much did whatever they wanted all afternoon. The Wolverines outgained the Nittany Lions in total yards 515-191 which shows how dominant they were. Maybe they need to play a real defense? Well they will see one next week.
The Hoosiers spent all night on the heels of Wake Forest but just could not catch them. Quarterback Rich Lagow had a great stat line, until you looked further right to the interception column. He completed 28-of-47 passes for an outstanding 496 yards and three touchdowns. But his five interceptions cost them the game. One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown, and another was while the Hoosiers were inside of the Demon Deacon ten yard line. Both are turnovers you cannot have if you are trying to win a football game.
In another good performance from Cornhusker quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., Nebraska took down the Wildcats and moved to 4-0 on the year. Nebraska rushed for 310 yards last night and beat the Wildcats at their own game. Wildcat quarterback Clayton Thorson continues to make costly mistakes, throwing crucial interceptions, as Northwestern falls to 1-3 on the season. Many thought Northwestern would be right there hunting for the Big Ten West title at the end of the year, but I think Nebraska has taken their spot.