Monday, September 13, 2010

Midwest Madness: Week Two

After a week of uninspiring match ups to begin the season we finally got some solid action in Big Ten country this week.  It is still too early to tell what this year's Big Ten season has in store, but its not too early to make wildly inaccurate predictions and revel in a bit of schadenfreude.  On with the show.

Michigan St. 30 - FAU 17
Home away from home.
Michigan St. wanted so badly to test themselves on the road early in the season they paid FAU to come play them in Detroit as the home team (insert obligatory MSU/geography joke).  If you would have told me before the season that in the first two game Kirk Cousins would pass for less than 200 yards and one touchdown in each, I would have laughed at you and then immediately put money on both WMU and FAU.  Cousins came in this year as probably the best pure passer in the Big Ten with all but one of his receivers back (and the one they lost was only a walk-on, so really, it couldn't be that big a loss, right?)  Now after two games it seems like Mark Dantonio has the power running team that he desires.  Edwin Baker put up 183 yards on 15 carries for a Denard-like 12.2 ypc, while last weeks breakout freshman Le'Veon Bell added 49 yards on 10 carries.  Both rushed for touchdowns.

The bigger story is that despite being heavily favored, MSU failed to put FAU out of it's misery.  At one point in the 3rd quarter the game was within two scores.  This probably has to do with an anemic conversion rate for the Spartans (1/7) on offense.  Also, allowing FAU to convert 7 of the 16 third downs and both fourth down tries is a bad omen going forward for the defense.  Next week the Spartans face Notre Dame at home.  Do you think Brian Kelly wants to lose to both Michigan schools to start his tenure in South Bend?

Northwestern 37 - Illinois St. 3
Northwestern's Dan Persa continues to play terrifyingly efficient football as the 'Cats signal caller.  Against ISU he was 19 for 23 passing for 240 yards and two touchdowns while chipping in another touchdown on the ground.  Northwestern held ISU to 263 yards of offense and one FG in the first quarter, while forcing four turnovers.  The 'Cats next four games are Rice, Central Mich, Minnesota, and Purdue followed by a bye week.  If I were a MSU fan I wouldn't overlook a possible 6-0 Northwestern team in week eight.  That is a scary match up for a young secondary.

How is your resume Tim?
South Dakota 41 - Minnesota 38
Tim Brewster just catapulted himself to the front of the Big Ten coaching death march with a loss at home to a I-AA team that lost to UCF by 31 points last week.  A large gift basket arrived shortly after the game from Ron Zook.  Things aren't looking up in week three as USC comes to town.

Illinois 35 - Southern Illinois 3
Speaking of Zook, his team climbed back to .500 after last week's loss to Missouri.  Mike Leshoure led the Illini with 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 7.7 ypc.  Despite his strong performance, the Illini only had 3.9 ypc on  the 168 yard total while also turning the ball over three times.  Next week they see NIU before a three game gauntlet of Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State.

Purdue 31 - Western Illinois 21
Purdue took out its frustration from a loss to Notre Dame in week one on Western Illinois.  Two touchdowns in the 4th pulled WIU within ten two separate times, but Purdue secured the victory.  Robert Marve continued his quest for total mediocrity with 23/34 passing for one touchdown and one interception and a pedestrian 5 ypa.

Iowa 35 - Iowa State 7
Iowa thoroughly dominated this game, only allowing ISU to score late in the 4th quarter.  Stanzi did significant damage on 18 attempts, connecting on 11 of them for 204 yards and two touchdowns.  Adam Robinson and Jewel Hampton combined for 240 yards rushing and two touchdowns.  Robinson was the more effective back running for 11.1 ypc on his 14 carries.

Wisconsin 27 - San Jose State 14
Wisconsin was probably bored as they slid past SJSU.  Tolzien threw for 191 yards and a touchdown while Clay added 137 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.  Next week Wisconsin gets to relive the recurring nightmare of Steven Threet rumbling 58 yards en route to the 2008 upset of the Badgers by his former team.

Decision making was never his strong suit.
Ohio State 36 - Miami (FL) 24
Jacory Harris melted down to the tune of four interceptions and that was about all Jim Tressel's team needed. The Vest used his teams solid defense to keep the Miami offense out of the end zone until the 4th quarter.  Unfortunately, two special teams breakdowns led to a punt and a kick return touchdown for the Hurricanes.  Pryor was under 50% on his completion rate, but managed 233 yards as well as a touchdown through the air and on the ground.

Alabama 24 - Penn State 3
At one point during this game a friend of mine casually asked when the last time Penn State was shut out for an entire game.  Luckily the Nittany Lions managed a field goal in the 4th to keep that from being relevant.  That was about all that went right for Penn State as Alabama rolled to 400 yards with back up running back Trent Richardson accounting for 144 yards and a touchdown in the stead of injured Heisman winner Mark Ingram.  Robert Bolden played exactly like you would expect a freshman to play in his first away start under the Tuscaloosa lights.  Luckily he has Kent State and Temple on the schedule before his next big test, a road game in Iowa City.  Penn State nation had better hope the running game can find some success before then or it won't be a very happy season in Happy Valley.

Nebraska 38 - Idaho 17
Nebraska's defense spent a good deal of time in the backfield, helping to hold Idaho's offense to 60 yards rushing.  Taylor Martinez put up 106 yard passing and 157 yards rushing and two touchdowns as the Cornhuskers had little trouble with the Vandals.

No comments:

Post a Comment