Well, another week, another wildly inconsistent defensive showing against an inferior opponent, and another week of B1G teams crapping the bed in front of everybody. Your undefeated teams so far? Ohio State, Minnesota and Northwestern. Woof.
The good news is that Big Ten play starts next week, and when two Big Ten teams play against each other, a Big Ten team HAS to win. I think. Illinois may find a way to screw this up.
Let's take a looksie at Ohio State's schedule and check out the damage.
Miami (OH) (2-2) BEAT UMass 27-16. Miami's Zac Dysert became the Redhawk's all time leader in completions (beating out that Big Ben guy) as Miami ruined UMass's MAC debut. Dysert threw for 3 scores and 192 yards to pace the Redhawk offense, and this is where I have to point out that Miami has faced UMass, Southern Illinois and Ohio State, and threw for the most yards against the Buckeyes. Excuse me while I throw up everywhere. Dysert didn't need to throw as much because he got a robust outing from the previously left-for-dead Miami running game, with 216 total rushing yards. UMass actually outgained Miami (which cannot be a good sign for their MAC hopes), but 3 interceptions ruined their chance at the upset. Miami takes on the Akron Zips next week in sweet sweet MACtion.
More damage and tire fires, after the jump.
UCF (2-1). The Knights had last week off. They host the Missouri Tigers next week in what should be a very intriguing game. UCF might actually be favored in every other game they play this season, given how bad traditional CUSA powers Houston and Southern Miss have looked.
UAB (0-3) LOST to Ohio State 29-15. Give the Blazers credit, they came to play last week. They face Tulsa in their next matchup.
#20 Michigan State (3-1) BEAT Eastern Michigan 23-7. Sparty trailed for a good chunk of this game before blowing things open a little in the 4th quarter, which makes me feel a little better about our UAB performance. Le'Veon Bell ran for a career high 253 yards, but he didn't score until 2 minutes left in the game. Michigan State's receivers struggled with dropped balls and finishing plays, which stalled drives and kept a far weaker squad in the game for far too long. The Spartan defense was strong as always, holding EMU to less than 200 yards. They face our beloved Ohio State Buckeyes next week to decide who is the only good team in the Big Ten this season.
#22 Nebraska (3-1) BEAT IDAHO STATE 73-7. What can you take away from Nebraska basically murdering a high school team? Well, they probably have the most dynamic offense in the conference. They rolled up 385 yards rushing and 539 total yards, and T-Magic was efficient, going 9/13 with no interceptions. Rex Burkhead came back from a knee injury to rush for 119 and 2 TDs, and the Husker defense held ISU to 210 total yards, and forced 3 turnovers. The only quibbles from this game were the fact that Nebraska turned the ball over 3 times of their own, and that they played Idaho State. Still, something to be said for soundly beating a bad team...I think a few other Big Ten schools would love to say they were able to do that. The Huskers will get a stiffer test when they face Wisconsin next week.
Indiana (2-1) The Hoosiers had a week off to think about why it isn't okay for a Big Ten school to lose to Ball State...again. They'll get a chance to get back on the winning road when they face Northwestern next week.
Purdue (2-1) The Boilermakers also wisely took last week off, remembering that you can't lose on your bye week. They'll face the Thundering Herd of Marshall next week.
Penn State (2-2) BEAT Temple 24-13. The Nittany Lion's season is starting to rebound, as they were able to ride a career day from Matt McGloin to win the Pennsylvania State Title. McGloin tossed a career high 318 yards and the dormant Penn State running game finally woke up, as they rushed for 173 as a team. Temple's offense was never able to get going, despite 4 heroic carries and a touchdown catch from the Owl's Matt Brown. Temple hasn't beaten Penn State since 1941, although you have to think they'll find a way to steal one during State's sanction period. Penn State will travel to Illinois next week.
Illinois (2-2) LOST to Louisiana Tech 52-24. I thought this might be a tough game for Illinois, but I wasn't expecting a full out murder. Illinois turned the ball over a whopping six times and gave up 4 passing scores to LTU QB Colby Cameron, and it's pretty much impossible to win when you do those two things. Bulldog wideout Quinton Patton gouged Illinois for 164 yards and 2 scores. Illinois backup QB Riley O'Toole was wildly ineffective again (19/25 for only 120 yards), after Nathan Scheelhasse left the game in the 1st quarter, apparently not fully recovered from his injury. We knew that without a healthy Scheelhasse, Illinois would struggle on offense, but this was supposed to be a very solid defense and they have given up more than 50 points twice now. Illinois does not look like a bowl team, but they can help everybody forget about this abomination if they can beat Penn State next week.
Wisconsin (3-1) BEAT UTEP 37-26. The good news for Wisconsin is that their moribund offense showed some life for the first time this season, even with star RB Montee Ball missing most of the game with an injury. The bad news is that star RB Montee Ball left the game with an injury, and UW didn't really put UTEP away until the Miners fumbled a kickoff late in the 4th quarter. New Badger QB Joel Stave wasn't bad, going 12/17 for 210, a TD and an INT, and backup running backs James White and Melvin Gordon filled in admirably for Ball. Wisconsin faces Nebraska next week.
Michigan (2-2) LOST to #10 Notre Dame 13-6. A true Michigan Man recognizes that points are a reckless indulgence in this economy, and it appears that this year's Wolverine squad is full of Michigan Men. Denard Robinson threw 4 interceptions, and Michigan had two trips inside the Irish 10 yard line and zero points to show for it. Irish linebacker Manti T'eo was a particularly potent defensive force, catching two of Robinson's passes that I can only assume were intended for somebody else. Tommy Rees came in to relieve Everett Golson, and game-managed Notre Dame enough to win. Man, 4 picks and a loss to Tommy Freakin' Rees. That's got to a tough pill to swallow Michigan Men. Michigan has next week off to think about how they have disappointed everybody.
In other Big Ten news, Iowa lost on a last second field goal to a not-even-good-for-a-MAC-team Central Michigan, Northwestern continued their undefeated march by beating South Dakota, and Minnesota beat Syracuse behind a stiff defensive effort. I'm actually thrilled for the Gophers, and I think they will be back to a bowl game this year, especially since Illinois looks like complete crap.
Another rough week for the Midwesterners, but if Ohio State manages to beat Sparty next weekend, I don't think any of us will care about how Purdue did anymore.