Every Sunday after the Big Ten slate of games, I will be bringing you some B1G thoughts on everything that happened! This will include analysis, stats, key players, moments and maybe a joke or two. Be sure to check out the I-70 Football Show in the Land-Grant Holy Land podcast feed for more in-depth analysis and to preview the next week of B1G games.
Michigan State upsets #24 Miami
Michigan State’s great start to the season continues. After surprising everyone by beating Northwestern in Week 1, Michigan State shocked the world with a 38-17 win over No. 24 Miami.
All they did was dominate the Hurricanes on the ground and score 21 points in the fourth quarter to secure the first major win of the Mel Tucker Era. Credit to their defense for forcing a fumble and an interception in the fourth to help seal the deal.
I won’t tell you “I told you so,” but this was a game that I felt could be an upset based on what we’d seen from both teams so far.
Check out MSU locker room after their upset win:
Miami treated us well #GoGreen pic.twitter.com/gyjTAxscKk— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) September 19, 2021
Kenneth Walker is LEGIT
The Kenneth Walker hype train has left the station and I am the conductor. I tried to tell you after Week 1 that he was legit, but if you don’t believe me, know that you should get your eyes checked.
Michigan State won this game on the back of the Wake Forest transfer who ran for 172 yards on 24 carries. He also added three catches for 17 yards and a touchdown. Walker was a do-it-all back for Michigan State, and with him as the Spartan bell cow, the Big Ten should be very concerned.
Indiana has regressed
Indiana came into this season with very high expectations after season last year. I predicted them to go 10-2 and solidify themselves as the second-best team in the Big Ten, but they’re going to have to really turn it around for that to happen.
After Saturday, Indiana is 1-2 with loses to Iowa and Cincinnati. Losing to Iowa and Cincinnati, both top-10 teams, wouldn’t be shocking if this was the old Indiana, but the expectations were different this year.
Many viewed Michael Penix Jr. as the best returning quarterback in the Big Ten, and Tom Allen was expected to have his team ready to take the next step, despite losing both their offensive and defensive coordinator to head coaching jobs.
Maybe we should have seen this step back coming, but if you would’ve told me this team would lose two of their first three games and look undisciplined and sloppy doing it, I would not have believed you.
Michigan or UPS ground?
Michigan won another game in dominating fashion beating Northern Illinois 63-10. Despite an impressive start, It’s still hard to determine if Michigan is actually any good — as they’ve faced a bad Washington team and two directional Mid-American Conference teams in Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to start the season.
We really won’t know much about Michigan until they face Wisconsin in two weeks, but until then, they should be expected to beat Rutgers and continue to rise in the rankings.
My biggest question with Michigan is are they just not going to pass the ball at all, because right now, the entire offense seems to be built around the running game? On Saturday, Blake Corum ran for 125 yards on 14 carries and had a touchdown. I will withhold judgement until we see them against Wisconsin, but so far Jim Harbaugh is coaching like he doesn’t want to get fired anymore.
TreVeyon Henderson is HERE!
Anyone who follows Ohio State knows that fans have been buzzing about TreVeyon Henderson. He was a five-star running back and the No. 1 running back in his class and was widely expected to play and possibly start early for the Buckeyes.
Well, his time is now, and he won’t be giving it up anytime soon. Henderson rushed for 277 yards on 24 carries and had three touchdowns. The only thing that stopping him on Saturday (and proved that he is in fact human) was a need to catch his breathe and Ryan Day deciding to give Master Teague 14 carries.
Henderson raced his way past Tulsa defenders into the Ohio State record book as he broke Archie Griffin’s record for most yards in a game by a freshman. I don’t know about you, but being mentioned with the likes of the only two-time Heisman seems like a pretty good thing.
Look for him to get the bulk of the carries for the rest of the season. Do NOT take him for granted, he is special.
Check out TreVeyon Henderson’s three touchdowns:
TreVY(ES) ❗️— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 19, 2021
tds: @TreVeyonH4 had an absolutely electric day, setting the @OhioStateFB single-game freshman rushing record. pic.twitter.com/gJFNIhxMVc
Ohio State still mortal, but their freshman shine
Ohio State beat Tulsa 41-20 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates. After the disastrous game against Oregon, Day made some changes on the defensive side of the ball, namely moving defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs into the box and giving play calling duties to defensive backs coach Matt Barnes.
It’s hard to make the changes Ohio State needs to make in a week, so there were still some defensive struggles as they allowed Tulsa QB Davis Brin to throw for 428 yards and two touchdowns.
However, the positives came in the play of their first and second-year freshman. True freshman Denzel Burke, who is arguably Ohio State’s best defensive player, recorded his first career interception before it was inexplicably reversed by the refs. While that pick didn’t end up counting, redshirt freshmen Ronnie Hickman and Cam Martinez both recorded interceptions, with Martinez taking his to the house for a pick-six.
Another freshman who stood out included defensive end Tyleik Williams, who had a sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss in his first extended playing time of the season. Couple that with Henderson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and occasionally C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes have a bright future
Check out Cam Martinez taking it to the house!
☎️@OhioStateFB picks off Tulsa and takes it all the way home!! pic.twitter.com/PEO3Y53jZe— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 18, 2021
The Zebras are struggling early
As previously mentioned, the zebras struck early against Ohio State and took away an obvious interception from Burke. They didn’t stop there, all throughout college football there were questionable calls.
Referees impacted Penn State’s win against Auburn by missing a clear Intentional grounding penalty and kicking an Auburn player out the game with a questionable targeting call. Not to mention that they forgot to call a play dead, which led to a Memphis punt return touchdown that came after the ball was clearly touched by multiple players.
It’s early in the season, and still no one knows what targeting is, we can’t figure out what is or isn’t a catch, and the officials are having too large of an impact on too many games. I hope it gets better, but I know it won’t.
Penn State beats Auburn
Outside of Iowa, I’m not sure anyone is having a better start to their season than Penn State. They outlasted Wisconsin in a defensive battle for their first win of the season, then after a get right game against Ball State, Penn State welcomed No. 22 Auburn into the Beaver Stadium looking to justify their No. 10 ranking and continue bouncing back from a tough pandemic season.
The Big Ten doesn’t play SEC competition often, so when you do, you want to capitalize. And Penn State did just that, beating one of the SEC Tiger teams 28-20, buoyed by their White Out crowd!
The White Out is Awesome!
Earlier in the season, I wrote about traditions in college football and how they’re one of the best parts of the entire sport. Well, Penn State’s White Out is one of the absolute best traditions of them all and they proved that on Saturday night.
Beaver Stadium is already one of the loudest stadiums in the nation, but when their fans all don white, it reaches an entirely different level. As a fan of college football, I hope to experience a lot of these traditions in person, and I will be attending a White Out game in the future.
The Big Ten is competitive?
In a lot of years, you would be lying if you called the Big Ten a competitive conference, as it is typically top heavy with one team fighting for a playoff berth and another two or three fighting for national relevance/respect.
That is not the case this year, as the Big Ten has looked great so far, and has some major out-of-conference wins. Iowa and Penn State are both 3-0 with two ranked wins apiece. Ohio State looks mortal, but still has the talent to scare anyone.
Michigan State and Michigan are both 3-0 and looking dominant to begin the season. Even in losses the conference has looked good as Nebraska lost to No. 3 Oklahoma by a touchdown, Purdue kept it close against No. 12 Notre Dame, and Indiana led No. 8 Cincinnati for a large part of the game before ultimately losing.
The conference currently holds wins against Auburn, Colorado, Iowa State, Miami, Washington, and West Virginia. After this week, there could be as many as seven teams in the top 25 with three ranked in the top 10.
This could be the most competitive that the conference has been in years, and no team is safe, especially in conference play.
Bonus: This Interception is unreal!
Check out the greatest interception of all time... no hyperbole, just facts.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 18, 2021
FOX | https://t.co/chy7Suvi7xpic.twitter.com/4lxzN9blfi