Around The Big Ten – Week Five (The Real Season!)
Big Ten season has arrived. For the next two months, there won’t be anymore of this Division I-AA (FCS, if you want to be politically correct), Sun Belt Conference or Mid-American Conference bullshit to bog down our football experience! This is the time where we separate the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders, and those fattened from cupcake games from those feasting on the blood (and frosting) of those teams! Or we could just start out by having fifty more questions than we had at noon on Saturday.
Ohio State struggles but grinds out a 24-13 win over Illinois
Illinois always gives Ohio State a good game and Terrelle Pryor did go down in the second quarter with a leg injury (only to return), but did Illinois find a chink in Brutus Buckeye’s armor? Pryor had 104 yards rushing, 66 of which game on one play in the first quarter, but only had 76 passing yards. While this could only be a fluke game for the Buckeyes, they definitely have been exposed in some areas. And with this effort put on by Illinois, should the Nittany Lions be scared going into this weekend’s homecoming game?
Minnesota gives Northwestern all they can handle, but the ‘Cats’ pull one out, 29-28
Northwestern is 5-0, but with their best win being a two-point victory over Vanderbilt, how good can we really consider this team? And who is the real Minnesota? Are they the team that loses to Northern Illinois and creamy, butter-filled South Dakota, or the one who gives USC and Northwestern a game heading into the fourth quarter? Last question pertaining to this game: Can I rescind my previous comment about Minny not being a trap game?
Dashing Denard saves the day again, scoring a late touchdown to down Indiana 42-35
Can we all agree that through the first five weeks, D-Rob is the Heisman Trophy front-runner? The guy does it all, which he proved once again on Saturday compiling 494 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. The bigger question may be if Michigan’s defense will ever show up. Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell (who isn’t too shabby, himself) carved the Wolverine secondary up for 480 passing yards. As they get into the meet of the Big Ten schedule, the defense in Ann Arbor will have to make a statement for this undefeated streak to continue.
Michigan State makes a statement, defeats 11th-ranked Wisconsin 34-24
Are the roles that everyone expected these teams to fall into in the pre-season actually switched now that the games are being played? Wisconsin was expected to contend for the Big Ten title but have shown definite weakness in Saturday’s game and a few weeks ago against Arizona State. Michigan State was supposed to stay in the middle of the pack (along with Penn State, mind you) with quarterback Kirk Cousins’s erratic play holding them back in the win column. Well now the Spartans are 5-0 leading up to a matchup with the unbeaten Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor this Saturday and Wisconsin is picking up the pieces and re-evaluating their season plans.
Hope everyone enjoyed the first weekend of the real season! We’ll be back next week, ready to bow down to “Shoelaces” if he comes up with another 500-yard performance and dresses as an Athenian to take down Sparty.