2016 BIG Ten Week 1 Recap
BIG Ten showed their power in Week 1
September 4, 2016
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365
The 2016 Big Ten season is off and running and they represented very well. The opening weekend was highlighted by an SEC/Big Ten showdown at Lambeau and a number of youngsters making their debuts at quarterback, new coaches and several blows outs… The Big Ten went 12-2
Here we go….
Illinois 52, Murray State 3
The Lovie Smith Era got off to a solid start at home Saturday as the defensive guru has to be impressed with the effort put forth by the Illini. Murray State was held to just 165 yards on the day, including -10 rushing yards. Illinois recorded six sacks and forced three turnovers
Senior quarterback Wes Lunt led the Illini offense with 226 yards passing and three touchdowns. The ground game recorded 287 yards on the day and was led by the trio of Kendrick Foster, Reggie Corbin, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Foster ran for 118 yards on just four carries while finding the endzone twice, including a pair of 56-yarders.
Purdue 45, Eastern Kentucky 24
Coming off a rotten 2-10 season, the Boilers opened 2016 with a win over Eastern Kentucky. This was the type of victory that was perfect for the Boilermakers to build confidence for the upcoming season. There running game did the bulk of the work on the day, tallying 261 yards and four touchdowns. Markell Jones led all players with 145 yards rushing. Sophomore quarterback David Blough connected on 25 of 43 passing attempts for 245 yards with one score and one interception.
Defense was a huge issue for the Boilermakers last year as seven of their 12 opponents scored at least 41 points. They managed to force three turnovers on Saturday, including a pair from former Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk.
The victory is Darrell Hazell’s seventh dating back to 2013 when he took over in West Lafayette. He has 30 losses during that time.
Wisconsin 16, LSU 14
Call it an upset? Whatever…. The Badgers were on our teams to watch preview and they showed why at Lambeau field!
Bart Houston made his first career start under center for the Badgers and, to the surprise of many, was asked to take on more than the typical game-manager role that their quarterbacks often see. Houston’s stat line was fairly lackluster as the senior completed 19 of 31 passed for 205 yards and a pair of interceptions. The ground game totaled 134 yards and the return of Corey Clement is certainly a welcome sight for Badger fans. Clement led the rushing attack with 86 yards and a score.
Leonard Fournette got his for the Tigers, though his stats weren’t as ridiculous as we have grown accustomed to. The Heisman candidate tallied 138 yards on 23 carries and added 38 yards receiving. Former Buckeye target Brandon Harris carried on the struggling quarterback trend for Les Miles. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 131 yards on the day while adding a score and two interceptions. The latter of the two picks came late in the fourth quarter as LSU was driving down the field to potentially win the game.
But Rafael Gaglianone kicked the game-winning 47-yard field goal with just under four minutes left in regulation.
Western Michigan 22, Northwestern 21
Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats got off to a rough start as they fell to Western Michigan at home. Quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson accounted for virtually all of Northwestern’s offense. Thorson threw for 196 yards while Jackson rushed for 124 and accounted for all three of the Wildcat touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, MAC conference rep P.J. Fleck wasn’t afraid to take some risks as the Broncos converted four of four attempts on 4th down. Senior quarterback Zach Terrell had an efficient outing as he completed 26 of 36 passes for 218 yards and one score. Tailback Jamauri Bogan led the way on the ground with 103 yards and a touchdown.
It was a wacky ending in Evanston as Thorson’s goal-line fumble in the waning minutes of the game all but sealed the Wildcats’ fate.
MICHIGAN 63, HAWAI’I 3
No disrespect to Hawaii, this game played out like an early spring scrimmage for Jim Harbaugh and Co. as their defense allowed just 232 yards and also managed to put up two touchdowns of their own. Jabrill Peppers lined up primarily at linebacker and recorded seven tackles (2 TFL) and added a sack.
The most impressive part about the defensive performance was perhaps the players who were not on the field. Starters Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone both missed the second half with injuries while Jourdan Lewis – who may be the team’s best player – was held out of the game (coaches’ decision).
Wilton Speight got the nod at quarterback and was promptly intercepted on Michigan’s first offensive play of the game. The redshirt sophomore would settle down, however, and ended the day with 145 yards, three scores, and the one interception. Jake Butt and Amara Darboh both were on the receiving end of Speight touchdown passes.
The story on offense was true freshman tailback Chris Evans. The speedster from Indy grew up a Buckeye fan but Ohio State didn’t extend an offer until a month before February’s signing day. In his Wolverine debut, Evans tallied 112 yards on just eight carries while also finding the endzone twice.
Iowa 45, Miami (OH) 21
The Iowa ground game paved the way for Kirk Ferentz on Saturday as Akrum Wadley, LeShun Daniels, and the rest of the Hawkeye backfield totaled over 200 yards and five touchdowns. The running game opened things up quite a bite for senior quarterback C.J. Beathard, who threw for over 180 yards and a score as the offense appeared to be clicking in the season opener.
But on the other side of the ball, the Hawkeyes’ defense had its struggles with the Redhawk offense as Miami outgained them 424 to 404. The defense did play the bulk of the game without starting linebacker Josey Jewell. The Second Team All-Big Ten defender was ejected in the first quarter after a nasty helmet-to-helmet targeting call.
The Redhawks were led by sophomore quarterback Billy Bahl and wideouts Rokeem Williams and James Gardner. Bahl threw for 266 yards and two scores. Williams accounted for 113 yards while Gardner was on the receiving end of both touchdowns.
Michigan State 28, Furman 13
In the Spartans opner, it was kind of dry as they held an 8-point lead, 21-13, behind the play of quarterback Tyler O’Connor. He did throw for close to 200 yards and three scores, but he also looks prone to stare down wide receivers which will present problems against a more talented team. The three-headed monster in the backfield was more of a one-man show on Friday as sophomore L.J. Scott got the bulk of the carries.
Minnesota 30, Oregon State 23
In a nail biter, the Gophers defeated Beavers, 30-23. Quarterback Mitch Leidner didn’t have his best game throwing the football but was able to make up for it with his legs. The senior was 13 of 26 for 130 yards and added another 76 yards and two scores on the ground. Sophomore tailback Rodney Smith led all rushers with 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The game was without controversy as three defenders got ejected for targeting calls but still managed win.
Oregon State was led by quarterback Darell Garretson. The junior passed for 228 yard and three scores but also lost two crucial fumbles.
Ohio St 77, Bowling Green 10
The Buckeyes rolled past the Bowling Green Falcons 77-10 in the season opener for both teams in Columbus.
J.T. Barrett tied his own school record, which he shares with former Buckeye Kenny Guiton, with six touchdown passes. He also ran for another score and finished 21 of 31 for 349 yards passing. Barrett’s only real mistake, ironically enough, was his second pass of the game, which was picked off by the Falcons’ Brandon Harris and returned 63 yards for a touchdown.
The Falcons lead only lasted a little over two minutes, as Barrett found K.J. Hill on their next possession for a 47 yard touchdown to tie the score 7-7. It didn’t get much better from there for the Falcons. Barrett would throw four first half touchdowns and rush for another as the Buckeyes sprinted to a 35-10 lead at the intermission.
And as the final score says, the Falcons never scored again and the Buckeyes scored 42 points in the second half.
Nothing else to say except WOW!
Washington 48, Rutgers 13
It’s early but Rutgers didn’t look good in Saturday’s game against Washington. The top-ranked Huskies showed their muscle early putting up 24 points in the opening quarter. Quarterback Jake Browning threw for 287 yard and a trio of touchdowns with junior wideout John Ross amassing 90 receiving yards and accounting for two of those scores. Ross also found the endzone on a 92-yard kickoff return.
For the Scarlet Knights, Chris Laviano lined up under center and completed 24 of 40 passes for 168 yards, zero scores, and one interception. Tailback Josh Hicks led the way on the ground with 70 yards on 14 carries. Rutgers managed 304 yards of total offense on the day to go along with three turnovers.
Penn State 33, Kent State 13
Happy Valley is Happy as the Nittany Lions’ get that first victory of the season knocking off MAC conference Kent State 33-13.
James Franklin’s new signal-caller completed 16 of 31 passes for 209 yards and two scores while adding another 47 yards on the ground. It was a workman-like effort for sophomore tailback Saquon Barkley who rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Chris Godwin led the Nittany Lion receivers with seven receptions for 67 yards.
The Penn State defense forced three turnovers while holding the Golden Flashes to 279 yards of total offense.
Nebraska 43, Fresno State 10
A late run for the Huskers proved to be too much for Fresno State. They add 22 points in the fourth behind the play of Tommy Armstrong with a combination of the running game, in which they gained close to 300 yards and five touchdowns. Armstrong threw for 108 yards and a score while also finding the endzone twice with his legs.
Moment of the weekend took place when the Huskers remembered punter Sam Foltz by lining up with just 10 players on the field for their first punt. Foltz tragically passed away in a July auto accident. Fresno State declined the delay of game penalty.
Maryland 52, Howard 13
The Terrapins put up over 500 yards of total offense against the MEAC rep Howard Bison. Quarterback Perry Hillis threw for 126 yards, but it was the Maryland ground game that did the most damage on the day. The Terps rushed for 315 yards and found the endzone six times. The attack was balanced as six players rushed for more than 40 yards with each of them also finding the endzone.
NOTE: Howard will travel to Rutgers next week and I guarantee this game will give another head coach his first career win.
Indiana 34, Florida International 13
The Hoosiers were down 13-12 at the end of the third quarter on Thursday evening, but they bounced back and used a 22-point explosion in the fourth to take down FIU. New starting quarterback Richard Lagow – a juco transfer who also spent time at Oklahoma State – had a solid debut completing 18 of 27 passes for 240 yards and a score. Youngstown’s Devine Redding led the Hoosier rushing attack as the junior piled up 135 yards on the ground.
A season ago, the Hoosiers’ defense was 120th in the nation… they are hoping to make a difference this season in the Big Ten.
Overall, it was a nice start for the Big Ten. Rutgers didn’t look good and Northwestern fell to to the preseason MAC favorite, but the Badgers’ win over LSU was one of the highlights of the entire college football weekend. Ohio State and Michigan both actually performed better than expected, but the Spartans did struggle a bit out of the gate.
Looking ahead to week two, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about. The Buckeyes are set to host Tulsa, UCF travels to Ann Arbor, and Penn State will square off against the Pitt Panthers. The Spartans will enjoy an off week before their week-three showdown in South Bend.
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