Recapping the week that was: Purdue launched the Big Ten weekend with an easy win over Ohio under the lights Friday night. Maryland, Wisconsin, Penn State and Indiana won their early afternoon matchups handily over their opponents. Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa had a few hiccups but ended their games with victories. Northwestern and Rutgers had games they’d like to forget. Ohio State sputtered on the big stage at home against visiting Oklahoma. Nebraska was down early and nearly came back to defeat Oregon, falling just short. Minnesota helped the Big Ten end Saturday with a bang, soundly beating Oregon State 48-14. Last, but not least... the Illinois Fighting Illini are 2-0 after a win (in underdog fashion) over Western Kentucky.
Big Ten Top Performers
Both Purdue quarterbacks (but mostly David Blough):
Elijah Sindelar started the game. Offensive captain David Blough finished it as both quarterbacks overwhelmed an Ohio Bobcats team that defeated FCS Hampton 59-0 a week ago. Blough was 11-for-13 with 235 yards through the air and tossed three touchdowns. He was in complete control of the game. New head coach Jeff Brohm’s offense is flying as Purdue got off to a real hot start — the halftime score was 34-7. The game ended 44-21.
Maryland running back Ty Johnson
Maryland absolutely destroyed Towson at home yesterday 63-17. Many offensive players had standout games — especially wide receiver D.J. Moore — but it was running back Ty Johnson who stole the show. The speedster had five carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including this long TD run.
Maryland is 2-0 after beating Texas last week and this walk-in-the-park triumph over Towson. The Terps host UCF next weekend in College Park.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor
Year after year it does not matter who the Wisconsin running back is — tremendous offensive line play consistently paves the way for monster, record breaking performances by running backs. Jonathan Taylor was the main man in Madison against Florida Atlantic on Saturday. The true freshman running back ran for 223 yards on 26 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Badgers won the game 31-14.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley
Iowa came from behind to win their third-straight Cy-Hawk trophy against rival Iowa State in Ames. Nate Stanley tossed the game winning touchdown in overtime, his fifth of the game. He had no interceptions and kept getting better and better as the game wore on. An incredible football game ended 44-41 in favor of the Hawkeyes. Stanley’s clutch play and workhorse-level running from Akrum Wadley made it all happen.
Entire Illinois defense
The Illinois D came to play on Saturday night, shutting out Western Kentucky for the first three quarters. The stat of the game? The Hilltoppers managed just six yards on the ground.
Consider that Illinois is playing great on D against the highest scoring team from a year ago (yes they lost a lot) with mostly FR and SO— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) September 10, 2017
A pick-six from Julian Jones (sophomore) in the waning minutes of the 1st half was the highlight of what was the best defensive performance in Lovie Smith’s Illini tenure thus far. The Illini offense struggled behind a largely ineffective Chayce Crouch and some conservative play calling. A Crouch interception in Hilltopper territory early in the 3rd quarter led to WKU’s only touchdown — hardly the defense’s fault there.