Recap of the week that was: Illinois started things off with an ugly 47-23 loss to South Florida, and by the end of the game fans were left wondering if there’s a quarterback controversy in Champaign. The Indiana vs. Florida International game was canceled due to Hurricane Irma, and Michigan State and Maryland had byes. Michigan and Iowa needed fourth quarters to seal off wins. Nebraska fell flat losing to Northern Illinois. Wisconsin took care of business on the road at BYU. Ohio State breezed by Army at home following last week’s lost to Oklahoma. Purdue beat SEC foe Missouri by 32 points. Penn State and Northwestern both won in blowout fashion on Saturday night.
Big Ten Top Performers
Michigan Special Teams: PR Donovan Peoples-Jones & K Quinn Nordin
True freshman WR/PR Donovan Peoples-Jones scored Michigan’s first touchdown of the game early in the second half.
Touchdown, Michigan!— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) September 16, 2017
Donovan Peoples-Jones scores on a 78-yard punt return. Michigan takes a 16-6 lead over Air Force in the 3rd Quarter. pic.twitter.com/FX26voQmWf
The kid has dazzling speed in the return game. It’s clear he represents what Jim Harbaugh wants when it comes to recruiting big-time athletes. Donovan People-Jones came to Michigan as an in-state, five-star recruit and the top player in the Michigan class. He’s only getting his feet wet in what should be a long, highly productive career in the maize and blue.
Michigan’s kicker Quinn Nordin was 5-for-5 on his field goals, tying a school record. Red zone woes stalled Michigan all game long. Without Nordin’s consistency and points, the Wolverines don’t win this game.
Wisconsin’s entire offense
Wisconsin’s offense did not skip a beat against BYU. Jonathan Taylor continues to be a workhorse back who stuffs the stat sheet, doing so again against BYU on the road. The Badgers stick to their game-plan and wear teams down with their rushing attack. Taylor had 128 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for a team that likely runs away with the Big Ten West title.
The offensive line deserves a shout out too. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook had time in the pocket most of the afternoon and threw an almost-perfect 18-for-19. On a weekend when some Big Ten West teams stunk it up (Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa for three quarters), Wisconsin looks head and shoulders above everyone else.
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm
Purdue got off to a hot start against Missouri in Columbia. Jeff Brohm is an offensive wizard and it showed against an SEC opponent.
Purdue 234 yards offense in the first quarter at Mizzou. Jeff Brohm can dial it up.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) September 16, 2017
Missouri is in a funk and its head coach likely won’t last another season, but hats off to the Boilers. Purdue’s been irrelevant with shoddy offenses for years now. One swift head coaching hire has completely changed the culture and perception of the team. Purdue can fly. Jeff Brohm and Purdue’s welcome-to-the-Big Ten moment comes next week when they play host to Michigan. The Wolverines are on upset-alert next week in West Lafayette.
Minnesota defensive back Jacob Huff
Jacob Huff had a 67-yard interception for touchdown in Minnesota’s victory over Middle Tennessee State. The junior from Chicagoland area Bolingbrook did this just before halftime:
Minnesota finds itself 3-0 entering their bye week. They open Big Ten play on September 30 at home against Maryland. It was important for the Gophers to start the season strong with a new head coach and new quarterback. Minnesota’s right where they want to be at this early stage. Shout out, too, goes to Gophers running back Kobe McCrary with his three touchdowns.
Ohio State’s J.K Dobbins
Ohio State needed a bounce back performance against Army after last weekend’s home loss to Oklahoma. Much of the talk this past week was about Baker Mayfield planting a flag on at midfield. J.K Dobbins was the best player on the field as he and the Buckeyes had no issues running against the Army Black Knights. Dobbins had 172 yards on 13 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Ohio State still controls its own destiny en route to the College Football Playoff. A confidence boost against Army chalks Ohio State’s Week 3 a success.