10 things I am absolutely overreacting to after Week 1 of Big Ten play
Week 1 is in the books for all 14 Big Ten teams. As always, there are good things and bad, some pleasant surprises and some surprising disappointments.
Here are 10 overreactions from the first week of the Big Ten season
1. I’m all done being concerned about how good Dwayne Haskins has can be
Haskins, the Ohio State starting quarterback, doesn’t have a lot of game-day experience. When we were breaking down the Big Ten East race during August, I thought Ohio State had to be concerned, because the QBs at Penn State (Trace McSorley), Michigan State (Brian Lewerke) and Michigan (Shea Patterson) had so much more experience.
No worries, Haskins said. He threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns in his first start as the Ohio State quarterbacks, both school records for a QB making his first start. He’s going to be fine, which makes OSU the favorite again in the Big Ten East.
2. I’m now very concerned that Purdue QB Elijah Sindelar isn’t ready
Sindelar won the quarterback battle over David Blough during camp, but then he proceeded to throw three interceptions in the Boilermakers’ Big Ten opener at home against Northwestern. It really hurt because all three picks led to Northwestern points and the Boilers could never catch up, losing a home game in which they were favored.
Blough played well as a backup and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens going forward. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, a former QB himself, hates turnovers. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Sindelar’s playing time, and if he’s going to be on a short lease. Is Brohm’s faith wavering?
3. Michigan’s offensive line was a huge disappointment to me
I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I bought the hype from fall camp that Michigan’s offensive line would be better. I was wrong. They were my most disappointing position group over the weekend and they were a big reason why Michigan lost to Notre Dame 24-17.
I’m that guy who picked Michigan to win the Big Ten a few weeks back. I’m not ready to bail on that yet — that would be a huge overreaction — but I am now very concerned. I’m a Shea Patterson believer, but he needs time to throw.
4. Michigan State and Penn State will fall in the rankings, even after winning
The Big Ten had five teams ranked in the top 14 in the first AP poll. No. 14 Michigan is falling for sure after a loss, but No. 10 Penn State and No. 11 Michigan State should tumble, too. The Nittany Lions barely beat Appalachian State and the Spartans had to scrap to hold off Utah State.
That wasn’t what we were expecting from two Big Ten contenders. They’ve got lots of work to do, both of them
5. I’m off-the-charts happy for Maryland and its players
What a great win for the Terrapins, beating No. 23 Texas for the second year in a row and practically bringing Texas coach Tom Herman to tears. It’s already been a rough season for Maryland, with offensive lineman dying and coach DJ Durkin sent to the sidelines on indefinite leave because of his handling of the incident.
For me, it’s always about the players and I’m so happy that they could go out there and play a great game and get a huge win close to home. (The game was at FedEx Field.) It was nice to see lots of smiles on their faces.
6. I’m off-the-charts happy for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, too
Ferentz and his Hawkeyes looked great in the second half Saturday, beating Northern Illinois 33-7. It was his 144th win at the school, passing the great Hayden Fry, Ferentz’s mentor and friend.
Say what you want about Ferentz, but he runs a great program. He’s had plenty of magical moments there and does it the right way, often getting more out of less. Bravo, Kirk!
7. And I’m all for Matt Canada taking over at Maryland for good
That’s a huge overreaction for sure after one win, but hear me out. There’s just no way that Maryland can conclude this whole Jordan McNair investigation by bringing Durkin back. That would just look so terrible.
So Canada should get the job. He’s a very good coach, and he was treated badly at LSU by Ed Orgeron. Hire the man.
8. Play of the week goes to Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye
It’s laughable that Penn State needed an athletic interception from Oruwariye just to hold off Appalachian State 45-38 Saturday, but that’s not really the story. The interception was incredible. He went up over the receiver to steal the ball. If he doesn’t, it’s a score and a 2-point conversion changes the result.
“I just see the guy in front of me right here and I know I have to make a play, save the win. As soon as it left his hands, I was just playing with confidence, playing with technique,” he said. “You always got to know it’s never a 50/50 ball — you got think it’s 100/0.” What a great quote.
9. Indiana’s offense is going to be just fine with Peyton Ramsey at the helm
It was very nice to see the Hoosiers go on the road in steamy Miami and score 38 points in a win against Florida International. Ramsey won the tight QB battle in camp, and he didn’t disappoint. He had three touchdowns passes and just one bad throw that led to an interception.
“I thought that they both did a good job,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “I thought Peyton controlled the game, other than that one pick, where he made a bad decision there, but that one didn’t cost us anything. Three touchdown passes for him, just thought he looked really sharp.
10. Ryan Day did just fine as Ohio State’s interim coach, but …
Couldn’t any of us against that awful Oregon State team? Day had Ohio State’s offense ready to play and the proof was in the numbers, with the Buckeyes scoring 77 points, gaining 721 yards and averaging 7.1 yards per rush.