10 things I am absolutely overreacting to after Week 2 of Big Ten play
Week 2 has come and gone in the Big Ten and although there were some impressive performances, in all it has to be considered another disappointing week for the league.
There were more bad losses, as favored teams Michigan State, Northwestern, Nebraska and Purdue all lost. Those of you who wanted to call the Big Ten the best conference in America can just shut your traps now. They’ve proved nothing yet, outside of Ohio State, and even that has a huge asterisks since their two wins have come against possibly the two worst Power 5 teams in the country.
Take out possibly since I’m overreacting to everything anyway. Oregon State and Rutgers are the worst.
Here’s my 10 takes:
1.Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins has been nearly perfect
I have to admit that I had some concern before the season started that Dwayne Haskins didn’t have enough experience at QB to keep Ohio State in the Big Ten East race. I was dead wrong. All he’s done so far is throw for nine touchdown passes and has 546 yards on 42 of 53 passing. He’s been great, and so has backup Tate Martell. What a line he had Saturday, 10-for-10 passing and eight carries for 95 yards. There is no doubt that the Buckeyes are the best team in the Big Ten. No doubt. Zero.
2. Northwestern’s mess
What’s happened to Northwestern’s offense? I had high hopes for them this season, but they scored only 7 points in the 21-7 home loss to Duke, despite being favored by a field goal. Quarterbacks Clayton Thorson and TJ Green each threw an interception and they averaged only 3.1 yards per carry. This is a trending long-term problem for the Wildcats.
3. Purdue’s bigger mess
Eastern Michigan was 1-38 against Big Ten foes coming into its game at Purdue Saturday and all it did was sneak away with a 20-19 victory to push Purdue to 0-2. Jeff Brohm was supposed to be turning this program around but now the Boilermakers are winless after losing two games as home favorites. Where are the wins going to come from now? Are we looking at a 3-9 type of season? Or worse?
4. Iowa’s defense makes them contenders
Has any group — outside of Ohio State’s offense — been more impressive that Iowa’s defense. They have completely dismantled decent offenses from Northern Illinois and Iowa State the first two weeks. The offense is still a work in progress, but this defense gives the Hawks a chance in the Big Ten West. They are the second-best team in the division for sure — probably by default.
5. Shea Patterson has his magical Michigan moment
Heading into Michigan’s home opener against Western Michigan, it had been almost exactly one full year since the last time a Michigan wide receiver caught a touchdown pass. Thankfully that changed Saturday as Shea Patterson threw three touchdowns passes, two to receivers Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones and one to tight end Sean McKeon. He’s dreamed of playing in the Big House for years, and it was magical day in a 49-0 win against Western Michigan.
6. Penn State has a big bounce-back, too
Penn State struggled to win its opener, and the Nittany Lions made Pitt pay for it Saturday night, winning 51-6 in a rivalry game. They have playmakers around Trace McSorley in K.J. Hamer, Miles Sanders and DeAndre Thompkins. All concerns we had about the Lions in the opener disappeared Saturday. They are my No. 2 team in the Big Ten right now — ahead of Wisconsin. Yep, really.
7. It’s going to take time for Scott Frost at Nebraska
It was a tough home loss to Colorado in the opener, and it’s too bad. Scott Frost and his freshman quarterback, Taylor Martinez, are going to do great things. It just might take a while. Hopefully Martinez can stay healthy, because he played great Saturday. He was 15 of 20 passing (75 percent) for 187 yards and ran for another 112. He’s Frost’s kind of quarterback.
8. Indiana wins again, this time over ACC foe
The Hoosiers are 2-0 and have looked good doing it, beating Virginia at home 20-16 on Saturday night. Their defense looks good and Stevie Scott became an overnight sensation, taking over at running back and rushing for 204 yards on 31 carries.
9. Really happy for Maryland’s players
The Terrapins are 2-0 too, and after all they’ve been through, that’s great. They may not win two more the rest of the way, but at least they’ve been able to smile for two weeks. They need it.
10. Michigan State isn’t Michigan State anymore
What’s up with this, a Mark Dantonio team blowing a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter? It happened very very late on Saturday night, losing 16-13 at Arizona State. I caught a lot of grief in August for saying the Spartans were the fourth-best team in the Big Ten East at best, but there’s no doubt about that now. And maybe Indiana and Maryland might think about knocking them down another notch.