Week 2 of the 2023 Big Ten football season was not an especially educational experience. A slate of primarily lopsided games either repeated things we already knew or punted unanswered questions to be resolved at a later date.

That’ll happen when no one plays a conference opponent.

However, the season’s second week was not without its merits.

Here’s what we learned about each Big Ten team in Week 2.

Illinois: This is not last year’s defense

Those Devon Witherspoon and Sydney Brown dudes were pretty good, it seems. As was that Ryan Walters guy.

Kansas rolled up 531 yards and 34 points on last year’s No. 1 scoring defense in the country. Illinois has definitely lost a step on that side of the ball.

Now for the good news: The Illini won’t be seeing a quarterback as slippery as Jayhawks star Jalon Daniels the rest of the year. They’re probably not as bad as they looked. It’s not yet clear just how far they’ve fallen off — and still might not be after playing Penn State next week.

Indiana: Tayven Jackson is your starting QB

Tom Allen refused to name a starting quarterback after Indiana’s 41-7 win over Indiana State, so we’ll take the liberty of doing it for him. Tayven Jackson, who was 18-of-21 for 236 yards, is the guy.

Iowa: Brian Ferentz is still behind the 8-ball

One of Iowa’s major offseason storylines isn’t going away 2 weeks into the season. The Hawkeyes need to average 25 points per game in order for offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz to have his contract renewed, and have scored 44 points this season — 6 off the pace.

Fittingly, 7 of Iowa’s 20 points against Iowa State were courtesy of the Hawkeye defense, but Ferentz still gets to count those toward the total.

Maryland: A little adversity never hurt

Within the blink of an eye, Maryland found itself trailing Charlotte 14-0 in front of a national television audience. And things didn’t get much better for the duration of the first half as the Terrapins crawled to the locker room down 14-9.

But in the end, it turned out to be a good opportunity for Maryland to show what it’s made of — particularly Roman Hemby, who finished with 19 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown. Maryland scored 21 fourth-quarter points to cruise to a deceptively comfortable 38-20 win.

Michigan: JJ McCarthy is still rolling

Michigan’s quarterback completed 22 of 25 passes for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns, giving him 7 combined incompletions and 5 touchdowns through 2 games.

McCarthy has faced a pair of pushover defenses, and will again next week, but he’s doing everything you want to see from a quarterback thus far.

Michigan State: I believe in Noah Kim

After his second straight sluggish start to a game — Kim began 1-for-5 against Richmond — Kim found his groove and never looked back. Kim completed his final 17 attempts before being pulled with a comfortable lead. He finished 18-of-22 for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The degree of difficulty rises significantly against Washington next week, but Kim is showing growth.

Minnesota: So much for the passing fancy

Minnesota came out throwing against Nebraska in Week 1 and eked out a 13-10 win that was very Husker-aided. PJ Fleck went back to the well for what we actually expect from a Minnesota offense in Week 2.

The Gophers gained 296 rushing yards on 56 carries, led by freshman Darius Taylor’s workhorse 33 carries for 193 yards in the 25-6 win over Eastern Michigan.

Nebraska: I don’t believe in Jeff Sims

Nebraska’s starting quarterback is averaging 110 passing yards per game with 1 touchdown pass, 1 rushing touchdown, and a hand in 6 turnovers including 4 interceptions. At this point, I don’t know what Matt Rhule can do to make it work for him. Or what Rhule saw in the first place.

Northwestern: The Cats aren’t the worst team ever

Northwestern won’t be going winless for the first time since 1989, drubbing UTEP 38-7 in a game that was tied 7-all at halftime.

The Cats forced 3 turnovers and took a major step forward with 391 yards of offense.

Ohio State: Kyle McCord is your quarterback

McCord isn’t running away and hiding with Ohio State’s starting quarterback job, but through 2 games he appears miles ahead of Devin Brown. After a pretty average showing against Indiana, McCord completed 14 of 20 for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns against Youngstown State.

Brown, on the other hand, didn’t show much against the Penguins. He was 7-of-13 for 101 yards with 9 yards on 6 carries.

Ryan Day’s decision is obvious.

Penn State: KeAndre Lambert-Smith is WR1

The question of the preseason: Did the Nittany Lions have a receiving corps that would make Drew Allar’s transition to starting quarterback relatively painless?

Yes. And so far it’s not just relatively painless, it’s completely painless. Lambert-Smith had 6 catches for 74 yards against Delaware, 5 of which resulted in first downs. It was another strong showing after he caught 4 passes for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns in the season opener against West Virginia.

Purdue: The defense isn’t what we saw Week 1

Purdue’s Week 1 defensive performance was an eye-opener — in a bad way. Fresno State burned the Boilers for 487 yards and 39 points in an upset win for the Bulldogs.

Turns out that might say more about the Bulldogs than the Boilermakers. Ryan Walters’ defense looked like a Ryan Walters defense at Virginia Tech, limiting the Hokies to 11 rushing yards on 22 carries. And it wasn’t just dominant against the run — Virginia Tech’s passing game was 18-of-40 with 2 interceptions.

Rutgers: They had how many yards?

The Scarlet Knights exceeded 400 yards against an FBS opponent for only the 5th time since 2016 and the 2nd time since 2020, finishing with 453 total yards in a 36-7 win over Temple.

Offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca used the formula he perfected at Minnesota. Rutgers had 254 rushing yards on 52 attempts, and even added 199 passing yards for good measure.

This Rutgers team may actually be different.

Wisconsin: The Dairy Raid can be stopped

Phil Longo’s newfangled Wisconsin offense has a catchy nickname and mixed results.

It looked unstoppable in Week 1. The Badgers led the B1G in total yards with 503 against Buffalo. But that turned out to say more about the Bulls than the Badgers — Buffalo lost to FCS opponent Fordham 40-37 on Saturday, allowing 459 total yards to Vince Lombardi’s alma mater.

The Badgers finished with 368 total yards — and just 90 rushing yards — in a 31-22 loss at Washington State.