And just like that, it was over.
It seems like just yesterday the spring season in college football was getting underway, but a good portion of the B1G has wrapped up the portion of the schedule with 10 spring games/open practices taking place over the weekend. Now comes the long, grueling wait until more football.
This is definitely the worst time of the year.
While there’s plenty to take away from a weekend full of B1G football, the spring is usually a time for knee-jerk reactions. Everyone wants to make bold predictions about the upcoming season based on a few practices and a glorified scrimmage. That’s what makes college football so great, right?
Following the slew of B1G spring games over the weekend, I’ve come up with my own knee-jerk reactions. As a disclaimer, these are just some of the raw thoughts that popped into my head while watching these games. These were some of my instant reactions to what I saw over the weekend, without much analysis, replay or logical thinking. So, before you go starting a Twitter riot, keep that in mind.
There’s reason to worry about Ohio State’s QB situation
Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin haven’t played a lot of college football and it showed on Saturday in Columbus. Fields is new to Ohio State’s system and Baldwin was tucked behind Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell a year ago. Both guys showed flashes of brilliance — Fields launched a 98-yard touchdown bomb and Baldwin lofted a beautiful ball to the corner of the end zone to Garrett Wilson — but lacked in consistency. Fields completed only 4-of-13 passes and Baldwin tossed a pair of interceptions. The Buckeyes need more consistency out of the quarterback position in the fall, regardless of who is under center.
Rutgers is finally showing some life
In Chris Ash’s first three years in Piscataway, Rutgers has lacked playmakers, but it might have some heading into 2019. Charles Snorweah had an incredible showing at the spring game, rushing for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, including one 75-yard jaunt. He’s still in a crowded backfield with Isaih Pacheco and Raheem Blackshear, but if he was able to carve up the defense with such ease in the spring game, it shows that Rutgers’ offensive line is improving and hints that the Scarlet Knights may have some depth at running back. Saturday might’ve been the best Rutgers’ offense has looked since Ash arrived.
Adrian Martinez is the best QB in the B1G
One throw was really all I needed to see to make that judgment over the weekend. Martinez threw a perfect strike across his body while eluding defenders, and the result was a touchdown. Martinez is a special talent and Saturday’s spring game proved that his freshman year was no fluke. As a true sophomore, Martinez might be the B1G’s best chance to end its Heisman Trophy drought and is the key reason why so many are pegging the Huskers as a top 25 squad in 2019.
Illinois offense might be the worst in the conference
There really just wasn’t a good way to spin this — unless you want to say the Illini will have the best defense in the conference, I guess. The quarterbacks struggled with turnovers and accuracy, the running game left something to be desired and there are clearly issues with talent and consistency at wide receiver. Those aren’t great signs for a team with bowl aspirations this season. Obviously, Illinois is still waiting on transfer situations and promising freshmen to arrive, but the knee-jerk reaction isn’t good for the Illini.
Penn State’s backfield is going to be unstoppable
Here are three names to remember: Ricky Slade, Journey Brown and Noah Cain. You’ll probably get pretty familiar with all three of those guys this fall. While those three guys aren’t going to see an equal number of reps, they’re all home-run threats every time they touch the football. Basically, no defenses are going to be able to rest regardless of which one is occupying the backfield. None of those three are Saquon Barkley, and maybe they’re not even quite as good as Miles Sanders just yet, but Slade, Brown and Cain are all really talented guys and can wear down defenses.
Little Brown Jug for a B1G title
While we’re here, why not turn a knee-jerk reaction into a bold prediction? How about a Minnesota-Michigan B1G Championship Game scenario? Minnesota looked good in just about every facet of the game on Saturday and is arguably the most well-rounded team in the B1G West, at least at this point. As for Michigan, Josh Gattis’ offense is allowing Shea Patterson to play to his strengths and skill position players to get into space. The offense looks capable of making a huge leap this season. So, why not? Let’s have a rivalry trophy on the line in Indianapolis this year, along with a conference title.