Week 1 B1G Grades
Remember when you returned to school after a long, enjoyable summer break? That first few weeks were agonizing as we were still wishing we were running through sprinklers and stopping at ice cream stands twice a day.
Thankfully, teachers took it easy on us because of our lack of focus and the grading scale was a little more generous.
After the first full week of the college football season, I’ve decided to adopt that mentality with the opening season report card for B1G teams. I’ll be less critical with the red pen and more generous with the grading scale after each team’s first game of the season.
Without further ado, here are the B1G grades after Week 1:
The Fighting Illini did exactly what it should’ve done against a Murray State team that went 3-8 at the FCS level last year. 515 yards, no turnovers and 52 points is a pretty good start to the Lovie Smith era in Champaign.
Indiana’s defense was the savior in Thursday’s match-up against FIU in Miami. A pair of interceptions returned for TD’s was crucial with the offense struggling. Richard Lagow got things moving late in the game but there’s still some work to do.
A typical Iowa result. Probably should’ve won by more but didn’t. The defense did give up over 400 yards to Miami(OH), but Iowa still won relatively easily. No real cause for concern here, just another vanilla win for the Hawkeyes.
D.J. Durkin’s defense was solid and the offense was solid. Howard didn’t score until the Terps called off the hounds in the fourth quarters. Six different ball-carries totaled 40 or more yards and scored a touchdown. A great way to open up the season.
Outside of Wilton Speight’s first pass getting intercepted, Michigan looked really good. The Wolverines made quick work of Hawai’i on the way to a 63-3 win. It’s safe to say Harbaugh has his team focused for the high expectations this season.
Michigan State: D+
1o penalties, two turnovers and only 361 yards of total offense. Michigan State was in a dog fight with a Furman team that went just 4-7 last season. There are a lot of things to fix here if the Spartans want to defend their B1G title.
The Gophers brought their blue-collar mentality to Thursday night’s showdown with Oregon State. Nothing really impressive here, but Minnesota did enough to win the game. Freshman Tai’yon Devers will be a force defensively.
Running the football really worked for the Huskers in a 43-10 win over Fresno State. The game plan was good, the execution was an issue at times. Still, Nebraska was able to separate itself in the second half for a nice victory.
Western Michigan could compete with a lot of teams in the B1G. But Northwestern still should’ve won this game. The offense has some work to do and the defense wasn’t much better, giving up 416 yards and failing to force any turnovers.
Ohio State: A
J.T. Barrett had a tough opening drive. After that, he was fantastic. Bowling Green had no answer for an explosive offense. It’s safe to say that Ohio State is still as dangerous offensively as it has been.
Penn State: B-
Penn State had its hands full with Kent State in a 33-13 win. The defense is still really good and the offense still needs some work. 1-0 is better than 0-1, though, no matter how it gets done.
The offense looked really good to start the game. And then it disappeared for awhile. Still, Purdue looked better than it has in the past and will take a win any way it can it them.
A rough start for Chris Ash in his first game. But the Scarlet Knights were playing on of the top teams in the country. Three turnovers really hurt Rutgers in the 48-13 loss. Not to be cliché, but it’s back to the drawing board.
Wow. The Badgers made quite the statement on Saturday, downing LSU 16-14. The defense looked great, field goal kicker Rafael Gaglianone was great and the win was great for Wisconsin. Bart Houston was average, but he’s going to have to get better if the Badgers want to maintain this success.