The first weekend of the college football season is in the books. And after a tremendous slate of three straight days of B1G games, it’s time to break out the red pen and hand out this week’s report card.

Since it’s the first week of the season, I’ll be a little more lenient on my standards. But don’t expect that to be the trend moving forward.

Here’s the final grade for each B1G team after Week 1.

B1G East

Maryland: A+

Considering all that Maryland has endured over the past few months, you couldn’t have asked for a better performance. Kasim Hill completed 17-of-29 passes for 222 yards and 11 players had at least one carry as the Terrapins attempted to keep No. 23 Texas on its toes. Will that work long term? We’ll find out soon enough. But on Saturday, the Terrapins were nearly perfect in the upset victory.

Ohio State: A

The only thing standing in the way of the “A+” mark for the Buckeyes was that they surrendered 31 points to an Oregon State offense that struggled a year ago. Is that being nitpicky? Probably. Dwayne Haskins (5 TDs), Mike Weber (3 TDs) were sensational offensively, as were defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones (2 sacks each). Saturday, Ohio State had as good an offensive performance as you’ll see in college football.

Rutgers: B+

Posting a four-touchdown win while starting a true freshman under center is a pretty solid start to the season. Rutgers had a balanced effort out of its backfield, as Isaih Pacheco (76 yards), Raheem Blackshear (62 yards) and Jonathan Hilliman (60 yards) proved to be an effective combination running the football. The Scarlet Knights did have four turnovers though, three of which were interceptions from Artur Sitkowski.

Indiana: B-

Saturday’s matchup against FIU was probably a little closer than it should’ve been. The Indiana offense played well in the season opener, but the defense struggled to keep the Panthers out o the end zone. After falling behind 7-0 early, the Hoosiers took the lead later in the first quarter and never relinquished it, keep a two-touchdown buffer for most of the evening. Not a bad road outing for Tom Allen’s bunch.

Penn State: C

You can’t flirt with disaster like Penn State did and expect to receive a very high grade. Yes, Trace McSorley came through in the clutch and Miles Sanders had moments of brilliance, but the Nittany Lions also let a two-touchdown lead slip away in the fourth quarter and needed a late drive to send the game to overtime. The only reason Penn State’s grade is this high is because we don’t know if Appalachian State is for real or not.

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Michigan State: C

The Spartans are going to receive essentially the same criticism as Penn State. The biggest difference? We’re used to seeing this type of edge-of-your-seat game against an inferior opponent from Michigan State. Brian Lewerke threw for 287 yards and rushed for 31 yards in the win. But that offensive line needs to get better or the quarterback is going to get very familiar with that turf at Spartan Stadium.

Michigan: D+

A 24-17 loss to No. 12 Notre Dame isn’t the end of the world, but it’s really how Michigan lost that earned it such a low grade. The Wolverines fell behind 14-0 early and were playing catch-up the rest of the night. It just never felt like Jim Harbaugh’s team ever had much of a chance in the contest. Plus, Michigan rushed for just 58 yards on 33 carries. That’s just bad.

 Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

B1G West

Wisconsin: A

Balance, balance, balance. Jonathan Taylor looked like a Heisman Trophy candidate, rushing for over 100 yards for the 11th time in his career. Alex Hornibrook completed 17-of-29 passes for 257 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The defense surrendered just three points to Western Kentucky. Wisconsin is probably going to be the “A” honor roll pretty often this season.

Minnesota: A

Despite a few hiccups early in the game, Minnesota’s defense was stellar in the 48-10 win over New Mexico State. The Gophers held the Aggies to just 233 total yards and a paltry 38 rushing yards. Rodney Smith (24 carries, 153 yards) and Tyler Johnson (5 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TDs) also proved to be valuable offensive assets in Week 1.

Iowa: B+

Things didn’t look too promising for the Hawkeyes in the first half, clinging to a 3-0 lead after the first two quarters. But thanks to a 30-point second half, Iowa made Saturday’s season opener against Northern Illinois look like an easy win on paper. Nobody played particularly well for the Hawkeyes, and yet they still walked away with a 26-point victory.

Northwestern: B-

Northwestern probably won’t be satisfied with earning a “B-,” but Pat Fitzgerald’s crew had a lot of miscues against Purdue. Granted, the Wildcats played on the road against one of the tougher Week 1 opponents, but this could’ve been a lot cleaner game. Maybe that’s because starting quarterback Clayton Thorson was on a pitch-count. Or maybe it’s because Northwestern is always better at the end of the year than it is at the beginning. Either way, there’s plenty for Fitzgerald and Co. to fix moving forward. Jeremy Larkin sure was impressive, though.

Purdue: C+

If not for freshman phenom Rondale Moore, Purdue probably would’ve received a lower letter grade. Probably would’ve gotten blown out by Northwestern, too. Nine penalties and three turnovers are just too costly to overcome against a team as fundamentally sound as Northwestern, even in a season opener. Jeff Brohm’s team will get better over time, but the Boilermakers were sloppy out of the gate.

Illinois: D+

The Illini struggled with Kent State, a program that has had difficulty hitting the .500 mark on a consistent basis. They needed a 28-point second half to escape with a win. That’s not a good sign. Several players were suspended for the opener, which could have attributed to the lackluster start. About the only positive thing from the game was the performance from AJ Bush, who threw for 190 yards and rushed for 139 more in the win.

Nebraska: Incomplete

The Huskers’ Week 1 matchup against Akron was cancelled due to weather.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Hall Passes

Ohio State offense: Gaining over 700 yards and scoring 77 points will earn you a hall pass every single time, even against inferior competition. Ohio State made everything look way too easy on Saturday afternoon.

Wisconsin offense: Remember that balance we talked about? Yeah, if the Badgers continue to throw as well as they pass (still a big question), Wisconsin might finally be able to win the B1G this season.

Minnesota offense: A true freshman was turnover free, Tyler Johnson had 100 receiving yards and Rodney Smith racked up 143 yards on the ground. Yes it was against New Mexico State, but the Gophers’ offense looked lightyears ahead of where it was a year ago.

Iowa defense: Not that Northern Illinois is an offensive juggernaut, but the Hawkeyes pitched three shutout quarters in the season opener. They only allowed 211 yards and forced two turnovers in the victory, too.

Rutgers defense: You might be wondering when the last time Rutgers’ defense got a hall pass. It is a rarity for the Scarlet Knights, but the defense pitched a shutout against Texas State. Artur Sitkowski’s pick-six was the only time the Bobcats found the end zone. Rutgers held TSU to just 176 yards and 11 first downs.


Michigan offense: The Wolverines struggled to do much of anything offensively, but they were especially bad on the ground, totaling just 58 rushing yards. Shea Patterson also had a rough outing, throwing an interception and losing a fumble at the end of the game.

Michigan State defense: Josiah Scott’s absence from the secondary was noticeable as Utah State played an up-tempo game to keep Michigan State guessing. It worked and it almost cost the Spartans in Week 1.

Penn State defense: Giving up 28 fourth quarter points and blowing a 14-point lead is just inexcusable for a team with this much talent. No, Penn State isn’t as good defensively as a year ago, but it has to be better than it was Saturday.

Purdue defense: Jeremy Larkin ran all over the Purdue defense, showing the youth and inexperience up front. Also, an unnecessary roughness penalty after a third down stop cost the Boilermakers the game. Unacceptable.