Another September weekend, another slate of games which feature a lot of dregs and a couple of sapphires amidst the flotsam and jetsam. Let's review.
TRYING TO CHANGE THE BIG TEN'S PERCEPTION ONE GAME AT A TIME
Michigan 41, Notre Dame 30 -- Notre Dame was down only 34-30 midway through the 4th quarter, but a 75 yard TD drive taking nearly five minutes secured the win. Devin Gardner's going to be good if two things keep happening: Jeremy Gallon (8 catches, 184 yards, 3 TDs) stays healthy, and he keeps the interceptions to 1-2 a game.
Illinois 45, Cincinnati 17 -- Sure the Illini defense gave up 456 yards to the Bearcats, but they racked up 522 of their own to beat a Cincinnati team that decisively beat Purdue last week. 312 of those came through the arm of Nathan Scheelhaase, and with the win the Illini have equaled their win total from all of 2012. Looks like Operation: Avoid Detroit in December is back on for Tim Beckman's team!
BIG TEN PYRRHIC VICTORY OF THE WEEK
Ohio State 42, San Diego State 7 -- Probably the weakest candidate for BTPVotW we'll have all year, because even though Braxton Miller left the game with a knee injury he's expected back next week, and backup Kenny Guiton (152 yards passing, 83 yards rushing, 3 total TDs) looked more than competent in Miller's absence.
EXERCISES IN COMPETENCY
Northwestern 44, Syracuse 27 -- Speaking of teams that have two good quarterbacks, Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian combined to go for 375 passing yards and four touchdowns on 30 of 37 passing. I'm starting to think the Northwestern defense might be a little suspect (gave up 30 against Cal, 27 against the Orangemen) but when a team's putting up 40+ points a game the defense is allowed to be a little suspect. DISCLAIMER: DOES NOT APPLY TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FROM THE HOOSIER STATE.
Nebraska 56, Southern Miss 13 -- The tire fire has been extinguished, as a defense that gave up over 600 yards to Wyoming last week only gave up 284 yards to Southern Miss. The defense even scored a touchdown. Defensive scoring - the trend started in East Lansing, now it's spreading!
Penn State 44, Eastern Michigan 7 -- For a moment Eastern Michigan was ahead, as Christian Hackenberg reared back to throw, only to have the ball squirt out of his hand. Said fumble was recovered by the Eagles and returned for a touchdown. The rest of the game played out entirely as you would expect it to (PSU: 574 total yards, EMU: 188 total yards).
Wisconsin 48, Tennessee Tech 0 -- Wisconsin is the only FBS team to have played two games and have two shutouts. Three Badgers ran for more than 100 yards, which has to be the third most Wisconsin thing ever behind blowing a 0.20 during your arrest for open intox and the onset of Type II Diabetes.
Minnesota 44, New Mexico State 21 -- I'm not really sure how good Minnesota's offense is, since this is the second week they've scored multiple touchdowns while not on offense (Marcus Jones 65-yard punt return, 50-yard fumble return both for scores). Given the state of my team's offense though, I have no place to criticize.
ICEBERG COMING? PRETTY SURE THIS SHIP CAN PLOW RIGHT THROUGH IT.
Michigan State 21, South Florida 6 -- Well, at least every MSU student will have played QB for at least one quarter during his or her enrollment at Michigan State. That's an experience you can't get on any other campus. #SpartansWill
TROUBLESOME VICTORIES AGAINST FCS TEAMS
Iowa 28, Missouri State 14 -- If you were looking at this game through total yards gained for each team it wouldn't seem as close (Iowa: 489, Missouri State: 198), but the one pick QB Jake Rudock threw was returned for a touchdown and Iowa had 11 penalties called on them for 100 yards. Troublesome, yes, but not as troublesome as...
Purdue 20, Indiana State 14 -- Good news Boilermakers -- you picked up a win! Bad news -- you may have to make it last until 2014, because Indiana State had more yards than you did, and your easiest game left is home against Iowa.
HONORING OUR BRAVE SERVICEMEN AND SERVICEWOMEN
Navy 41, Indiana 35 -- The Hoosiers maintained their identity to a T, running up 481 yards of total offense on Navy while Navy ran for 444 yards on them. Navy's QB also went 2 for 4 for 71 yards. Hey MSU coaches, the triple option offense has the word "option" in its title. Just throwing that out there.