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The Whistlestop Tour: Week 2 of Big Ten Football

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The Bucks might be mortal.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue is 2-0 for a second year in a row. Please ignore everything that happened after last year’s 2-0 start. Since last year’s 2-0 does not count, Purdue is 2-0 for the first time since 2007. That’s better than a lot of other Big Ten teams can boast about:

Purdue 49, UConn 0

Our friends at the UConn Blog are already turning towards basketball season:

The first game after Randy Edsall’s departure from UConn football looked a lot like the other ones. Purdue’s offense strolled down the field with little resistance from the Huskies as the Boilermakers comfortably covered the spread in a 49-0 win.

Oregon 35, Ohio State 28

The Ducks rolled into Columbus and pulled off a stunner, controlling the game throughout. At least Purdue can be a Big Ten team taking care of business at home against an Oregon team:

There’s no way to sugar coat what we witnessed today; Ohio State’s 35-28 loss to Oregon was an absolute, top-to-bottom failure of the highest order. For all of the 2020 season, and now for the first two games of the 2021 campaign, the Buckeye defense has looked slow, out of position, nowhere near fundamentally sound, and at every turn out-coached.

Iowa 27, Iowa State 17

GameDay headed to Ames for ¡El Assico! And it did not disappoint, as the passing “top performer” was Brock Purdy and he threw for less than 150 yards and had 3 picks:

It was a dominant performance, if not one without some drama throughout the first half. Iowa State was the first team to put points on the board after they finally moved outside the shadow of their own goal posts into scoring range at 3-0. The only reason they were there in the first place was a third down Cyclone sack on Spencer Petras followed by a very wonky missed field goal.

Penn State 44, Ball State 13

I thought the Cardinals would put up more of a fight, but it appears as if Penn State is actually good this year:

In the end, the Nittany Lions did a good job of working out the kinks on offense while not showing too much ahead of next week’s White Out showdown with Auburn. They’ll return to the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium next Saturday night as both Penn State and the Tigers put 2-0 records on the line.

Wisconsin 34, Eastern Michigan 7

The Badgers deployed “offense” and it was effective to end EMU’s three-game B1G win streak:

Wisconsin picked up 352 yards on the ground in the game, led by Mellusi who rushed 20 times for 144 yards and added one touchdown. Mellusi became the first Wisconsin back to rush for 100+ yards in his first two games on the team, since Corey Clement did so in 2013.

Michigan 31, Washington 10

At least Washington decided to score actual points this week:

The Michigan Wolverines earned a signature win in dominating fashion against the Washington Huskies on Saturday night. The rushing attack led by Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum was too much to handle for Huskies’ defense as the Wolverines combined for 343 rushing yards on 56 carries in the 31-10 blowout. Combine that with a sea of fans decked out in maize and the players on the field in all-blue uniforms under the lights in the Big House, and this game felt big. But, it didn’t come without its hiccups.

Virginia 42, Illinois 14

Outside of their week 0 win over Nebraska it looks like Illinois might be bad:

Defensively the Illini struggled getting off the field, hardly generating a pass rush without the team’s sack leader Keith Randolph who was out with injury. UVA was manufacturing big plays all game long, out-gaining the Illini by almost 300 yards, only punting twice in the entire game. The Illini generated two fourth quarter takeaways, but it was too little too late.

Michigan State 42, Youngstown State 14

After Kenneth Walker III ran all over Northwestern last week Peyton Thorne decided to go to the air:

In total, the Spartans had 272 yards rushing and 323 yards passing. Thorne was efficient, going 15-for-21 for 280 yards and four touchdowns (plus a rushing touchdown). Jordon Simmons rushed 16 times for 121 yards (7.6 yards per carry) and Walker had just seven carries for 57 yards and a touchdown (8.1 yards per carry). Reed led the Spartans with four catches for 181 yards and two scores.

Minnesota 31, Miami (OH) 26

Minnesota’s first game without Mo Ibrahim was more of a struggle than originally thought:

After the Gophers took a 21-3 lead into the locker room at halftime, the RedHawks scored 17 unanswered points in the second half. Minnesota finally woke up once their lead had dwindled to a single point in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run by Trey Potts to end their drought. Tyler Nubin nabbed an interception on the RedHawks’ ensuing possession, setting up a 50-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett to wrestle away the momentum and make it 31-20.

Northwestern 24, Indiana State 6

The Wildcats managed to sleepwalk through a win over the Trees:

The ‘Cats got off to a perfect start, marching down the field and scoring a touchdown on each of their first two drives, 75 and 92 yards in length respectively, and recorded 172 yards in the first quarter alone. After that, things took a turn for the worse, with the offense only scoring a paltry ten points through the final three quarters, and despite being gifted a lot of great scoring opportunities by the special teams, they continually failed to capitalize and put the game out of reach.

Rutgers 17, Syracuse 7

Rutgers continues to legally be a member of the Big Ten:

Rutgers took a trip up to Syracuse on Saturday afternoon and had to battle for 60 minutes. In the end, it was the Scarlet Knights who were able to gain the advantage in an ugly game and improved to 2-0 with a 17-7 victory.

Nebraska 28, Buffalo 3

Nebraska beats an FBS level team, on Scott Frost Day:

The Huskers honored 9/11 victims and first responders by having police, fire and military service members lead the team out of the tunnel, recreating the famous Tunnel Walk of 2001. The alternate uniforms look pretty sharp - a camoflauge print on mostly white uniforms. The NU on the side of the helmets makes me do a double take, but overall I like the look.

Indiana 56, Idaho 14

You, too, can be the manager of Indiana’s SB Nation blog.

Maryland 62, Howard 0

At least Howard got paid:

The Terps were up 28-0 after McDonald’s rushing touchdown, and the freshman’s score was just an example of how Maryland dominated en route to a 62-0 win at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on Saturday night.

Non-Conference Opponents Update:

Notre Dame 32, Toledo 29 – The Irish escape for a second straight week.

Oregon State 45, Hawaii 27 - The Beavers biunced back behind 160+ yards and 3 TDs for BJ Baylor.