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The Whistlestop Tour: Week 3 of Big Ten Football

The league did not look good in road games.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa scored touchdowns? Northwestern lost to an FCS team? Nebraska lost and it wasn’t a close game? This week had a lot going on around the conference. There were a lot of blowouts, but the Big Ten West once again did not look very good. Here is your weekly recap:

Syracuse 32, Purdue 29

Purdue took the lead with just over 50 seconds left, but completely melted down with seven penalties after the moment Payne Durham crossed into the end zone. Our new friends at Syracuse were elated for the gift:

It was one of the areas I questioned coming into today as the first two weeks were (penalties aside) pretty-smooth for a Syracuse offense which never faced a deficit. The Orange struggled to run the ball and Garrett Shrader couldn’t connect as easily as he did last week but in the end he found a way to get it done. Standing in to make this throw to Oronde Gadsen II with the game on the line is something special.

Ohio State 77, Toledo 21

The Bucks simply could not be stopped on offense:

I was wishing that Ohio State had only scored 75 points last night instead of 77 points. Had the Buckeyes scored two less points, I could have said that I-75 wasn’t the only thing that ran right through Toledo. I-77 is a little more fitting though, because the interstate running north-south on the eastern side of Ohio is a lot rockier than the flat wasteland that is on the west side of the state.

Even though 77 points is A LOT of points to score, it doesn’t even rank in the top-five of all-time points scored in a game by the Buckeyes. Toledo didn’t even close to allowing Ohio State to score the most points in school history in a game, as the Buckeyes scored 128 points against Oberlin back in 1916.

Michigan 59, UConn 0

For the second straight year UConn gets shut out by a Big Ten team:

Michigan beat the snot out of UConn 59-0 on Saturday afternoon to improve to 3-0 on the season. The game featured a great performance by J.J. McCarthy, a record tying showing by Blake Corum, a defensive shutout, a special teams masterpiece, and much more.

Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14

I guess some good news for Purdue fans is that Nebraska looks like a dead team walking:

We are watching Nebraska’s worst offensive line in school history. I don’t blame the players as much as the coaching staff, because it’s clear the coaches haven’t taught linemen the basics of recognizing stunts, or the fronts they’re looking at.

Washington 39, Michigan State 28

A slow start in Seattle doomed the Spartans on the road:

Washington received the ball to open the game, and it did not take long for the Huskies to open the scoring in the game. During the first drive, UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. hit wide receiver Jalen McMillan for a 47-yard gain. Two plays later, Penix found wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk for an eight-yard touchdown. Kicker Peyton Henry made the extra point, and the Huskies led 7-0 less than four minutes into the game.

Penn State 41, Auburn 12

Going on the road and blowing out an SEC team is pretty impressive:

A 3-point favorite on the road, the Nittany Lions were expected to win by the oddsmakers, and some of the population, but no one expected the kind of game where Jordan-Hare stadium would empty out midway through the third quarter.

Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24

Losing to an 0-2 FCS team is a very bad look for the Wildcats:

In beautiful conditions at Ryan Field Saturday, Northwestern (1-2) fell to Southern Illinois (1-2) in ugly fashion, marking its second consecutive loss to a non-conference opponent.

The Wildcats led early, but a strong fourth quarter from the Salukis gave them the lead and they never looked back, as Southern Illinois claimed the 31-24 victory over Northwestern.

Indiana 33, Western Kentucky 30 (OT)

Indiana is basically the opposite of Purdue in that they look awful for most of the game, but are fantastic with the game on the line late:

Until Charles Campbell’s 51-yard field goal cleared the crossbar in overtime, it appeared as though the Hilltoppers would have their revenge. Indiana trailed by 8 with under 4 minutes left in the game and nothing up to that point indicated that they would have the juice for another touchdown and two point conversion.

And yet, here we are. Undefeated three weeks in. Don’t ask me how; I don’t know.

Rutgers 16, Temple 14

Rutgers is also 3-0 now. (On the Banks has no game wrap as yet)

Minnesota 49, Colorado 7

Minnesota is now my pick to win the West, as they have been dominant so far:

Mohamed Ibrahim. Death, taxes, and Mohamed Ibrahim rushing for 100 yards or more. The Gophers’ star running back blew past the century mark for the 12th straight game and scored three touchdowns to tie Darrell Thompson’s school record for career rushing touchdowns (40). After rushing for 202 yards and averaging 8.8 yards per carry against the Buffaloes, Ibrahim now has 464 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the year.

Wisconsin 66, New Mexico State 7

No problems for the Badgers this week:

Graham Mertz had himself a game as well for the cardinal and white, completing 12-of-15 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns, completing passes to five different receivers. Mertz pushed his season total of touchdown passes to six, through the first three games. It took Mertz nine games to throw his sixth touchdown pass, during the 2021 season.

Iowa 27, Nevada 0

Iowa deployed “offense” this week and god was so mad He delayed the game:

Perhaps most importantly, Iowa looked alive in the passing game with Spencer Petras going 14/26 for 176 yards and a touchdown. With as full complement of wide receivers as the Hawkeyes are likely to get this season, Iowa pressed the Pack downfield, with seven of Petras’ 17 passes before the lightning delay aimed towards targets 15+ yards down the field.

Maryland 34, SMU 27

It took a late comeback, but Maryland is 3-0 and looking dangerous again:

SMU’s sensational senior wide receiver Rashee Rice — who had a whopping 11 receptions for 193 yards — lined up on the right side of the field. He slanted across the middle of the field, and senior quarterback Tanner Mordecai, knowing his team needed a touchdown to keep their hopes alive, flung a pass to his most-trusted target.

With the game on the line, Maryland junior defensive back Beau Brade leapt in the air and defended the pass, forcing an incompletion and sealing a 34-27 win for the Terps in their final nonconference game of the 2022 season.

Non-Conference Opponents:

Montana 49, Indiana State 14 - The Trees at least scored this week, but got blasted by a top 3 FCS team.

Central Florida 40, Florida Atlantic 14 - Purdue needs a get right game next week before turning to conference play.