Overview: I don’t know how you don’t start your Big 10 conversation this week without mentioning Michigan State. The Spartans pulled off a big win against Notre Dame with a fake field goal in overtime. This win has the makings of a pace setter that could propel a team to several more wins. Michigan State did what they did best by running the ball. I was also pretty impressed with the defense who were expected to lose the game for the Spartans. Of course not all things were good for Michigan State as their Head Coach Mark Dantonio suffered a mild heart attack and will be out for awhile.
The other big news in the Big 10 this weekend was Iowa suffering an upset to upstart Arizona. Iowa was taken out of their game early when they went down by 14 points. They were never able to rebound as they were forced to throw the ball. They mounted a late comeback only to fall short. For most this eliminates the Hawkeyes from National Title contention and exposes some of their weaknesses.
Michigan and Wisconsin both struggled to put away teams they were suppose to handle easily as UMass and Arizona State hung around and made things interesting. Michigan and Wisconsin fans are happy with the win but should feel a little uneasy about their team’s performance. There are a few more games before the teams open up Big 10 play and thing will need to be tightened up before then.
Standout Players: Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell put up another good performance as he builds his resume for Big 10 freshman of the year. He had 114 yards on 17 carries and 1 touchdown. Denard Robinson continues to be an all purpose yard machine combining for 345 yards and 3 touchdowns. Robinson continues to gain momentum as we head towards Big 10 play. Two Wisconsin players made headlines with big games and they were John Clay and Lance Kendricks. Clay rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown as Kendricks hauled in 7 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Both players were instrumental in Wisconsin’s tight victory.
Looking Ahead: The biggest game on this week’s schedule is Temple at Penn State in what is sure to be a good match-up. Temple comes into the game undefeated coming off an impressive win against UConn but to this point hasn’t played a team as talented as Penn State. The Nittany Lions need to stay focused and not look ahead to their big match-up against Iowa in a few weeks. This is a potential trap game for Penn State as they will be expected to win but can easily be upset. Temple possesses a good defense and a solid running game, with some experience at the quarterback position. Temple Coach Al Golden has heard his name in connection to the Penn State coaching job once Joe Paterno steps down, this will be his audition.
The rest of the Big 10 slate is filled with lesser opponents where I don’t expect any upsets. The only other game to keep an eye on is Northern Illinois @ Minnesota.
Written by Jon Dove @NFLMocks on Twitter