Big 10


Overview:
The first weekend of College Football is in the books and it yielded decent results for the Big 10. Most of the teams did as expected and handled lesser opponents while one team had a very impressive win. Michigan was the big winner this weekend handing Connecticut a 30-10 loss while launching Denard Robinson onto the national scene. Many experts were expecting a win for Connecticut but Michigan showed their offensive fire power and came up with the win. While Michigan impressed another Big 10 team continued what seems to be long run of disappointments. Illinois went into half time with a 13-3 lead over the favorite Missouri. Things looked good as the offense was able to move the ball under new quarterback Nate Scheelhaase but things fell apart in the second half and Scheelhaase ended the game with 3 interceptions.
Stand out Players:
This week had a few unexpected players come up big and a few that we knew were going to be solid. Terrelle Pryor had an excellent game against Marshall and looked like he was very comfortable in the pocket as he continues to develop as a complete quarterback. Jon Clay rumbled for 123 yards on 17 carries and punching in 2 touchdowns. Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan had a major impact on the game against Notre Dame, compiling 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and contributing on the recorded safety.
Then there were the surprise breakout performances by Denard Robinson, Rob Bolden, and Le’Veon Bell. Robinson probably had the best weekend of any Big 10 player filling up the stats sheet with 385 total yards in Michigan’s impressive victory against Connecticut. Nearly 200 of the yards came on the ground as he looked like an unstoppable force. He truly has Michigan and College Football buzzing about what could be a bounce back year for the Wolverines. Penn State did the unthinkable and started true Freshman Rob Bolden and he didn’t disappoint. He looked calm and collected as he went 20-29 for 229 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The fans in Happy Valley are very excited about this youngster and are expecting big things from him this year. Le’Veon Bell filled in for the injured Larry Caper and had an impressive debut. He rushed for 144 yards on 10 carries and 2 touchdowns. He looks like he will be the big play threat out of the Michigan State backfield.
Looking Ahead:
Next weekend is going to be statement weekend for the Big 10 as #1 Alabama, #13 Miami, and Notre Dame all come knocking. The top game has to be the Alabama vs. Penn State game as the Lions travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the defending National Champs. Alabama is going to be a heavy favorite but maybe the Freshman Bolden can pull off the unthinkable. Either way it should be an interesting game as two of the most storied schools battle it out. A very close second is the match-up of two very talented quarterbacks in Terrelle Pryor and Jacory Harris. Miami has to travel to Ohio to take on the #2 ranked team in the nation but this team has a ton of talent and if Harris can avoid turnovers they could easily upset the Buckeyes. Another good match-up pins two more storied schools in Michigan vs. Notre Dame. Both teams are coming off of opening day wins and are hoping to rebound from a few disappointing season.
This was a quick oven heater for our upcoming podcast. Stop by Friday morning to listen to our indepth analysis on most of these topics. What are Penn State’s chances to pull off the upset? Can Michigan’s secondary handle the Notre Dame offensive attack? Who’s the better quarterback, Terrelle Pryor or Jacory Harris?
Written by Jon Dove @NFLMocks on Twitter

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